February 10, 2017

Five for Friday: Travel with a twist

Pack your bags! The digitalisation of the travel industry is bringing a wider range of accessible experiences.
Pack your bags! The digitalisation of the travel industry is bringing a wider range of accessible experiences.

The world is your oyster, and, thanks to this range of Finnish innovations, these days it is also conveniently found at your fingertips.

Duara Travels

This web-based service enables travellers to stay with local families in Africa and Asia. There’s a philanthropic angle too: the majority of the accommodation fee goes to the host family, with the rest divided up between the community’s village bank and Duara.

“We want travellers to see where their money goes and how their trip affects the life of the local community,” explained Johanna Vierros, one of Duara’s three founders.

Trip Republic

Creating seamless travel experiences across transport, accommodation, sightseeing and activities, one-stop social travel planner and booking tool Trip Republic brings it all together under the same digital roof.

“We have integrated a lot of travel supply which wasn’t possible five years ago,” CEO Joen Schauman told us last year. “The whole idea is that travel should become more personal. You should be able to make sure that every traveller gets the right kind of information in front of them.”


Looking for the local approach to travel? Meet residents of cities around the world who give tours of their hometown that are tailored to particular hobbies and themes.

“It’s hard to compare reading a guidebook as opposed to actually meeting a local and seeing their home through their eyes,” CEO Raymond Siems said in our feature on the company. “Once people try Ventoura it will change the way they travel.”


Modern travel industry success stories such as Airbnb have one thing in common: connecting the user more directly to the service. Along with transparent pricing, this booking platform for guided tours and adventure holidays employs one innovative addition:

“Our idea is brilliantly simple – the more people who join a tour, the less each person has to pay,” Kalle Viira explained to us.


Thanks to this Finnish startup, hosts can rent their space more efficiently and profitably across multiple platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Flipkey, Expedia and HomeAway.

“It takes a lot of effort to sign up on various channels and keep rates and availability updated,” co-founder and CEO Marcus Räder explained to us last year. “We have automated this so the user just has to sign up and choose the desired channels. We automatically create an account, upload the property and synchronise the calendars by the click of a button.”

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