Spontaneous Immersion

Andrew Mason
Jun 14, 2017 · 2 min read

One of the reasons we decided to build Detour is that it fits into the two major trends driving consumer behavior in travel: spontaneity and immersion.

Spontaneity

We don’t like planning ahead. It feels oppressive; like we’re locking ourselves in before we’ve stepped foot in the place and have a sense of what it’s about. Planning makes vacation feel like work. This impulse has been enabled and amplified by the rise of mobile devices, which now host over half of purchases on some major in-destination activity marketplaces, and the on-demand economy.

Immersion

Immersive travel exists in contrast to informative travel — sight seeing tours where you collective historic and cultural trivia. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rise of experiential travel has correlated with the rise of the Internet. We don’t need to travel to acquire information — it’s a commodity. Now we need something deeper from travel for it to feel worthwhile.

How Detour fits in

Historically, Detour would be categorized as an audio tour, but today there’s a new term for it: augmented reality. It’s a taste of Her — the responsiveness to location and floating sound design, and the ability to walk the entire tour with your phone in your pocket, leave you feeling at times like you’re walking around with a gay rights hero, documentary filmmaker, hippie activist, or one of our other narrators that were selected because of their special relationship to the place.

We didn’t start Detour because we love taking walking tours or audio tours — we started it because we wanted an immersive way to experience places on-demand. With 120 walks in 17 cities, trying Detour has never been easier. Use my referral code to take your first Detour free.

Detour Blog

Detour is a platform for location-based audio experiences, available in the iOS App Store and coming to Android in June. We make our own premium outdoor tours in San Francisco, New York, and other cities. We also provide tools that let anyone create their own tours.

Andrew Mason

Written by

Descript, formerly Detour, Groupon

Detour Blog

Detour is a platform for location-based audio experiences, available in the iOS App Store and coming to Android in June. We make our own premium outdoor tours in San Francisco, New York, and other cities. We also provide tools that let anyone create their own tours.