Toronto-based sherpa, a tech company launched in 2015, is pulling into one place all the travel identification and health requirements needed to travel on airlines and gain entry into targeted destinations. Its Travel Reopening Map details where it is possible to travel and what documents are needed. The map is interactive and quite useful, giving a global at-a-glance look at the state of the world according to COVID. Currently, however, only Mexico and Tanzania are wide open for visitors.
Countries around the world are color coded with detailing on restrictions and what is needed for entry. Most of the world is still in a beige “restricted” mode only open to returning citizens. The United States, along with Sudan, Chad, Somalia and a smattering of other small countries, are coded in white for “restrictions unknown.” Given the nature of this map, however, colors and codes change and are updated often.
“International travel is an important part of our global economy and human experience; yet, planning travel in a global pandemic is a challenge,” said sherpa CEO, Max Tremaine. “Our team’s mission was to deliver a digital solution that closes the information gap with the real-time accuracy travelers need to make informed decisions and travel confidently. This solution is just one part of our larger vision to ease border crossing complexity by making it possible for travelers to obtain requirements, documentation and visas in a single step while they book their travel.”
Unique to the map is the breadth of data: sherpa processes millions of data points from thousands of sources, including governments, airlines, airports, tourism boards, public forums and media outlets. Other critical features are in-destination COVID-19 testing sites and the ability for partners to increase booking conversions by directing customers from the map back to their flight destination pages.
The map-based UI is customizable and easily integrated into partners’ websites and apps via embeddable widgets, API or white-label web apps. Multiple languages are supported, including English, Spanish (South American), French (Canadian), German, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Turkish and Latvian, with more languages in the pipeline. The company was tabbed as one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2019.
American Airlines came into the fold as the first partner to launch the map, making it accessible to millions of AA’s customers. Other partners include TripActions, Icelandair, LATAM, Flynas and CWT. sherpa° is backed by True Ventures, Narrative Fund, Relay Ventures, Globalive Capital, N49P, TSVC, Golden Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Stuart MacDonald, and LP Maurice.