The story of WishTrip began when one of its co-founder Yakov Slushtz was hiking with his wife, and got lost. They tried to find their way or any trail that will lead on a way out through their mobile phone’s GPS. Unfortunately, the GPS only works for marked and national roads.
After a lot of searching and stress, the couple found what they were looking for, which turned out to be a short distance behind them, which is more frustrating to them. This caused Slushtz to say, “why isn’t there navigation for travellers?”
Knowing what is around you and navigating there without getting lost can make or break the travel experience. While initial thoughts were to make WishTrip a navigation app for travellers, similar to how Waze or Google Maps work, but realising the vast potential of the app, it is now a social media platform that manages experience in destinations.
Before, during and after their visit
WishTrip helps destinations shape the tourist experience and helps them become SMART tourist destinations. All WishTrip customers are digital, searchable, doable and shareable. This increases the lifetime value of visitors and turns visitors into ambassadors.
WishTrip engages visitors before, during and after their visit. The platform helps destinations create promotional content and provides exploration suggestions to visitors on-the-ground. After the visit is over, WishTrip brands all of the content that was created by destination’s visitors with the destination’s branding so that when visitors share their pictures and videos to their network, they are effectively advertising the destination.
The app helps destinations with promotion and marketing for the social media age. The most trusted source for information and purchasing decisions is referrals. Positive information can make or break a decision to go somewhere. WishTrip makes it easy for destinations to use information and content created by their visitors and put positive information from their visitors on the Internet. The app also provides data and analytics to destinations so that they can analytics their tourist activities and improve operations.
Why use Wishtrip?
The nature of travel and the needs of travellers have changed tremendously and in the last two decades and destinations need new and SMART tools to deal with this. Destinations work hard and spend a lot of money to attract visitors, but once they arrive it’s hard to ensure that they have a good time and that your whole destination is benefiting. WishTrip gives destinations the tools to help shape the tourist experience in a hands-off way and ensure that the destination itself benefits as much as possible.
The rise of FITs (free independent tourists). Not that long ago the majority of tourists travelled with guides which meant that they saw the places they visited with a knowledgeable local who spoke the native language. Now the majority of tourists visit places on their own as FITs. This leads to a less controlled experience. However, if a tourist has a bad time, they will blame the destination, even if their bad time was their own a result of their own actions or lack of planning. WishTrip offers a way for destinations to control the experience while tourists feel they are being spontaneous and have choices.
Travel is increasing globally and the travelling population is becoming more diverse. The availability of low-cost flights makes it easy for people to travel further and more frequently than ever before. The rising middle class in Asia means that destinations host more tourists from every corner of the globe. Destinations need to cater to people who speak many different languages and come from different cultures, and you can’t just assume that everyone speaks English. WishTrip’s user interface is available in 14 languages. Content can be created in any language and instantly translated into the operating language of the tourist’s phone. This removes language barriers and makes sure tourists feel at home anywhere.
Over and under tourism. In any destination, whether a city or a small attraction, tourists tend to congregate in the same handful of places. However one usually doesn’t need to go far in order to find much thinner crowds. Tourists don’t like this because they feel like they are in a tourist trap. Cities and regions don’t like this because it means that most of the area doesn’t benefit from tourist revenue. Locals don’t like this because they feel like their home is being taken over by tourists. Attractions don’t like this because it puts a lot of pressure on nature and infrastructure. It also encourages people to leave before they have seen and experienced the whole site which means lost revenue. WishTrip’s self-guided digital tours make it easy for destinations to suggest alternative routes and make visitors feel confident to go out and explore. For cities and regions, more tourist traffic and revenue is spread about the area. For tourist attractions, it encourages tourists to stay longer, spend more money and of course gives them a more satisfactory experience.
The nature of marketing is changing and destinations need to get more creative about how they promote themselves. TV, radio and print are certainly not dead, but that is not how the majority of people make decisions today. People don’t trust advertisements and are more likely to take a trip based on someone’s recommendation, even someone that they don’t know. A recent study by Expedia showed that 57% of millennials have made travel plans based on an image or video they saw a friend post on social media. We help destinations get positive content from their visitors out on the web so that people have the information that they need to motivate them to book trips and try new things.
Visitors are a destination’s greatest marketing asset. We turn a destination’s visitors into their ambassadors, people who put out positive information and help convince others to go. WishTrip’s tourism experience management platform gives destinations what they need to make sure visitors are happy, have great experiences and share these positive experiences as widely as possible.
Proprietary apps can be powerful, but they are expensive to develop and often fall short of expectations. WishTrip can be used instead by destinations instead of developing a proprietary app. We offer great experiences to visitors and great information about a destination, which the destination can control. And because tourists use the app to record their memories and have valuable assets, they don’t uninstall WishTrip when they leave the destination.
WishTrip doesn’t just exist to become a big company. We believe that in-destination experiences are a crucial part of the goals of tourism and we want to help the industry get there.