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5 Best tour guide apps in 2024 - Where to publish your destination's guide

Travelers today crave authenticity, engagement, and convenience. The era of static brochures has gone – the future of destination marketing now lies in robust, multimedia experiences. That's where travel guide apps step in, enabling destinations, attractions, and travel businesses to connect with travelers right in the palm of their hands.

But with a crowded app landscape, where do you publish your destination's story? In this definitive guide, we'll explore the 5 best tour guide apps and platforms for publishing a tour guide in 2024, hand-picked to showcase unique offerings and reach the right audience.



1. SmartGuide

With self-guided tours available in 1000+ destinations globally, this world’s # 1 digital audio guide platform offers comprehensive solutions to destinations, tourist attractions, travel businesses and tour guides to create engaging digital guides quickly and easily. Whether it's a walking tour indoor or outdoor, a cycling tour, or a boat, car, or bus tour, SmartGuide ensures content creators can publish the perfect guides to suit the interests and preferences of their visitors.

Content creators can utilize SmartGuide's open self-service AI-powered content management system (CMS) to effortlessly craft their guides in just a few hours, providing a tailored visitor experience that engages specific target audiences.

The CMS is equipped with an automatic text-to-speech feature, automatically converting written content into audio tracks. There are three options for audio tracks: The first is the free Text-to-Speech (TTS) audio, which automatically converts written text into spoken words for easy updates. The second (and paid) option is TTS with phonemes, which improves the pronunciation of foreign names and acronyms. For emotional depth, there's the third option of Human audio, with professional voice actors. The CMS is also integrated with DeepL translator, enabling efficient translation of tours into multiple languages with just one click.

SmartGuide Switzerland digital guide

Furthermore, this digital travel guide platform serves as an excellent illustration of utilizing AI in travel guide content creation. SmartGuide AI, a sophisticated trained AI model, employs the power of GPT4 along with a mix of AI agents to generate content that is not only engaging but also fact-checked and informative. It has already successfully generated a wide range of travel guides, both traditional and comedic, with various tonalities. By enabling swift and customized content creation for diverse audiences, SmartGuide also contributes to sustainable tourism by distributing visitors evenly and guiding them to less crowded areas.

Besides audio and video content, SmartGuide also supports augmented reality tour experiences and allows content creators to add AR models to their tours. Even if there is no sophisticated AR model available for a point of interest, historic photography blended into the present thanks to AR can do wonders in increasing visitor engagement with your guide content.

This platform is not just about creating guides though; it's also about managing and understanding visitor behavior. With big data dashboards, GPS heatmaps, and expert data analysis services, SmartGuide provides invaluable insights for destination management organizations. These insights include visitor demographics, acquisition channels, and popular tours or places that visitors engage with.

The SmartGuide team is also available to help with professional content preparation. However, content creators have the freedom to do it all independently and entirely free of charge.

SmartGuide CMS system

SmartGuide's AI-powered CMS enables content creators to quickly create tailored guides with features like automatic text-to-speech, enhanced pronunciation options, professional voice acting, and one-click DeepL translations for engaging diverse audiences.


  1. Covers over 100,000 tourist locations worldwide.
  2. Guides can be created in 102 different languages including but not limited to Chinese, French, German, Spanish, English, Hindi, Slovak, Croatian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Afrikaans, Dutch, and Finnish.
  3. A complimentary CMS equipped with AI that can auto-translate into 30 languages and automatically convert text-to-speech is provided for easy content localization.
  4. Support of augmented reality experiences in guide content.
  5. Tours can be set as public/private, and free/paid.
  6. Destinations and travel businesses can operate digital guides without incurring additional maintenance costs.
  7. Big data dashboards, heatmaps, and expert data analysis help destinations understand visitor demographics, popular tours/places, and acquisition channels.
  8. Offers destination marketing services and expert consultations, helping tourism entities promote their destinations effectively.
  9. Businesses have the opportunity to advertise their services via POI Advertising.
  10. The SmartGuide application utilizes a sophisticated AI model to offer personalized recommendations based on the app user's interests. With these suggestions, SmartGuide not only enhances the tailored experience but also promotes sustainable tourism.

SmartGuide Paris digital guide


  1. While it currently supports certain integrations such as GetYourGuide ticket sales, the number of integrations is on the lower side. However, more are being implemented to enhance functionality.
  2. The spread of content geographically is largely dependent on the preferences of the individual content creators, given that it's an open platform where anyone can create a digital travel guide.
  3. The app is not available on the Windows Phone Store.

2. izi.TRAVEL

This audio guide application provides insightful tours of more than 3000 cities worldwide and serves as a tool for professionals in the cultural and tourism sectors, as well as for passionate storytellers.

The beauty of izi.TRAVEL lies in its simplicity since there's no need for special hardware, programming skills, or technical knowledge to create content on its free content management system. Individuals can create mobile tours and single stories about virtually anything: art, food, lifestyle, shopping and much more and it's the ideal professional tool for developing mobile multimedia guides, already used and trusted by museums, galleries, cities, and attractions worldwide.

izi.Travel digital guide


With its CMS, content creators can manage texts, audio, images, and videos, combining them into indoor guides, outdoor tours, or single stories. Revising content, adding stories, and introducing new languages only takes a few clicks and all changes are instantly available to visitors, ensuring a fresh and up-to-date experience. Whether museums and other cultural institutions want to restrict its availability, delete it, or share it across multiple forums, the choice is theirs.

The platform is designed to be self-sufficient, with no maintenance costs involved. Content creators don't have to wait for external contractors; a mobile guide can be online in just a few hours. They can also access statistical data on user engagement (including visits and playbacks) to monitor how visitors are interacting with their stories.

Furthermore, izi.TRAVEL free API combines mobile, web, and social technologies to provide a complete solution for creating interactive and engaging guides. It provides several endpoints that can be used to retrieve information on different city tours and audio guides, allowing developers to access all izi.TRAVEL content and publish it in their own channels, and it is ready to spread all local stories globally. The API supports various use cases, including car infotainment systems with guided tours and stories, navigation apps with stories along the routes, and local wifi boxes for buses and airplanes that can deliver tours to travelers.


  1. Visitors can enjoy audio tours across 110 countries available in 70 languages (in its audio tours). The app's user interface is available in 13 languages.
  2. Collaboration with 3rd party providers such as Tiqets - a platform that offers tickets to museums and attractions around the world; and Drimsim - an international SIM card for overseas travel through API integration, listing their offers for their users.
  3. Insights into visitor engagement with the audio guides created through the Visits Statistics section available on the izi.TRAVEL CMS desktop. This section provides information on the frequency at which app users utilize a content author's audio guides. Data about a consumed content type, completion reasons, activation type, and access type help better understand visitor behavior and optimize the content accordingly.
  4. The app's compatibility with Apple Store, Windows, and Google Play makes it accessible across multiple platforms. This is particularly advantageous for Windows users, as many apps do not support Windows phones.


  1. Does not offer more advanced AI-powered or AR features.
  2. Lacks advanced destination management features and services.
  3. No complex regional tours.
  4. Does not offer personalized recommendations based on the visitors' interest.

digital audio guide system

3. VoiceMap

VoiceMap provides audio tours in more than 300 destinations globally, crafted by local storytellers - journalists, filmmakers, novelists, podcasters, and tour guides - who bring their unique perspectives and insights to the table.

At its core, this tour guide system is powered by a browser-based Content Management System (CMS) with instant updates via API that enables publishers to create and publish self-guided walking, driving, cycling, train, boat, or even indoor tours. The CMS is a collaborative tool, integrating support from VoiceMap's editors and sound engineers with features such as comments, tracked changes, and email notifications for a streamlined creation process.

It allows content creators to attach voice, music, photos, 360 video, and 3D files to specific locations, enriching the narrative and visual appeal of each tour. For added convenience, text directions can be incorporated as a fallback, ensuring listeners never lose their way.

The CMS automatically estimates talk times and word counts, saving crucial testing and recording time. Moreover, it caters to different tour contexts – whether anyone navigating backroads by car, weaving through alleyways on foot, or taking a virtual tour at home, VoiceMap has features tailored to different needs. The platform also provides "scratch" audio to content creators for trial runs, allowing them to refine their script before the final recording. This ensures a polished, engaging narrative that enhances the listener's experience.

VoiceMap guide


Furthermore, this digital guide system offers a comprehensive dashboard to track key performance metrics. It also allows the management of vouchers and monthly payments. This dashboard leverages big data to provide accurate insights into tour performance, including tour downloads by month, ratings, royalties, sales, listener demographics, and GPS heatmaps of visitors' behavior.

The VoiceMap offers flexibility in distribution options. Publishers can choose to make their tours public or private, paid or free - they can sell tours, offer them complimentary to guests, or keep them private for integration into other products. The choice rests entirely with the content creator.


  1. Has a forum where professional tour guides can discuss creating and testing their own tours.
  2. The CMS is a user-friendly, web-based publishing tool that provides estimated talk times and word counts, eliminating the need for extensive testing and recording.
  3. The CMS allows content creators to issue alphanumeric vouchers for specific tours, which can be redeemed on web browsers, mobile apps, or by entering codes in tour URLs. These vouchers are unique, allowing for one or multiple uses.


  1. Doesn't incorporate advanced AI-driven functionalities.
  2. Not accessible on the Windows Phone Store.
  3. The platform does not provide personalized recommendations based on the preferences of individual visitors.
  4. CMS does not include a built-in translation tool. Content creators either have to handle translations themselves or rely on external assistance from the Voicemap team, which may come at an additional cost.

    CMS system


With STQRY, previously known as OnCell, destinations and attractions can leverage an array of features to construct location-based tours, virtual tours, mobile and web applications, audio guides, interactive games, and digital collections. It offers the following tools:

  • STQRY Apps allows organizations to create their own branded mobile tour guide apps and web app stories. It enables adding images, audio, text, map info, and custom features through a simple web-based tour builder.
  • STQRY Guide is a portal app that allows visitors to discover enchanting experiences in a specific area. It enables the creation of audio guides, and guided and self-guided tours quickly and easily using the STQRY Builder. STQRY Builder equips content creators with the ability to automatically translate text into 27 languages, broadening their content reach to a global audience. The STQRY’s tool supports AI-powered text-to-speech.
  • STQRY Analytics is an analytics dashboard that provides an overview of a project's performance. It gives valuable insights into the audience and helps refine content strategy accordingly.

Stqry guide


With additional services such as STQRY Kiosk or Collect, STQRY is a complex suite of tools designed to help organizations create easy-to-use mobile guide and tour apps, educate visitors on-site, and share their stories with the world.


  1. Content creators can launch a native app in the iOS and Android stores with STQRY Apps
  2. STQRY supports integration with Google Analytics too, enabling content creators to track visitors ‘behavior.


  1. It is available on the App Store and requires iOS 12.0 or later for iPhone, iPadOS 12.0 or later for iPad, and iOS 12.0 or later for iPod touch.
  2. While the platform allows for the creation of mobile apps without special hardware, destinations may need to invest in hardware such as audio equipment, devices for testing, and handouts or signage with QR codes for downloading the app.
  3. The app is not available on the Windows Phone Store.
  4. The app lacks a personalized recommendations feature based on visitor's interests.

CTA - Create digital audio guide


5. PocketSights

This is a versatile platform that allows various organizations, such as downtown management, visitor centers, universities, businesses, and non-profits, to create custom tour routes. Unlike traditional mapping systems, it offers the flexibility to take visitors to any desired location, not just restricted to roads or major pathways. With analytics capabilities, tour creators can gain valuable insights into visitor engagement, including tour views, virtual tours taken, average visit length, and popular times and days.

Incorporating local advertising into tours is made possible with PocketSights, enabling revenue generation for organizations by featuring restaurants and other businesses along the tour route. The platform also supports building deeper relationships with visitors through mailing list support, where visitors can opt-in to join an organization's email marketing list at the end of the tour.

This tour guide solution also offers complete customization of the tour completion message, providing an opportunity to deliver personalized parting words and calls to action.

With a scalable infrastructure in place, it supports events of any size, ensuring high availability and scalability during periods of high traffic demand. Additionally, priority tour approval is available, allowing tours submitted by organizations to receive expedited review by the PocketSights team, ensuring quality and prompt deployment.

PocketSights digital guide



  1. Virtual Beacons enable content authors to boost visitor engagement by serving as points on a map that don't physically exist. They can deliver targeted notifications about attractions, events, promotions, and more directly to visitors. When a visitor passes a virtual beacon, a small window pops up, and the text is read aloud using text-to-speech.
  2. Offers donation support, allowing organizations to ask visitors to consider contributing to their cause through a simple donation button at the end of the tour.


  1. Tours are available only in one language (English).
  2. Incompatible with Windows phones.
  3. Falls short in providing AI-powered features.

General Comparison


Founded in

Total number of destinations

Number of languages supported








Google Play Store, App Store


izi. Travel




Google Play Store, App Store,
Windows Phone Store






Google Play Store, App Store






Google Play Store, App Store






Google Play Store, App Store



The digital world continues to grow, providing advanced solutions for digital travel guide creators. Each of the tools mentioned in this article provides a robust content management system that simplifies the process of publishing guide content for destinations.

The listed tour guide apps, however, vary in flexibility and the provided set of features (such as text translation, data dashboards, or AR and AI-powered features).

By using flexible audio guide platforms such as SmartGuide, destinations, attractions, and travel businesses can elevate the visitors’ exploration and provide a simple and efficient way to share their stories and connect with their audiences.

Are you looking to transform your visitors’ journey with AI-powered multimedia guides?  Contact us today!