The problem your project solves
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted the tourism industry as lockdowns and travel restrictions have essentially stopped all non-essential travel. Europe’s tourism industry, the largest in the world, has collapsed and the ones hit hardest have been those who have guided us through these beloved destinations. Local tour guides currently do not have a viable alternative to make ends meet and there is great uncertainty on when the industry will return to normalcy (Booking.com estimates that won’t happen until 2022). Traditionally, travel has been almost exclusively a physical operation necessitating close contact between traveler and guide. Coreise seeks to disrupt this paradigm.
The solution you bring to the table
Travelers at home can connect to our platform via laptop or mobile. The tour guides are physically present at tour spots, streaming live from their smart devices. Travelers can choose in advance from a list of interactive tours from across the world and once registered , they can join the live stream at the scheduled time. During the live stream, tour guides and travelers can chat and interact with each other. Think of it as Zoom, but with better video quality and more interactions like live trivia, ranked Q&A etc. After the live stream, tour guides collect payment as if they were conducting them in-person. Travelers can leave reviews or comment about their experience and have the ability to share it via all major social media channels. Coreise will work anywhere with 4G or wifi and future iterations will incorporate support for 360 degree cameras and VR. However, our priority is to keep the platform low maintenance so that guides only need the smartphone in their pocket to start.
Although the technology is tried and tested, the combination of a live streamed experience conducted by a certified tour guide at the physical location is unique to Coreise.
What you have done during the weekend
Technology: We built an MVP that is live and currently deployed. The MVP is capable of registering users for a variety of tours and has the ability to stream live events directly on the website. The functionality was tested in our first live stream event held on Sunday which was attended by 29 travellers from 4 different continents.
Field Test: We carried out a live test of our MVP on Sunday morning and as no official tour guides were available, we conducted the tour ourselves. With minimal marketing, we signed up 49 people from multiple countries. Of those, we engaged and interacted with 29 viewers at the same time. We also sent a survey to the attendants and received a 55% response rate, obtaining valuable feedback to improve our product.
Business Plan: Deep diving into making this idea a viable business, we performed a market analysis to determine the feasibility of the solutions, required capital and possible revenue generation models.
Network Building: We have reached out to tour guides and tourism associations across the world via email, Instagram, Facebook, etc to form relationships and invite them to join our platform. We have received overwhelmingly positive responses and already have a meeting with Wonderful Copenhagen schedule for Monday morning at 11am.
Finally, we collated all of our experiences, learnings and footage from the field test to craft a video pitch capturing the essence of our product. Throughout the hack, we have been able to laugh a lot and learn about each other. We are really proud of what we have achieved and we hope we can continue developing this to contribute to turnaround this crisis.
The solution’s impact to the crisis
This solution tackles two critical pain points generated by the current COVID-19 crisis. The first one is the sudden unemployment situation of the many professional tour guides who have alternative employment solutions. With our platform, we will enable them to restart their business through COVID-19 friendly, digital means. Moreover, in the long term, we are also creating value by increasing the demand they can support. The second is addressing the loneliness and disconnectedness caused by lock-downs and quarantines. Coreise transports people to their dream destinations from the comfort of their homes while providing an avenue to socialize and interact with others in real time. Coreise promotes cultural exchanges and fosters a sense of global community.
The necessities in order to continue the project
Coreise needs outreach to travelers and tour guides to create a balanced supply and demand. We will partner and connect through via tour & travel intermediaries to gain access to tour guides deployed using their distribution models. Traction is critical and our platform will rely heavily on interest from travelers. We will engage our potential audience through omnichannel marketing. By engaging with travel influencers we will be able to reach target audiences and create a community sentiment. The exposure from EUvsCrisis will help too :D
Additionally, some of the other practicalities include,
- Finalize the development of a market ready platform compliant with all data protection and security standards.
- Integrate a secure payment gateway to facilitate all transactions.
- Design a robust framework of APIs to build tour guide dashboards, etc.
- Create a knowledge base of resources to help tour guides supercharge their experiences.
- Provide travel guides access to internet services and smart devices.
- Invest in operations and expand the partner management team.
The MVP is ready and deployed. From our estimations, we can have the platform production ready within a month. We aim to scale and become self-sufficient in 6 months to 1 year.
The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
B2C: Communities and relationships built during the crisis live on post-crisis and are enhanced by the sentiment. Post-crisis, the experience of a platform allows travel agencies, independent tour guides and locals to have direct-to-consumer virtual interactions. Our platform can serve those aspiring travelers who are planning their next trip as well as those who can’t afford to explore the world or physically bound to their location. By digitalising travel, we create an opportunity for people with disabilities, hospitalised patients, those suffering loneliness and depression to connect and experience the world.
B2B: The platform allows stakeholders to promote their service and expertise, generates credibility and trust via peer reviews. Travel experience providers now have a social and digital touchpoint with consumers around the world, our platform will contribute to generating leads for them. Our platform also creates a marketplace for VR and 3D camera applications - live stream tours, 3D tours, and VR experience.