Tours and activities specialist Excursiopedia has morphed into PlanetPass, a mobile application that helps consumers find guided tours in destinations.
PlanetPass is now available for London with another European city as well as a US destination to come shortly.
Excursiopedia suspended its service earlier this year saying it wanted to redevelop the platform and focus on new product.
The Germany-based business originally launched in 2011 (TLabs here) with an ambition to be the Booking.com of the tours and activities sector. It was still talking about becoming a leader in local tours and activities in late 2013 when it acquired RangeUp and, a couple of months later, Travelatus.
Fast forward five years and PlanetPass chief executive Andrey Osipov says about 30% of the original team remain.
Speaking to Tnooz, Osipov says the company now aims to sift through the range of guided tours in a destination and vet the guides to only offer those that provide the best experience.
He adds that the Excursiopedia offering was so broad that it was unable to dominate any particular area but the hope is that PlanetPass will be able to build out to the sorts of product previously sold by specialising first with guided tours.
The ultimate goal, Osipov says, is for PlanetPass to be associated with "any kind of free time in a destination."
"Excursiopedia tended to cover tours and activities services including ticketing, scheduled tours, hop on and hop off etc. We're starting off with guided tours because we see favourable market conditions."
He also cites more general issues with the tours and activities sector such as product fragmentation and limited online penetration for the decision to move on from Excursiopedia.
That said, he claims PlanetPass would not have been possible to get off the ground so quickly without the Excursiopedia connections and experience.
Osipov adds that the guided tours take pressure off consumers in terms of having to plan everything in advance of a trip with tours available more 'on demand' with the ability to sign up an hour in advance.
Despite much pushing of the local theme by companies such as Airbnb, Osipov says he doesn't really believe in that and feels a more professional approach is needed.
He also claims the name change is simply because it didn't really work for consumers with most people not able to write it correctly.
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