The Czech technology company SmartGuide will offer Czechs the opportunity to travel safely while minimizing the risk of Covid-19 infection. Thanks to the smart application, tourists will be able to visit places that are not crowded and avoid unnecessary contact with other travelers and guides. The project started thanks to support from the Czech Rise Up program, which is administered by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on tourism. However, each crisis offers new opportunities and supports the search for new solutions. That is why the company SmartGuide co-founded the platform zachranmeturismus.cz, which has over 200 members from the field of tourism, including Pilsner Urquell, Orea hotely and hotely.cz. As part of the project “Save tourism – Let’s get to know the Czech Republic”, the SmartGuide application inspires domestic and foreign tourists to explore less-visited destinations and supports significantly safer domestic tourism, tourism entities and domestic companies.
“SmartGuide literally turns every mobile phone into a personal guide that guides travelers through major attractions and unfamiliar corners and tells interesting stories about these places, even offline. The application will allow visitors to discover the beauties of our country independently and contactlessly, thus preventing the spread of coronavirus. In addition, the application will be connected via eRouška to the state smart quarantine system,” says Jan Doležal, CEO of the startup SmartGuide.
“SmartGuide’s latest project is a nice example of how quickly and deftly Czechs are able to respond to changes in the market and how we can turn a potential threat into an opportunity. During the crisis, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we organized the Hack the Crisis hackathon. At this event, SmartGuide was among the less than thirty most promising projects out of a total of more than 200 registered. We have been supporting the company already in 2018 as part of our CzechDemo startup program; last year it helped SmartGuide to gain an investor,” says Markéta Přenosilová, Director of the CzechInvest Division of Startups and Innovative SMEs.
The Czech Rise Up program also supported other projects that can facilitate the fight against the effects of the pandemic. “The Czech Rise Up Program – Smart Measures against COVID-19 was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to support technological solutions that facilitate the fight against coronavirus. The program received a total of 236 applications for 600 million crowns, MIT has so far supported 57 of them with a total amount of 150 million crowns,” says Petr Očko, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for Digitization and Innovation, adding: “We are preparing the Czech Rise Up 2.0 call .We want to support mainly projects in the fields of health, education and economics with an emphasis on small and medium-sized companies.”
The SmartGuide platform offers cooperation to all tourism entities, museums, zoos, castles and chateaux as well as travel agencies. The platform is also able to offer cooperation to municipalities and regions, which can increase the number of visitors through SmartGuide. The platform is also an opportunity for guides, who can win up to 150,000 crowns in addition to a financially rewarding cooperation. The project thus helps not only in safe travel, but also to restart Czech tourism and the economy after the coronavirus crisis. The application has been available for free download since 2017, and new destinations in the Czech Republic are due to appear in August thanks to the “Save Tourism – Let’s Get to Know the Czech Republic” project.