Top Travel Apps Spotlight: Urban Adventures Treasure mApps (Part I)

We're kicking off our Top Travel Apps Spotlight series with the Urban Adventures Treasure mApps. We had the chance to connect with Urban Adventures' General Manager Tony Carne to get the inside story on the inspiration for the mApps' creation.

Tell us a bit about Urban Adventures.

Urban Adventures is a Day Tour business but more than that we are really about making sure people have a great time in destinations. For many (like me for example) there is nothing worse than realising too late you've ended up in a crappy tourist trap for lunch or reading about somewhere amazing that fits right in with your interests in a destination you've just been to - and you missed it.

People spend a lot of money getting to places and staying at places, so we want to make sure they absolutely maximise their experiences there. Our people are passionate about the people they meet going home and having cool travel tales to tell that are their lasting and extremely positive memory of the destination.

You just launched the Urban Adventures Treasure mApps in March. What was the inspiration for the mApps?

Our goal is to make sure people have the Best. Day. Ever. in all our destinations. If we are going to be serious about that we know, we need to think about more than just the tour experience. People have time before they meet their Urban Adventure guide on a tour and time after the tour. We want to make sure that all and every destination experience people have - from their coffee and breakfast in the morning until their last drink at night - is a great one. With practically everyone now having a smartphone whilst travelling – it seemed the Treasure mApps were an obvious way to communicate information to people outside their time with the actual guide.

We took the decades of knowledge and passion for our destinations that our people have and put them in this format. We decided on a native App because it could be used offline which is critical at this time with high roaming charges. Still the best, most up to date and specific to your interests information can come from an Urban Adventures guide whilst on a tour, but these highly curated guides can make sure the places you go are the ones that are truly loved by locals and where you'll see and be able to meet locals.

How are the Treasure mApps different from other city guides a traveler might choose?

We truly have no other agenda than maximising the traveller experience so we have taken a highly curated approach to the guides. We don't include any of the normal sightseeing sites. We think people are smart enough to find those themselves. We think about someone spending 3 or 4 days in a destination. Half that time is taken up getting around seeing the must sees of museums, monuments and towers but what do they do wih the other half of their time? That is where both our tours and the Treasure mApps kick in.

If you want to get deeper into a destination really quickly – we offer you a path to do that without doing mountains of research. The feature we are most proud of in mApps, apart from the actual recommendations we make, is the geo fencing of the places we have highlighted. Our travellers are generally curious wanders. They might know the name of a cool suburb like Fitzroy in Melbourne, a neighborhood like Kreuzberg in Berlin or Trinity Bellwoods in Toronto but not know exactly what it is cool for. Rather than walk around looking at their phone instead of taking in the neighbourhood charm, our Treasure mApp will actually let the person know with a little buzz and notification when they get near something we think is the absolute best of where they are wandering. That place is almost never on the main street – it is in an alley, upstairs or downstairs and if you didn't know you'd wander straight by. They can check if it is something interesting to them and if so make the detour to check it out. It's all about experience.

You currently have mApps for 6 cities: Berlin, Melbourne, Toronto, Amsterdam, Prague and Los Angeles. Which cities are you debuting next?

Next are Florence, Paris, Hanoi, and Rio de Janeiro. Also in the pipe are Hong Kong, Lisbon and Tokyo. They are free for everyone whether you are an Urban Adventures customer or not, we still want you to have a great time in our destinations. If you want to check if we really know our stuff, you can also download one for your home city and check the recommendations. If you like what you see – you can be assured of the same and quality in all the other destinations.

When you really want to get the absolute low down on the best of what is happening right now come on a tour, join us for a guided trip through the best food or amazing offbeat sites or alternative histories and ask your guide about how to spend time with your own personal interests in mind.

Wow! We are now especially excited to take a look at one of Urban Adventures' Treasure mApps. Join us for Part II of our Top Travel Apps Spotlight: Urban Adventures mApps tomorrow.

Our Top Travel Apps Spotlight series is a brand-new series where we'll be reviewing hot travel apps and getting the inside scoop from their creators. These are Not sponsored posts and are intended to be a resource for fellow avid travelers.