Innovation That Matters

The service is currently available in Korea, with plans to expand to Japan and elsewhere | Photo source Unsplash

App gives tourists real-time access to local advice

Computing & Tech

Sidekick allows travellers to text locals in South Korea and Japan for real-time travel recommendations

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Spotted: The South Korean app Sidekick gives travellers immediate access to locals via text messaging. Samsung workers Scott Barrow and Jungwon Yang say that app works like a “concierge in your pocket”. The two created the app when they realised how much they depended on texting local colleagues for advice when travelling. 

Sidekick links tourists with locals via text apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE. Locals provide advice in real-time on everything from the nearest bakery to questions about local customs. Sidekick access costs €18 a day and is available in one, three or five day packages. The service is currently available in South Korea, with plans to expand to Japan and elsewhere. The local guides provide advice in English, Korean and Japanese. 

Springwise has spotted other innovative apps reaching to meet this growing demand. The Finnish MyHelsinki helps Chinese travellers navigate their way around the sights. A Swiss startup created an app that matches international students abroad with local teachers at their destination.




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