Horizon, a Start-Up Chile company, enables travelers to find places to stay with people they trust by facilitating private hospitality exchange networks.
Travel is expensive for the 200 million millennials who travel every year. Many travel decisions are therefore based on the location of trusted friends. Data gleaned by TripAdvisor shows 27% of trips involve staying with friends or family. Knowing someone to stay with in a far off country or even a nearby state saves on accommodation costs, and increases travel opportunities. Anyone who has ever stayed with friends while traveling to unfamiliar places knows that it is the best way to experience local culture and the least expensive way to explore the globe. Staying at someone’s home is hard unless you are good friends, or you are comfortable staying with a stranger. Existing hospitality exchange networks lack this one essential facet—trust.
Horizon, which launched this week in the App Store, changes the way people look at travel. Horizon is built on the idea that travel can be made easy through a social network of global connections. Horizon maps out a traveler’s contacts; friends, friends of friends, and co-members of groups such as a school alumni association, service fellowship, or fraternity. It can be used whenever planning a trip by searching the destination and looking for a willing host.
“We’ve re-imagined what it looks like to plan a trip to an unknown city,” says co-founder Drew Meyers. “Travelers are looking for deeper connections on their adventures, and their first stop for that kind of trust should be their own relationships. With Horizon, finding those contacts is just a few clicks away.”
Here is how it works for travelers:
- Login with Facebook
- Turn on the groups and communities to which they belong
- Search for the desired city to travel to
- Request a stay with a trusted host
- Receive the option to say thank you to their host by making a donation to Kiva
Horizon for iPhone and iPod Touch has been in beta with several communities for several months with over 700 testers. A full responsive web experience is currently under development for those without iOS devices.
Travelers and hosts may access Horizon for iPhone and iPod Touch on the App Store:https://itunes.apple.
Horizon was founded in June of 2014. Full web public launch is expected by April 2015. Horizon’s team is distributed between Seattle, Toronto, and Santiago, Chile.
For more information, visit http://www.horizonapp.co