We are a couple of guys with one idea: to cover all the nooks of the world with highly segmented travel guides. Lonely Planet, the leading travel guide publisher, has 600+ destinations. We want to have 600,000! Megalomaniacal? Maybe, but possible now with crowd sourcing and web 2.0.
Guidelet is here to tell travelers what they should be doing right now. And later on for dinner. And to night. Take a guide like Miami for Animals: Since it is a Monday and it is raining, consider some salsa classes at Havana Club. After lunch at Renzo´s Subs, check out the freaks on Melrose St., the tattoo street. Concise yet juicy travel tips designed your style of travel.
Web 2.0 changed tourism. Sites like Tripadvisor and VirtualTourist made it possible for anyone to recommend or rate a place. Everything has been going well, except for one issue: such travel sites polarize travel recommendations, making the bigger establishment, or the ones with an active online marketing department, more noticed. All of a sudden, hidden little gems have given way to the big brand restaurants, tourist bars and main attractions. The end result is a lot of reviews on “Buddy Guy´s Legend Blues Bar” and few on “Mamma Rosa´s blues bar”, when both are of equal importance to blues-loving customers visiting Chicago.
The other issue we noticed is this: a travel attraction is not ideal for everyone, but for specific market segments. That means that “Zizi´s Art Gallery” may be a great attraction for culture vultures, but maybe not to the traditional frat-boy. Stereo-typing? Pigeon-holeing? Maybe. But then again, you are on vacation, you don´t have time to hit-or-miss. A travel guide designed for a specific segment is bound to have tips that appeal to its members. If the travel guide creator thinks Zizi´s has an appeal to frat-boys, she´ll put it in.