The adventure has its roots in the personal and professional history of its founder, Tristan Daube. In 2016, he was asked by a friend for a travel concierge project. Interested in a world he doesn’t know, Tristan responds favorably and immerses himself in his new world. A hard worker, he appropriates the codes in the light of his rich expertise in customer relations. Gradually, he acquires the intuition that nothing will replace the human in the contact between a traveller and his assistant. This intuition, he formulates it, discusses it, argues it, confronts it, confirms it. Alas, she is not shared by her loved one.
Winter 2017. The weather is paralyzing New York. The planes are grounded. These exceptional conditions force a French family close to Tristan to stay there for a few more days. With nothing planned. By messages, they exchange with him: Tristan is in love and connoisseur of the Big Apple. For a few days, he guides them live, advises them, shares his knowledge of the city. Thanks to him, the wait for a return flight turns, for the family in the harbour, into an adventure rich in discoveries, sensations. For his part, Tristan has a unique experience: he has the feeling of travelling with his friends. Once back in France, they give him an enthusiastic return to the experience he allowed them to live.
For Tristan, it is the click that confirms his intuition. He decides to go his own way. The travel enthusiast, the lover of new technologies thinks that there is a way to combine the two to offer each traveler the opportunity to make the most of all the wonders available to him. From then on, night and day, he confronts the travelers, makes them test his product to refine his project, he supports his hypotheses by questioning the market and travelers. He gropes, experiments, sometimes doubts, but with his very rich expertise in customer relations and customer marketing, advances.
At the same time, he joined the Mind incubator, and became the winner of the French Tech Scholarship at the end of 2018. He sees these developments as a positive sign that his offer is relevant and has a future. This incubation and scholarship also allows him to surround himself, rely on solid skills, and move forward. His dream takes shape, he put it this way: “combine human and relational intelligence with the simplicity offered by technology, to offer a service of accompaniment to all travelers, in all situations. Be THE travel guide, the one who will always be in your pocket while knowing how to be forgotten.” After two years of study, hard work, tests, accompaniments carried out in artisanal conditions, the final form of the service is emerging: it is the provision of a personal travel assistant, real and connected, accessible by text message and available H24 for the duration of the journey. All at the cost of a good Swiss knife. His personal and professional entourage confirms his idea, prompting him to get started. He took advice from specialists in business creation, obtained the support of the metropolis of Saint-Etienne, joined the Entrepreneurship Network, of which he became a laureate. He surrounds himself with demanding advisors who challenge him, push him to the end of his reflections, bring him a saving contradiction that allows him to confirm his hypotheses and follow a clearly set course.
In February 2019, the statutes are filed: TravelAssist.io was born. There is still a long way to go: we must refine the offer, take up the technological challenge, continue to test the product. The first individual customer signs in June 2019. It is followed by a few others, while official marketing is not launched. Very quickly, the team grows. Valérie, a true travel expert, a keen traveller in the world of tourism and an early supporter, confirms her commitment. Alexandre, a doctoral engineer from the School of Mines, was entrusted with the development of the technical part. Alain, a childhood friend of Tristan, a business manager and renowned specialist in contact centre management, brings his know-how and opens his huge address book. Jean, an economist and specialist in the company, takes responsibility for the financial side. The task is immense. Countless challenges. Nothing insurmountable enough for the team, which is delighted with the realization of the first partnerships with travel agencies in the fall of 2019, following the presence of TravelAssist.io at the IFTM. Quickly, she was enriched by three new faces: Benjamin, a polytechnician and friend of Alexander, intervened with him in the construction of digital tools. Eric, a journalist by training and a confirmed communicator, works on the semantics side, in conjunction with web developers, and leads the company’s global communication.
In October 2019, after testing more than 1000 trips, the commercialization is launched. Designed to listen to the needs of travellers and travel professionals, the personalized support service TravelAssist.io, which aims to be agile, flexible and scalable, convinces professionals who try it. Within a few days, four travel agencies embarked on the adventure, quickly followed by others. They are the pioneers of an already rich history, the most beautiful pages of which have yet to be written. With them. With you?