Ditch the bore and expense of tour guides and travel with AppyGuide, an audio guide app that lets you discover the world with the help of the most knowledgeable and passionate historians.
Launched earlier this year, AppyGuide is a Swiss startup that offers an alternative to human-led tour groups, which are often expensive, exhausting, and unpredictable in terms of quality, and the clunky, unhygienic technology provided by museums. The startup has created an app that the company hopes will tap into the tours and activities market, currently estimated at $160 billion worldwide.
Providing short, 3–6 minute audio stories describing important artworks and historical landmarks, the app allows users to easily access content on their phones, whenever and however they want. Rather than having to stick to restrictive schedules, users can go at their own pace. Another upside is cost: while human tour groups can cost anywhere from €50–150 for a three-hour tour, AppyGuide offers every new user €199 worth of free credit upon registration.
Then there’s the content itself. Instead of outsourcing content creation to third parties, AppyGuide directly works with verified scholars such Andrew Graham-Dixon, a prominent art historian and BBC presenter, and Martin Kemp, an Oxford professor and the world’s preeminent Leonardo specialist. By doing so, the app is able to gather high-quality, unique, engaging content and to cover many more artworks and historical sites than typical audio guides. With AppyGuide, users can have a better experience of a city’s rich art and history, along with the freedom to explore it as they choose.
The startup was founded in Geneva, Switzerland by Anastasija Krasnova, Cornell Hotel School graduate, and its advisor is Igor Kozhurenko, head of DataArt’s iGaming division.
“I always loved watching documentaries on art and history, and I always loved traveling,” stated Krasnova. “Having had several bad experiences with tour guides, I wanted to combine my two passions and build an app that would provide the type of quality content I had been searching for. I went to various scholars at top universities, and they loved the idea. Many of them dedicate their lives to one specific subject but don’t always get to share their studies with the world. AppyGuide gives them the opportunity to do just that.”
The app’s first location is Florence, Italy, one of Europe’s main tourist destinations, known for being the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest artists. The company hopes to launch other locations in Europe in the near future and to eventually expand to the U.S. and Asia. AppyGuide is currently free to download on the App Store and Google Play, available in all countries except for Russia.