FUHWE Lets Users Explore Like A Local, Lets Locals Get Paid For Showing Them Around

         Locals know best, right?

         How many times have you said or heard, “Don’t go there. I’m a local. Let me show you where the real New Orleanians go.”

         Now, there’s an app for that!

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         Last night, at Mid-City hot spot Second Line Brewing, 433 N. Bernadotte St., FUHWE officially launched.

         While drinking the free beer and feasting on the grilled cheese sandwiches from local favorite the Frencheeze Food Truck, everyone was buzzing about FUHWE (pronounced fa-we), a new mobile app and travel website that connects New Orleans tourists with local hosts to provide authentic New Orleans experiences.

         FUHWE won the top prize at the New Orleans Startup Weekend in October 2015, was chosen for the Collision Alpha Program this year, and was selected to participate in the Silicon Bayou Startup Showcase during this year’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

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         The travel app is the brainchild of Grenada citizens Patricia Maher and Shawn Louis whose passion for travel and connecting with locals inspired them to create a better way to explore destinations.

         The name FUHWE is a Caribbean expression that means “for us,” and its logo is a pineapple, a universal symbol of hospitality.

         “When we came to New Orleans it instantly felt like home,” said co-founder Maher. “We knew it was the right city to launch our app. It’s no wonder many say New Orleans is the ‘northernmost Caribbean city.’ That palpable hospitality is what’s going to drive FUHWE.”

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         Another driver? The fact most locals love showing off what they know about New Orleans – where to go, what to see, where to eat and what to do. Now, they can get paid for it.

         “New Orleanians are extremely passionate about this city, and showing it to people our way,” Melissa Rekic, one of the first enlisted FUHWE local hosts, said. “When I heard about FUHWE at Startup Weekend, I applied to be a local host right away. I can’t think of a better way to make extra money than being able to meet people from around the world, and show them what I already know and love.” 

         The way FUHWE works is tourists or “explorers,” sign up, create a profile, get verified, find an experience that matches their interests and, with the guidance of a local host, see hidden gems they probably never would have found on their own.

         So far, FUHWE offers 7 experience categories including:

 

• Art

• Culture

• Entertainment

• Food/ Beverage

• History

• Music

• Sports

 

         Locals also sign up, create a profile, get verified and certified, post experiences they can offer with details and photos and deliver memorable experiences.

         The FUHWE team will soon target the hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to town this month for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and national tech summit Collision. They want to give them the opportunity to explore like a local from their iOS devices, and give local New Orleanians a chance to monetize their passions.

         The FUHWE founding entrepreneurs said by creating authentic, safe, local experiences, locals profit by sharing their interests and knowledge which then contributes to the sustainability of their favorite destinations and the city’s economy.

         “We believe ‘find the locals, find the culture,’” co-founder Maher said.

         "Some of my favorite experiences in New Orleans involve trying out the restaurants,” said Trichelle Lee, Loyola student and FUHWE partner. “I love to support local businesses and to experience the city's unique culture, cuisine and hospitality.”

         The cost of FUHWE’s personal experiences varies, depending on the local host, length of time and activities involved during the course of the experiences, and it’s up to the local host as to how many people they can handle.

         All experiences are booked and paid for by credit card, and local hosts get paid by direct deposit once the experience is completed and all explorers have rated their local hosts within 48 hours.

         FUHWE offers a messaging system in the travel website and app so both parties can be easily contacted.

         The app is available for free download on iOS, and will be later this year on Android devices.

         While FUHWE’s first destination is New Orleans, the team said they want to offer their brand of hospitality, sustainability and authentic local experiences in cities all around the globe, enriching individual destinations and fundamentally changing the way people travel.

          FUHWE has partnered with New Orleans companies Hop & Jaunt, a creative agency to develop the brand and market strategy, and Online Optimism to promote the brand online.

         FUHWE encourages locals and explorers to share their unique perspective of New Orleans with the world by using hashtag #ExploreLikeALocal on social media.

         For more information

 

 

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