No, neither I nor anyone on the team had any experience coding or building Apps. After speaking to a few programmers I spent a few months developing 2 comprehensive flow charts and P-Facts (Production Facts) for each screen, along with rejection screens. I then sent these to a graphic designer who build a complete proto type on InVision. We shopped it around to not just get the best price but also wanted to have it developed by someone that not only had a lot of experience but also cared to delivery a quality product. We at first went with two programmers in South Florida that started to deliver an inferior product. So we then switched to a company out of The Netherlands, after 2 months we saw very little progress and dismissed them. Then finally we ended up finding a company out of Malaga, Spain, http://a2system.net, that we felt not only had the right experience and were diligent in their approach but they were also affordable.
Finding the right developer was the most challenging part in the App development. We looked at over 20 companies/App developers before making a selection and erred twice before finding the right one.
William (Bill) James Márquez - 54, Manager and C.E.O, is an accomplished entrepreneur who is a marketing expert and innovator. After just 23 months in business Mr. Márquez made the cover of Floral Management Magazine as a “Floral Renegade” as well as the special feature section in BusinessWeek magazine as one of the first florists in the nation on the Internet. After a short early retirement he started Popular Enterprises, LLC in late 1999 with two partners and launched Netster.com in early 2001 which was the fastest growing property on the Internet in early 2001 according to Jupiter Media Metrix. Under Mr. Márquez’s aegis as CEO, Netster.com went on to become the 8th largest search engine in 2002, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, and at its height in late 2003 was the 368th largest property in the world according to the web-ranking site Alexa.com. Mr. Márquez sold his interest in the company in late 2005 to a partner and stepped down as its CEO. Since then Mr. Márquez has acted as a marketing and advertising consultant for various U.S. and European based companies. Mr. Márquez has traveled to over 50 countries and has lived in several, which allows him to bring a fresh cultural perspective to International Touring Apps, LLC. Mr. Márquez is fluent in six languages and conversational in many others. Mr. Márquez currently splits his time between Europe and the Caribbean. He will be instrumental in opening and setting up the markets in Europe and the Caribbean for International Touring Apps, LLC.
I like the convenience of Uber. It is my most used App. I rarely rent cars when I travel these days and heavily relying on Uber. The other two Apps that I use with great frequency are Hotels.com and of course my morning Crosswords with Friends ritual.
The App idea came about sometime late 2015 and I started working on the flow chart and production facts in January 2016. The actual production started in February 2017.
In the year 2000 we were on vacation in Maui and my then 8 year old daughter wanted to pick Pineapples. Unfortunately, because of handling of sharp tools, the insurance policies of the various plantations did not allow children under 14 to participate. A few days later I saw a flyer advertising “Rent A Local”. We were assigned a guide by the name of Lydia and we went and picked her up. She not only showed us hidden waterfalls on the road to Hana, she also introduced us to her friends and family on the island making it a very personable experience. We continued hiring her for the next few days and when she fond out about my daughters woes being unable to pick Pineapples, she took us to her cousins backyard plantation where my daughter ended being able to pick pineapples. Had it not been for her we probably would have ended up laying on a beach, attend the hotel luau’s, typical tourist trap activities. Lydia made our vacation. I want the users of our App to experience what we experienced, a warm local connection to the place they are visiting.
I think the Shore Excursion section of the App is rather unique. We API with a maritime company out of London that provides real time updates. So if a cruise ship has to change its ports of call because of weather or some other issue the ports of call dynamically updates. But perhaps the most unique part of the App is that we interview every single applicant carefully selecting who we accept. They need to be friendly, sociable and be knowledgeable about the area in which they tour. Once we pre-approve them we then run an extensive background check on them. In the U.S. the average turnaround time on the background checks is 3 days. Internationally they can take up to 4 to 5 weeks. So I think the most important part of our App is not so much the technology but the selection of the guides assuring our users that they will get a friendly and safe tour.
Currently the App is available in English and Spanish. Future versions will be available in English, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Hindi and Dutch. Also improved GPS functionality in our Instant Tour section.
The Instant Tour section of our App can also be used as a point A to B Uber type service. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I love user feedback, that will help us make the App better. And last but not least I would like to ask them kindly to spread the word.
About App: Need a tour? Instantly connect with a guide. Whether you’re spontaneous or a planner, you now have the freedom to book a private guide who will take you on a personalized tour tailored to your interests. Register now and begin exploring like a local!
Categories: Travel & Local
Date: April 5, 2018
Developer: William James Márquez
About developer: William (Bill) James Márquez - 54, Manager and C.E.O, is an accomplished ent ... Read more