We first met Emmaneul Guisset, Managing Director of YourTour, last year when he came to our office to demo his new trip building application. Having seen umpteen shopping cart itinerary apps come and go we rolled our eyes and tapped our fingers impatiently waiting to politely view yet another me-too demo. But what caught our attention was the fact that this was truly different. Instead the user selecting attractions to fill an itinerary,YourTour instantly built our tour based on some simple preferences that included incredibly granularity– down to the cost of gas traveling from one attraction to the next. This year E-Tourism Summit will “Shine The Light” on YourTour as one of our sponsors and new product discoveries.
Q:Can you provide us with a one-sentence description of YourTour? A: YourTour is an intelligent trip planner that uses travelers’ preferences to calculate complete trip proposals including recommended attractions, accommodations, and driving instructions for specific destinations.
Q:How did the application come about and what is your background?
A: Originally developed in collaboration with a Belgian university, the company’s founder has 2 passions – travel and mathematics. He created a set of powerful and complex mathematical algorithms that build and compare millions of possible solutions and reduce the amount of time to plan a trip from a few days to a few seconds. He started working on the algorithm at the end of the 1990’s!!
Q What makes it different from other shopping cart tour planner apps that DMO’s build into their own websites?
A: Well, a few things. First of all, unlike classic trip planners where users have to drag and drop items (hotels, attractions) and organize them in their cart/calendar, YourTour assembles the whole trip, based on user preferences, so it already makes sense in terms of distances, availabilities and costs. Another difference is the ability to book the hotels through the tour planner. YourTour uses a hotel booking engine to check hotel availability in real-time with a while putting together the itinerary. Soon, we will propose something similar with certain activities.
Q: How did you become involved with the company?
A: I got lucky and ran into the founder while looking for an internship 3 years ago. At that time, the founders were working alone out of a tiny office on the university campus. They had a very basic prototype but I directly saw the potential and decided to join them. After 3 years of growing with the company and promoting YourTour in Europe, I am now focusing on the US market which is very exciting for a young gun like me!
Q: Do you have any DMO’s adopting your model.
A:Yes, we have a lot in Europe, especially regions in France. Although it is still a fairly new product, the feedback is very positive and the demand in France, our main market is exploding. In the US, we just signed deals with Rapid City CVB and Philadelphia CVB. We also work with hotels chains, car rental agencies and OTAs.