Los Angeles, CA, May 10, 2018 –(PR.com)– A Southern California startup company now provides an innovative solution for help getting around walkable city centers easily. The Prontopia App connects travelers with vetted on-demand locals who arrive by foot to provide expert assistance any time the need arises. The locals on the Prontopia app know the best way to get to city lodging and meeting points, or to a departure point on time when door-to-door by car is not an option. Using Prontopia takes the stress out of transitional periods in travel when a smile and knowledgeable support from a Local, as if you are met by a long lost cousin, make all the difference. The app works like Uber, but without cars, with an emphasis on the importance of human connections in the city.
Co-founders Davis Brimer and Shannon Kenny chose Venice, Italy, for the launch because it is the quintessential pedestrian city, where truly one must walk to get to where they need to go. In Venice, visitors often encounter stresses that they could not have anticipated until their arrival. Just a little bit of help getting from point A to point B, or finding a simple comfort in a foreign city, goes a long way when traveling abroad.
Davis and Shannon presently come and go between their offices in California and in the very local Santa Croce area of Venice, Italy. A deep dive into building their business from the bottom up, as a community, is at the heart of their plans to grow Prontopia into a global network — a trusted support system for any need one has in city centers.
Today in Venice, an exceptional community of Prontopia Locals enjoys helping visitors to the city with getting where they need to go. Along the way, travelers can learn special details about Venetian life, and discover unique places to eat, shop, and learn about local culture and daily life. The economical service is available for as little as 15 minutes, at a per minute rate that is the equivalent of 20 euro/hour.
In addition to practical help, the Prontopia app is a unique opportunity to get to know Venice from the perspective of a local. The app serves as a citizen platform, empowering local Venetians to use tourism to make Venice a better place to live. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, treating visitors as “temporary residents” helps ensure that residents, hosts, and guests all serve the common good by relating to each other respectfully. This perspective helps prevent problems of overtourism, occurring when the interests of tourism override those of the local community.
With the knowledge that the heart of the product they were developing was connecting people to help each other, Davis and Shannon created the company as a Public Benefit Corporation, with the stated purpose to contribute to positive social impact in each city. In Venice, Prontopia engages with local organizations and businesses in proactive change efforts to ensure the city remains a living city for residents, creating measurable solutions to the problems of overtourism.
According to Venetian historian and journalist Alberto Toso Fei, an advisor on Prontopia’s Venice social impact council, “Tourists can be seen as a cultural resource in favor of the city, one that can help preserve its identity.” Toso Fei sees the solution as a simple one: “Let’s invite visitors to become Venetian, teaching them about the living Venice, and transforming the millions of tourists who visit Venice each year into the best ambassadors of Venetian culture worldwide by cultivating strong relationships between residents and visitors.” With the Prontopia app, visitors are welcomed by the locals as “temporary residents” — invited to stay longer, encouraged to give back to the city, and bidden farewell with the hope they now feel a little bit Venetian.
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