On Friday 6 March, innovation players came out in droves for the 6th annual edition of the Hacking de l’Hôtel de Ville : 4,000 business meetings during the largest meetup in France, a collaborative workshop on new recruitment challenges, 5 round tables, 24 demos of game-changing innovations …. Startups, corporates, investors, experts and City of Paris officials once again seized the opportunity to build new and lasting business partnerships.
The Hacking de l’Hotel de Ville opens its doors to unveil the future of tourism: here are the players that are shaping the trend.
Browsing around the Hotel de Ville, many contributions to the future of tourism are clearly a result of innovative business models. Technology and digitalisation combine to generate a wide variety of solutions for the tourists of tomorrow. In such a multitude of startup innovations, there are two types of approaches: those offering the perfect holiday experience, and those with a broader scope, offering solutions that not only align with specific tourist needs, but are also applicable to a wider variety of scenarios.
Names such as Andyamo and VidiGuides, are among the most representative of the sector thanks to their scalability and scope of action. While perfectly addressing tourist needs from different perspectives, they enhance both the quality and feasibility of the holiday experience.
As Sébastien Guillon, a co-founder of Andyamo, says: “Andyamo helps cities become inclusive destinations with travel itineraries designed for people with reduced mobility. Our mission is to enhance the degree of autonomy of 12 million French people with reduced mobility… Since August 2018, we have developed a travel planner specific to your itinerary which recommends accessible tourist attractions and the adequate mode of transports to visit them.”
Alongside this inspiring scenario that disrupts travel for people with reduced mobility, Vidi Guides is one of the other names that operates transversally in the tourism business. With an enlarged scope of action focused on the holiday journey of all possible tourists, they create experiences that empower people to discover more. As the founder, Marius Nigond, says: “VidiGuides provides one of a kind, podcast-like, 35 min audio guides that help tourists enjoy their visits at their own pace and at an affordable price. We work with historians, municipalities and a production team to create fun, memorable and historically accurate experiences.”
Overall, the tourism of tomorrow will be composed of a larger client base that is better equipped to access the experience itself and enjoy 360-degree sightseeing. It’s especially inspiring to see how these startups project themselves into the future by concretely defining the steps needed to achieve their goals.
To the question “How do you think your startup could help shape the future of tourism?” Andyamo’s co-founder replies: “Our focus is to get updated data concerning the accessibility of streets in each city to help them reaching the « last 100 meters ». Andyamo is prepared to contribute to the success of the smart mobility revolution! Our clients are big cities with high tourist attraction. Paris is currently preparing for the Olympic Games in 2024 and will need to provide personalized & accessible sightseeing itineraries for everybody.”
As for VidiGuides’ perspective: “We have studied the behavior of this new generation of tourists and have noticed that millennials want faster and more authentic experiences. The era of guide books and 3-hour audio guides is over!”
The ever-changing consumer habits and growing concerns about inclusivity are definitely carving the new face of tourism, whose spirit is clearly embodied by both Andyamo and VidiGuides.
By Nicolas Droghetti and Mounia El Baz, Centrale Supélec Paris students