April 30, 2020
NEW YORK CITY — Physical travel may be halted for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jumpstart your next trip. ViaHero, a travel start-up that connects travelers with a local to plan their trip, wants to help you dust off your bucket list and make it personal—all while supporting local tourism communities around the world.
Now more than ever, local knowledge is valuable while planning your trip. The coronavirus will undoubtedly make trip planning more challenging than normal because of shifting safety policies, establishment hours and outdated online reviews.
Locals have a unique understanding about the status of restaurants, hotels, and transportation—as well as social distancing precautions that their communities are taking. The ability to directly tap into the resource of local knowledge removes a layer of uncertainty about travel.
ViaHero has just unveiled their newest offering, the ViaHero Bucket List, a trip planning tool designed to help travelers dream about their next trip and connect with a local to get personalized recommendations.
It’s not just a bucket list. Locals will include ways to experience their destination from home, so you can begin your travel experience even while social distancing. Recommendations are paired with an idea of how to experience culture from the comfort of your home, such as through language classes, virtual tours, recipes, and more.
“We designed our bucket list feature to transform the way travelers dream about their next trip, and to create a way for travelers to experience the joy of travel without ever having to leave their living room,” said Rachel Hawkes, ViaHero’s co-founder.
Travelers can feel good about the altruism behind their trip planning as well. ViaHero was founded on the belief that connecting with a local offers travelers a way to explore an off-the-beaten-path side of a destination, plus it keeps more tourism dollars local.
“So many of our communities rely on tourism to keep their economy booming,” Hawkes said. “We want to continue inspiring people to dream about their next trip and support locals in the process.”
When travelers plan their trip with ViaHero, they’re directly supporting the local they choose to work with. ViaHero’s local trip planners (referred to as Heroes), earn an average of 70% of every trip booked by sharing their local expertise.
“ViaHero is one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve reached in my life,” said Lianet Lopez, a Hero in Cuba since 2016. “I’ve been able to buy my own house and support my family, especially in these hard days of limitations because of the pandemic. But ViaHero also means freedom to me, the freedom of working on something I really enjoy and that has helped me to open my eyes and look over the horizon, to infinite possibilities to be happy.”
ViaHero Bucket List will launch in Japan, Italy, and Cuba. These destinations were chosen because of the direct impact the coronavirus has had on their local economies. In the past few weeks, Japan has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Italy has lost crucial tourism revenue, and many of ViaHero’s locals in Cuba have lost a primary source of income.
Travelers can create their customized bucket list through ViaHero starting on Thursday, April 30 at https://www.viahero.com/bucket-list. They’ll be able to browse a marketplace of local Heroes and choose someone who has interests similar to their own. Travelers do not have to know the dates of their dream trip to begin building their bucket list. Each personalized bucket list will include 10 personalized recommendations, a custom map, language tips, general transportation information, money and safety tips.
ViaHero is a travel start-up that launched in 2016 to connect travelers with locals to plan their trips. ViaHero’s full itinerary-planning services are available in 20+ cities, and the company has supported more than 20,000 travelers to date.
ViaHero Bucket List will launch in Japan, Italy, and Cuba on April 30, 2020.
For more information visit https://www.viahero.com/bucket-list