Detour Reinvents the Walking Tour

By Matt Swenson, December 1, 2017

Travel app Detour turns sightseeing into an immersive experience. With the use of GPS location-based technology and augmented reality, the booming company is creating an array of what it calls “walk-umentaries.”

“It’s like walking around in a movie,” says Detour founder and CEO Andrew Mason.

Celebrity historians (Ken Burns) and chefs (Marcus Samuelsson) are among the notable narrators guiding the more than 150 tours.

This summer, Detour expanded into 11 new destinations, bringing the total to 19 in the United States, Europe and Asia. The app promises to lead users on unexplored sections of a city, and indeed features multiple trips per market.

“We take you into places, sometimes you eat, drink, enter through a secret door, uncover something you wouldn’t otherwise know was there,” promises Mason. “It’s not just riding around in a double-decker bus and looking at things while a college kid on their summer break loads you up with trivia.”

Groups will be particularly drawn to historic venues explored in Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Boston.

Among the app’s latest upgrades is a sync feature through which multiple people can follow the same tour simultaneously. Think of it as a teambuilding trip exploring your event’s host city.

Detour has already secured a partnership with Airbnb to highlight specific neighborhoods, and Mason says more deals are in the works. “It gives us the opportunity to show that there are incredible stories on every corner,” he says.

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