Traveloco is a travel service for Japanese people who are traveling outside the country for the first time. It aims to connect Japanese travelers with Japanese residents at their travel destinations, so as to enhance their travel experiences. The site was launched in an early alpha phase back in May of 2013.
According to the site, there are over one million Japanese people who reside outside of Japan, and over 17 million Japanese people travel to foreign countries. The common and unvoidable problem for these travelers is the language barrier that often restricts them from certain discoveries. To avoid such missed opportunities, Traveloco facilitates Japanese foreign residents to assist Japanese travelers.
By registering on Traveloco, travelers can ask questions to local guides about local information. You can ask for general recommendations, or ask specific questions such as what dish is the best choice at certain popular restaurants. Sending private messages is free, but further assistance (such as a guided tour or acting as a translator) will require a premium user account that can be purchased with a credit card or by PayPal.
Currently, there are 60 Japanese foreign residents on the service, spanning 30 major cities like New York and Paris. Traveloco aims to acquire as many as 1,000 registered local guides in over 100 cities by the end of 2014.
Traveloco is aspiring to be a sort of virtual Japanese town in the future. Let’s wait and see if it can succeed.