PulsoSocial’s “PulsoConf” wrapped up a couple of days ago, ending with its startup competition 2012. The competition amongst six startup companies including the winner of the PulsoConf hackathon, Pollbag, was won by Colombian startup SnappyGo, a travel site (with a difference).
SnappyGo’s secret sauce could actually be better described as a different approach to trip planning. The site matches would-be travelers with people who are local experts in the destination (though it isn’t clear how those experts are selected). The experts help the traveler design a unique, personalized itinerary tailored to the traveler’s interests.
Once the traveler selects a destination, SnappyGo sets up a chat with the local expert to craft an itinerary. The fees, which are kind of a modified consulting arrangement, start at US $30 for a 1-3 day trip and go up to $75 for a trip of 7 days or more. Travelers can also request an advisor. SnappyGo makes money by taking a 30% cut of the fee.
This seems like a good idea to me, although I have to reserve judgement based on a lack of knowledge of how SnappyGo selects experts. That said, it’s a brilliant concept in theory. I would think that, particularly for out-of-the-way destinations, they ought to be able to source some good experts that would provide real value to customers. This isn’t the type of service I’d use for a trip to Paris, since there are reams of information written about Paris. But I would definitely use it for someplace like North Africa, or less-developed parts of Asia, or parts of Central America.
It’s hard to get good travel advice.