BY: CAROLINE KAMM
We’ve all had almost perfect vacations and then we’ve had those trips that could have used some improvement. Sometimes things are simply out of your control, maybe it rained your whole beach vacation or your had your wallet stolen. But two young entrepreneurs based out of Brussels found that the real difference was in the quality of information. When they planned a vacation to visit a friend they had access to all sorts of insider info. And yet try as they might, when they hoped to visit a totally new city they could hardly find anything beyond the tourist traps.
This led the two 20-somethings – Loic Jaillat from France and Ricardo Martinez from Mexico – to develop an idea. They decided to build an app called T-IL, short for The (Places) I’ll Love. The basic idea is that if the app can pinpoint users interests, it can tailor travel destinations exactly to them. Rather than travel based on the whims of a tourist guide, you can get advice straight from the locals who are most like you.
T-IL is a community app for people who love travel. When you sign in you answer 10 questions about your tastes: what do you do on Sundays, what drinks do you like, are you into sports, etc. Once you’re done, you start recommending some favourite spots in your city or places you’ve visited. Then when you travel to a new city, the destinations will be sorted by percentage affinity, based on how much you have in common with the person who recommended that spot. In other words, you see the spots that are most likely to fit you.
T-IL becomes your local friend wherever you go. Take Loic for example: he is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, listens to punk music, skateboards, and loves street art. Rather than trawling individual blogs and message boards before visiting a new city, T-IL will recommend spots that were added by similar users.
T-IL is already being used in 22 countries and is available for iOS and Android. Loic and Ricardo developed the app out of their own pockets to get the beta version onto the market and now they are pushing to get it working around the world. You can hear more about their journey in their intro video on their Kickstarter page.
Ready to travel like a local wherever you go? T-IL is your key to community-based alternative tourism.