Our Perspective

      • Foursquare helps families to raise tourism-related profits

        17 Jan 2014

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        Now people can find Aijan’s guesthouse in Naryn through Foursquare, saving her money and allowing direct communication with potential tourists.

        We wrote about the idea of using Foursquare to attract tourists to Kyrgyzstan several months ago. Mostly, we were intrigued by the geo-location service’s potential to allow family businesses to engage directly with tourists about what they have to offer. It hasn’t been that long, but we already have incredible stories where Foursquare is helping lift families out of poverty by raising their tourism-related profits. This story is about a landlady who offers a guest apartment to tourists in Naryn province. On our first mission to the region, she provided this three-room private apartment, good for eight people. I learned from her that she makes her living only through renting her place via travel agencies. She had no idea of the other ways of attracting more guests, and was solely dependent on travel agencies. For this services, travel agencies charge 2.4 dollars or 20 percent from $12 per person-per night. I asked the landlady if she was interested in having direct contact with tourists and guests and she said: “of course, but how is that possible?” I said: “just a second” and started adding a new venue to Foursquare. Her name is Aijan, so we named the venue as ‘Guest apartment Read More

      • Discovering Naryn with Foursquare

        16 Aug 2013

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        Screenshot of Naryn city in Foursquare map.

        When our colleagues from Montenegro shared their experience on communities in rural areas using Foursquare to market their areas and invite tourists, we didn’t think it was feasible to test it in Kyrgyzstan (low smart phone penetration, internet coverage and IT literacy in rural areas - to name just a few reasons). But good things spread quickly, and over the last year we’ve seen a marked increase of Foursquare usage in capital, Bishkek, and noticed that more tourists use it to get information such as where to go, what to do, how’s the services, and so on (having Kyrgyzstan institute a visa free regime, as a first country in the region to do so, has helped increase numbers of incoming tourists). So now we have a foursquare-plan: 1. More tourists come to Kyrgyzstan on the way to someplace else (e.g. Silk Road) than to stay in Kyrgyzstan- we would like to try and change this by having communities ‘talking’ directly to tourists via Foursquare on what they should see and where they should go. This should address the most prevalent feedback from visitors - difficulty in accessing relevant tourism information. 2. We will test our idea in Naryn city, a place Read More

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