“The pilot project was born in 2019 and started the following year in Viana do Castelo, but the Covid-19 pandemic came and delayed plans. In early 2021 we expanded our first adventures to Lisbon, Porto, Braga and Ponte da Barca. We have circuits in Germany and Sweden in finals and by the end of the month we hope to have completed the one in Denmark. The goal is to reach the end of the year with these tourist guides in 10 countries,” Hugo Araújo told the Lusa agency today.
The ‘Outdoor City Challenges’ allows users to “know and explore places in a modern, fun and enigmatic way, presenting themselves as a tourist guide that accompanies the visitor on a real-life adventure”. “The user chooses a route with several crossing points, places of interest, such as gardens, statues, monuments, buildings and, at each stopping point, there is a puzzle to solve, after which it is possible to proceed to the next stage of the map ”, explained the 36 year old creator of the project.
In addition to the enigmas, Hugo Araújo explained that "the platform provides historical and cultural information on relevant points, as well as mandatory visit suggestions, such as places frequented by local inhabitants, for tasting typical products or socialising". Hugo Araújo explained that the pilot project created in the city of Viana do Castelo arose “from the love of traveling and getting to know new cities and cultures, combined with the need to provide tourists with an organised, fun and different way of exploring and learning, in addition to a traditional map”.
“The taste for riddles and 'escape rooms', as well as the need for an activity that would allow several groups simultaneously, led me to join two more colleagues and create a company, called Mapas Resumos, to move forward with our idea business”, explained the promoter of Viana do Castelo.
Hugo Araújo revealed that, “recently the project was one of the winners, among hundreds, of a competition launched by Fabstart de Lisboa together with Turismo de Portugal”. “We are trying to establish partnerships with local authorities or hotels to acquire licenses for circuits that can be included in tourist packages that they promote to attract visitors and tourists to the city”, he said. The experience “can be lived individually, or in small groups, between two to six people, from families, groups of friends or even co-workers and presents itself as a resource for 'team building' activities”.
The adventures “can be carried out on any day of the year and at any time, with no time limit for their realisation”. “The focus will always be on solving the puzzle and getting to know a little more about the route point. For example, how many people from Viana do Castelo know that in Praça da República there is a sundial? They pass through there daily and are unaware of it. How many know that there is a tribute street to Amália Rodrigues? The puzzles we create facilitate this discovery”, he specified. To “live one of the ‘Outdoor City Challenges’ experiences, users start by going to the ‘outdoorcitychallenges.com website’ and choose an adventure in one of the available locations”. "After confirming the purchase, they receive the platform access email, as well as the respective license. On the day you want to go on the adventure, just open the platform on your mobile phone, select one of the four languages in which it is available (Portuguese, English, Spanish or French) and enter the license you received. The last step before starting the adventure is to define a name for the team. Then, just go on the adventure”, he specified.
The “price of the ‘Outdoor City Challenges’ circuits varies from city to city, but is between 15 and 30 euros”. “The activity can take between one to three hours, depending on the circuit the user chooses. The great advantage of this tool is that it doesn't impose schedules and we don't need tourist guides. We start at the time we feel like it, we take as long as we want and get to know the cities we visit”, said Hugo Araújo.