The tourism industry is ever-changing and we have seen some ground-breaking innovations in the space such as the use of robots in airports and the inception of Internet of Things in hotels that automate everything. However, very little innovation can be seen on tour guides.
Tour guides often work freelance and are usually on contacted by tour operators if needed. While many apps claim that they make contacting and booking local tour guides easier, nothing really caught on. However, MyProGuide aims to change that by disrupting the sector.
The start-up CEO Jo Wong has no background in the travel industry as he was a typical left-brain engineering graduate and worked for the automobile industry, but he knew the value of hard work and starting a great thing out of nothing. In short, he saw that there is a need for it and he just provided it.
“The tourism industry keeps changing, but no one cares about tour guide, even though the tour guide is the key of each tour. People are not going to meet travel agency as much as before, but they need some local support to fit their schedule which can make their trip more flexible.
“Tour guides rely on travel agencies for work, but people are not turning to agencies, so tour guides also worry about themselves. There is no specific website for people to find a tour guide, also tour guide no place to show themselves. Also, even they can find a tour guide, but how to know their quality? Once a customer knows about MyProGuide, then they can find the guide anywhere when they need support or local guide service, they can always have our guides,” Wong said in an exclusive interview with TD.
Wong knows that booking a tour guide is still very orthodox. Therefore, MyProGuide aims to educate tour guides of the new tourism trend and the value that the company brings for them. The company has expanded to tours and tour operators. People can also sign up to be a tour guide and undergo a rigorous interview for the company only want experts in their league.
Wong aims to dominate its home court in Asia. Currently, MyProGuide has tour guides in Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, Portugal, South Africa, etc. “In next 2 years, if anyone looking for a tour guide, we are the only choice,” he said.
He has a piece of advice for people who want to follow his footsteps. “Don’t think too much, just do it and fix it later. Trust yourself, listen to advice from other people and thanks them to point out what is your problem. After listening, absorb it and change it if you agree with them,” he said.