How to Make a Killer Tourism App


One of the speakers I liked the most at the recent Tourism Challenges event in Lisbon, held on the 12th of April, was Tine Thygesen, CEO of Everplaces, with her presentation “Destination marketing – how mobile is changing the game”.

Tine started out with explaining the changing landscape in mobile and focused on tourism as part of her contribution to the conference. It was interesting to see her use the term “inside out marketing” which Tine describes as searching for your niche and pampering them like never before.

Its what most mentors tell startups – to find a small group of highly engaged and supportive people and ensure you wow them, testing and creating an app that they love and share, making the art of discovery organic.

Tine then went on to list a few points that will help any person who is looking for an idea for an app in the category Tourism-App in the Vodafone BIG Apps Lisboa competition.

  1. Trigger Sharing: there are so many points of interest that have become magnets for pictures taken by tourists – search for “estatua fernando pessoa chiado” and see the result. How can you take advantage of this? How can you piggy back on this? Can you create your own moment that tourists will interact with, photograph and engage around your app?
  2. Utility Apps: Another interesting point was that of utility apps, or those that seem common sense yet inexistent. Tine’s suggestion is an app that is useful, or necessary, for the tourist. One that focuses on the real time side of the app yet retaining data for when there is little or not connection to the digital world – offline maps, travel info, currency converter, weather, WiFi spots, transport (detailed), city card. It’s a great idea and almost too obvious to be true;
  3. Niche Vs. Generic: One of my favourite things about Tine is that she focuses on going small at the beginning – choosing quality over quantity and then ensuring that those early adopters love your app – the rest is history. Tine highlights the fact that presently most of the tourism information is generic and ironically, doesn’t cater to the needs of the masses. Creating specific apps based on niche markets can and has the ability to scale. After all, Facebook was a social network for American Universities.

Finally, Tine spoke to destination marketeers and the need for them to embrace a new role – the catalyst for empowerment – a shift from the old mindset of owning the material, sites and generic information to one where access is provided, information curated and a network created that facilitates connection – real, authentic connections.

Here is her presentation via the business.everplaces knowledge section and think about all the possibilities that exist for creating a killer tourism app.

Be sure to visit the data sets and APIs provided by the City SDK initiative, one of our partners, and get inspired. Deadline for applications is May 23rd.

Photo: VisitPortugal

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