Lonely Planet Writer

There's a new app that wants to connect travellers in the Balkans with locals

If you’ve ever travelled abroad, chances are you’ve booked a tour through some sort of travel agency. But this new travel app by developers in Macedonia aims to do something different. When in X gets its name from the popular saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and its goal is to connect tourists to the Balkans with local hosts who are eager to share their experiences.

“We feel it’s a missing part of the tourism industry”, its co-founder Antonio Kuzmanovski told Lonely Planet. “With When in X we solve the problem of the traveller looking for activities before they get to some place, but also for the locals, we give them a marketplace to offer their services without having to pay anything”.

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Paragliding is just one of the activities available on the app. Image by When in X

When in X was developed by the Macedonian company Webgliders who, being travel and outdoor enthusiasts, decided to create a product of their own. Through their app, visitors can explore activities, events and cultural experiences hosted by locals. Unlike travel agencies, the app connects the travellers directly with the locals who become the service providers.

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Smiles all around after a paragliding session! Image by When in X

From mountain biking trails to paragliding, to wildlife photography sites and hidden gems, When in X is hoping to highlight the best of local experiences. “Only if you mix and get friendly with the locals will you feel that you have ‘been’ to X place,” says Antonio, “it will allow many local travel entrepreneurs to build more successful small businesses which will positively influence the local economy.”

The next step for When in X is to cover the entire Balkan region and then expand into the rest of Europe by the end of 2019. The app is available to download on both the App Store and Google Play Store.