Hoping to follow in the steps of established travel review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, Localeur a new travel startup launched today.
The site will focus on the needs of Millennial travelers by using local recommendations from a selected community of local insiders. In advance of South by SouthWest (SXSW), the site is currently available for users in the Austin market, but has plans to expand in 2013.
Localeur is co-founded by Joah Spearman and Chase White, who met at the Austin-based software company Bazaarvoice. Spearman previously served as director of operations and later led travel market planning for the Bazaarvoice, so he’s familiar with the travel review sites that are currently available.
“Review sites don’t get to the heart of a city and travel books get outdated too quickly,â€ he says. His site hopes to offer fresher, more insightful options to travelers, so they can experience the true feel of a city, as only a local can.
“Localeur gives Millennials the confidence of having a local experience by putting the recommendations in the hands of local insiders.â€
“The South by Southwest festival is the perfect place to launch a crowdsourced travel review site,” says Chase White, president. “Austin is a perfect fit to launch Localeur and a model city for the kind of local travel Millennials want, people in Austin are very attuned to eating and shopping local, and our curated, screened group of Localeurs offer recommendations that only fellow Austinites could know.â€
Before Localeur, Spearman co-founded the experimental marketing agency AvecMode which hosted events at SXSW, the ESPN X games as well as Formula 1 race weekend in Austin. He was recently named Emerging Business Leader of the Year by the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce. Spearman previously served as co-creator and executive producer of SXSW’s “Style Xâ€ as well.
Austin-based serial entrepreneur Chris Shonk led the funding round for Localeur and says he definitely feels the site can change the travel review industry. “Localeur’s value proposition for travelers is to offer relevant recommendations from people who are in the know and true local authorities in their respective nicheâ€ he said. “This quality over quantity approach, as opposed to the one-size fits all/algorithmic solutions currently in place for the industry, is precisely what this mobile, social, on-the-go demographic demands.”