Travel Startup Hooks Cuba-Bound Travelers Up with Local Guides

A good bet, considering the whole 50-year embargo thing

By The Editors
April 4, 2016 9:00 am

So you’ve read Hemingway, seen Buena Vista Social Club and learned how to mix a good mojito.

Next step to becoming an expert on Cuba (now that it’s legal to travel there for “educational” purposes)?

Traveling like one.

A new startup called ViaHero is giving tourists the opportunity to see the best local spots in Cuba by hooking them up with local experts who will help design custom trips and experiences.  Users can select their “Hero” by looking at a profile, determining a budget and then allowing the local expert to create a “personalized, authentic and custom” trip for a flat-rate fee.  

Once selected, Heroes have five days to come up with the trip itinerary — including flights, accommodations, activities, tips and directions — and the company promises to refund any commissions that are paid out in the process.    

Although relying on a Pittsburgh-based company to set up a trip to Castro’s backyard may seem a bit unorthodox, travel industry insiders have given the startup a hero’s welcome.

“We’re normally weary of trip-planning startups, but in the case of Cuba it’s totally necessary to plan a trip to the country this way,” reports Skift. “There are multiple moving parts involved in a Cuba trip that require expert knowledge before you even step foot on the ground.”

If all goes well, you can sign up to be a Hero yourself and get paid to pay it forward.


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