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SmartGuide vs izi.TRAVEL: Comparing the best digital guide audio platforms

Are you looking for the perfect audio guide platform to provide your visitors with an immersive experience, but have a hard time making a choice? Look no further! SmartGuide and izi.TRAVEL are two of the most popular audio guide platforms for tourist destinations and attractions, popular as well as off-beaten-path. In this blog post, we will conduct a comparison between SmartGuide and izi.Travel, examining their features, drawbacks, and advantages for destinations, travel businesses, and visitors alike.

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The key players in the digital audio guiding solutions business

SmartGuide and izi.Travel are two of the most popular audio tour guide apps on the market today, providing travel businesses and visitors with an easy way to explore new destinations and attractions.

SmartGuide is a digital guide platform that turns every phone into a personal travel guide. It offers self-guided tours free-handed with an audio guide on one's phone, allowing visitors to enhance their travel experience when visiting all kinds of tourist destinations (from entire countries to small villages) or attractions (such as museums, castles, churches, parks, exhibitions, etc.).

In a very similar manner to SmartGuide, izi.TRAVEL also provides audio guides for museums and cities in one app. 

Both apps provide digital guides for renowned destinations worldwide, ensuring visitors have access to valuable insights and information during their explorations. They offer curated content, interactive maps (also offline), and convenient geolocation features that assist users in navigating their travel destinations with ease. The apps present free guided tours that leverage GPS navigation, allowing users to explore cities at their preferred pace and follow curated routes. Additionally, both SmartGuide and izi.TRAVEL's apps can be downloaded for free.

Destinations, travel businesses, and tourism professionals widely utilize both SmartGuide and izi.TRAVEL as platforms to create and publish digital audio guides, catering to the needs of discerning travelers seeking enriching experiences.

By understanding the pros and cons of each platform, destinations, and travel businesses can make an informed decision about which one best suits their needs and helps them provide a better visitor experience.

Enhance your visitors' experience with SmartGuide

SmartGuide: The travel guide platform and a destination management tool

SmartGuide is the world's #1 digital travel guide platform. With close to 1000 destinations covered and content accessible to the public, SmartGuide has become a go-to resource for tourists worldwide.

One of the standout features of SmartGuide is its open self-service AI-powered content management system (CMS), which gives destinations, popular tourist attractions, and tour guides an opportunity to effortlessly publish their own digital guide in as little as an hour. Its level of accessibility allows for tailoring a personalized visitor experience, fostering engagement and enabling businesses to attract more visitors with content aimed at their particular target audiences. SmartGuide's CMS has a built-in automatic text-to-speech feature (so the written text automatically converts to an audio track in seconds). It's also possible to translate an entire tour to another language with a single click with the integrated DeepL translator.  By enabling fast and simple customized content creation for different audiences and nationalities, SmartGuide also serves as a solution for achieving more sustainable tourism in destinations by distributing visitors more evenly and guiding them independently to less crowded areas.

SmartGuide caters to a diverse range of content creators, who can offer both mainstream content for a general audience and thematic tours tailored for specific niche audiences - indoor and outdoor, while walking, cycling, riding a boat, car, or a tour bus. This flexibility ensures that every visitor can find the perfect guide to suit their interests and preferences.

Barcelona on SmartGuide app  - the best digital guide audio platform 02

But SmartGuide's capabilities extend beyond guide creation. The platform provides big data dashboards and GPS heatmaps, allowing destinations to gain valuable insights into visitor behavior. This expert data analysis service supports destination management and marketing strategies, enabling effective data-driven decision-making and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

SmartGuide CMS - heatmap of tourist behavior - preview-1


  1. No additional maintenance costs for destinations and travel businesses that want to operate digital guides.
  2. SmartGuide currently covers 100,000+ tourist places worldwide.
  3. 102 Languages available to create guides in (Chinese, French, German, Spanish, English, Hindi, Slovak, Croatian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Afrikaans, Dutch, and Finnish, to name a few)
  4. Free CMS with AI-powered text-to-speech and auto-translation for easy localization of content.
  5. Accurate and detailed insights provided by big data dashboards and GPS heatmaps of visitors' behavior.
  6. Expert analysis of data to understand visitor demographics, acquisition channels, and popular tours/places.
  7. Destination marketing services and expert consultations are available.
  8. Possibility for travel businesses to promote their offerings via POI Advertising (contact us to learn more)

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  1. Less localized content is available in languages other than English, which is depending on the preference of content creators (since SmartGuide is an open platform where anyone can create a digital travel guide, the content localization mirrors the preferred languages of whoever creates a tour).
  2. Fewer integrations, although more are being implemented (currently, SmartGuide supports e.g. the GetYourGuide ticket sales).
  3. Not accessible on the Windows Phone Store.

Enjoy self-guided tours with the SmartGuide app

SmartGuide's remarkable accolades and acknowledgments

The exceptional quality of SmartGuide has not gone unnoticed. The platform has received recognition in over 20 international industry-related competitions, garnering numerous awards. In 2020, it was honored with an Accelerator Award by the Singapore Tourism Board and received the European Commission Seal of Excellence for its exemplary response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The public's recognition was evident as SmartGuide received the esteemed Hero of Tourism 2022 award, a special accolade from the Minister of Regional Development, and the Czech Tourism Director's Award in the Digitalization category.

SmartGuide's innovative approach has also attracted significant funding and opportunities. The platform was granted €1 million to develop an Artificial Intelligence system that recommends personalized travel destinations based on individual interests, as well as to support Augmented Reality experiences. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) selected SmartGuide as a service provider for tourism digitalization projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Moldova. Additionally, SmartGuide is recommended for funding by the European Commission and has been approved as a preferred digital travel services provider within the DigiTour or Tourbit project funding initiatives. The company has been invited to showcase its best practices to EU tourism policymakers at the European Tourism Forum 2022 and European Tourism Day 2023.

Notable clients and partners of SmartGuide include prominent entities such as Switzerland Tourism, Prague City Tourism, Bratislava Tourism Board, Carlsbad, Singapore National Heritage Board, Harvard Business School, Dubai Tourism, Pilsner Urquell, RegioJet, Thames River Sightseeing, and Deutsche Bundesbahn, among many others.

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izi.TRAVEL: The city attractions audio guide platform

izi.TRAVEL is an audio guide application similar to SmartGuide that offers insights into city attractions across more than 900 cities worldwide.

izi.TRAVEL especially encompasses museums, churches, or galleries. Similarly to SmartGuide, when visiting a museum, visitors can conveniently scan the QR code of a particular exhibit or indulge in the full audio guide for comprehensive knowledge. By activating their GPS geolocation, visitors can gain access to a wide selection of audio tours available in their vicinity. Each tour is curated, providing detailed maps, checkpoints, captivating photo galleries, and high-quality audio and video content.

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  1. Visitors can enjoy 20,000 audio tours, spanning over 900 cities across 110 countries and available in close to 70 languages (in its audio tours). The app's user interface is available in 13 languages.
  2. Has 2,100 museum tours.
  3. 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.
  4. Insights into user 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 users utilize a content author's audio guides. Data about a consumed content type, completion reasons, activation type, and access type help better understand user behavior and optimize the content accordingly.

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Source: and


  1. Does not offer more advanced AI-powered features.
  2. Lacks advanced destination management features.
  3. No complex regional tours.
  4. Users have reported inconvenient site functionality; payment limitations, broken links with slow response times, and a lack of support for technical issues.

izi.TRAVEL -  Comparing the best digital guide audio platformsSource:

izi.TRAVEL's remarkable accolades and acknowledgments

The platform has won several awards for its innovative approach to travel guides. In 2018, izi.TRAVEL was awarded the prestigious Webby Award for Best Mobile App in the Travel category. This award recognizes excellence on the internet and celebrates the best of the web from around the world. izi.TRAVEL has also been named a Google Play Editor’s Choice app, which recognizes apps that deliver an outstanding user experience on Android devices.

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General comparison




Founded in




Text-to-speech feature




Multimedia upload

(logo; flag; sign; photo, videos)

IT development/maintenance requirements

Not required

Not required

Self-service content creation

Freely accessible

Freely accessible

Drag-and-drop editing of maps

GPS heatmaps*

Customized phonemes for audio*

Ad-free Premium tours*

Revenue share for paid content (attractions, tour operators)*

The "Improve Guide" option






Apple Store & Google Play

Apple Store, Windows & Google Play

UI Languages



GDPR compliance

Fully complies with GDPR and only analyzes anonymized and aggregated data.

Interactive maps

Step-by-step navigation

Offline Maps & Navigation

Guide Content Download

Integration to help advertisers promote their offerings via POI Advertising

Nearby (points of interest or destinations nearby the current geographical position of the user),

Bookmarking fav destinations

24x7 Tour guide access

GPS tracking to listen to site-specific stories





Total number of destinations



Total number of places



Number of tours



Number of app users



Average app rating



Accessibility (Sight, hearing, mobility impaired)

Bring your travel content to life with SmartGuide's free content management system


SmartGuide and izi.TRAVEL has many similarities when it comes to its offerings for B2B customers, such as providing audio tours, detailed maps, captivating photo galleries, and high-quality content in multiple languages. While izi.Travel boasts more downloads, SmartGuide stands out with its more advanced features. Additionally, SmartGuide has a range of destination management tools that provide insights into user engagement and behavior based on precise geolocation. While we recommend trying out both platforms before making a final decision, Smartguide seems to be the ideal choice for tourist destinations and attractions looking for ways to better engage travelers and employ data-driven destination management.