On March 20, CNN Travel highlighted “10 Websites Changing the Way We Travel”, focusing on startups and lesser known companies that “give tourists the chance to live like locals and locals the chance to make some extra income.”
After the explosion of Airbnb, peer-to-peer and sharing have become popular solutions for many of travel’s pain points, with a lot of the initial focus on lodging and tours and activities. As consumers have become more comfortable with peer-to-peer and sharing in general, more travel startups have emerged leveraging this business model.
From bike sharing, to eating in a local home, to finding dog sitters, travelers can now take care of all of the logistical issues that traditionally can make travel stressful. Additionally, connecting with locals and authentic experiences in the country of destination has never been easier.
That is why one of Start-Up Chile’s Top 18 current startups, Keteka.com, was featured in the CNN Travel Top 10 – they allow travelers to book tours online that would otherwise be difficult to access. For example, you can book a homestay with an indigenous Mapuche family near Pucon (small town in the south of Chile) and experience ancient folklore and traditions. Keteka is currently focused on Latin America, but hopes to expand to the rest of the world within the next few years.
Keteka leverages the global Peace Corps network to connect travelers with authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences and allows them to book online. Small and mid-sized tour local operators in developing countries have traditionally been difficult to find online, instead relying heavily on promotions such as hostels in flyers, and accepting only cash payments. With unique access to an international network of local experts, Keteka now makes these operators bookable online, giving travelers unprecedented access to local experiences, and operators a much-needed web presence.