We smile, eat, breathe, teach, learn, run, walk and do whatever we need to do with the help of those smart apps, that make our life organised, easy to handle and maybe even happier. How people had managed to do all of these things without having any smartphone or computer before? A question, that no one can and will give an answer. Why do we need to look at the past, when we hope for a bright future?
When it comes to IT developments, post-soviet Silicon Valley aka Armenia comes to rescue. You’ll never know what to expect from this small country full of talented developers and enthusiasts. Moreover, different workshops, summits and trainings encourage Armenian youth to step forward and bring all that potential out for the world to admire. One of these platforms is Creative Armenia Business Challenge, which has given a soft landing to a lot of young entrepreneurs, beginners and visionaries.
Busticks, a free travel application, was nominated as the best business model during the Creative Armenia Business Challenge. The application aims to contribute to the increase in internal tourism in Armenia and engage more youth. ‘’Armenia is full of extreme and sport tours about which most of foreign tourists are not aware. This is why we created a platform which offers its users variety types of tours with a detailed description of tours. Attending Creative Armenia Business Challenge was a big and important experience for us.
During those two days, we worked with local experts, a professor from Harvard, and investors from Europe. Also, with experts, we worked on our business model by making it compatible in the international market, due to which our business model was nominated as the best one during the challenge. In fact, it was much more than just a nomination. After that day one more mission was added to our list: to become the most user-friendly travel application, and to make sure everyone knows that it is Armenian product’’,- says the author of the idea, the founder, and the CEO of the project, young startuper Nelly Davtyan. Nelly built the team and currently organizes the work schedule and develops new paths for product development.
Yes, women in tech, isn’t this empowering? Wait for the rest.
The idea to create Busticks came from one of the conversations, that Nelly had with her friend. ‘’Everything started from a small chat with a group of friends. My friends were talking about tourism in adjacent countries. They were praising the availability of diverse and interesting tours. At that moment I thought to myself, 'why people think that in Armenia there is a lack of that kind of tours?' I came to a conclusion, that the cause can be the lack of information. I started my own research and everything became clear. The information was, in fact, in a small amount and was not organized in single accessible place. This is where the idea started.
The first step was collecting information about main tourist destinations to help people see the history and culture behind that places before ordering the tours. If they would find the description interesting the next step would be choosing from various types of tours in different price categories.
The decision of creating a mobile app was made in order to give the users the opportunity to use the application anywhere and see all the available tours in one place. We immediately started to work on the project and only in 3 months we managed to write the program, input the information, and even before the release have tours available from 5 countries: Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, and Iran. The word about our project was spreading and soon we got an invitation to attend Batumi tourism expo during which started our cooperation with Georgian and Turkish travel agencies.
As the application was created to develop tourism in Armenia, we had a bargain with all travel agencies that the tours must be sold at their cost price. This would help the user order tickets from any place at any time without worrying about paying additional costs. So, the main mission of the application was to help its users save money and time.
The tours include, but are not limited to eco, food, sports and extreme, historical and cultural. We are also planning to expand this list by adding educational and health tours. What regards to the transfers, we ensured that the services are provided only in high quality and comfortable transportation. We also give people an option of insurance to reduce the mistrust to Armenian tourism
The most important part for us was offering the tours at their cost price. Also, the application allows ordering several tickets at once and canceling the order 3 days before the date without any additional fees. Moreover, the tickets are sent to user's email to help them avoid additional paperwork.
We believe that Busticks application will not only help people save money by not charging additional price from tours but also will help them save their time, the most valuable resource nowadays’’.
Talking about their vision, Nelly and her team emphasize the importance of developing new features both for tourists and for partners. ‘’Not only tourists are interested in our project but also our foreign partners learned more about Armenia during our cooperation and now plan to organize tours to Armenia. We plan to encourage this by engaging more travel agencies across the world and increasing their interest in Armenia.
With Taraz feature, which is the available option to take a picture in the visualized national clothing of the places the user is currently in, even offline, with the help of GPS, we believe the interest in our beautiful country will be increased ’’.
Download the app here