When abroad, Chantel and I wanted to find local experiences while we traveled. Yet, it took hours of research and reaching out to people to find even basic activities. We wanted a way to get to know the local culture and support small businesses.
Due to the pandemic, travel experiences have been limited to people's own hometowns, so our team wanted to provide a way to help support businesses in their area to stimulate their local economies while being able to find that local culture that we were missing when we were abroad. Once restrictions begin to be lifted, we hope that this platform will streamline a boost to economies around the world, to help those that have been hurt the most.
What it does
It allows users to provide local recommendations to build their communities and provide insight to visitors about the core culture of their area. By breaking up local recommendations into four categories (things to do, see, eat, and experience in their culture), users can give a holistic perspective into their home. This in turn supports small businesses, as the recommendations are limited to only local-owned businesses rather than tourist traps. It gives businesses, specifically minority-owned, around the world the boost they will need to recover from the pandemic. Additionally, these local businesses will provide a more authentic experience for those interested in learning more about that area.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Because of the time limit, we were unable to represent cities in their entirety. Additionally, it wasn't from a "local's" perspective because we did not have the ability to reach out and gather opinions. Instead, we supplemented this with a temporary solution of adding recommendations that were posted online. In the future, we hope that locals will directly upload their recommendations to the app, making the main source of data the users themselves rather than any websites.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
We learned two new languages and a new platform. Additionally, we see now how to move forward and which features are most vital for the app's use. We also learned that there is a need to support small businesses, specifically minority-owned, as they were the most impacted due to the pandemic.
What's next for Locals
As for coding, we want to implement user interfaces with either AWS or Azure, learn more about React Native to add more interesting features to the app, and put in a search bar to add more cities to the future. Additionally, we want to be able to have users upload their personal recommendations in the future instead of linking to different recommendations online.