Every place has a story. Tour it.

About Sojourn Chicago

We are a team of nine graduate students from the Medill School of Journalism with a mix of interactive, magazine and reporting concentrations. In our last quarter, we were assigned the task of creating an innovative journalism product.

After spending our year at Medill documenting Chicago stories, it struck us as odd that most tourists only experience superficial aspects of the city. We wanted to create a product that infused journalism with tours that would allow visitors to get a taste of the real Chicago.

Sojourn is a self-paced walking tour accessible on your phone that combines journalism and travel recommendations for a customized, guided experience. It’s a magazine of the present, the documentary of moment that provides an understanding of a community.

Every place has a story. Tour it.

Promo Video

Business Plan

The Sojourn Advantage

We made this product for our moms: our persona is a retired, female baby boomer. According to our extensive research, this demographic has a few unique qualities:

  • Time: they are frequent travelers, according to U.S. travel data.
  • Technology:they have iphones and aren't afraid to use them, accoring to our 1,200 person survey.
  • Expendable income: many in this age bracket are retired and have the resources to spend.
  • Interests: Hotel concierges and other trends informed us that this group has particular passions and would find travel centered around their interests appealing.

Our research included market analysis, qualitative interviews, a survey that garnered 1200 responses and an in-depth focus group. From this data we create Sojourn which has four major value propisitions:

  • Interest-based: Most travel apps focus solely on search and recommendations, rather than in-depth content. Sojourn tours are based around a particular interest: an art tour in Old Town, coffee in Wicker Park or the Cubs at Wrigley Field. While these interest-based stories are often made known to locals through newspapers, magazines and anecdotal stories, they have rarely been available to tourists--unless from a friendly native. Sojourn Chicago will take a wealth of local knowledge and make it available to those who will pay for it: tourists.

  • Self-paced: The mobile platform also allows for flexible schedules. Users can alter a plan midtour, or make a stop at a nearby restaurant or store on a roaming mode. Our stories will give as much or as little information a user might want at their discretion.

  • Cheaper: Sojourn disrupts a lucrative tour industry in Chicago since the product tours will be priced around $5, as opposed to the average $45 for any Chicago city tour.

  • Growth Potential: Sojourn can expand into other cities and is designed to grow with new technology, like Google Glass or Kinect.

Please look over ourBusiness Plan

Tour It!

Take a sneak peak of our first tour on fine arts in the beautiful historic neighborhood of Old Town. Located just north of the Gold Coast, Old Town has deep artistic roots dating back to before the Chicago Fire. This video gives you a brief taste of what it would feel like to take one of our tours. Note the rich story telling that works in commentary from experts.

See it on a phone

It was meant to be used on a phone so check out how it looks on a phone. Click through the actual web-app we built on the right. The dimensions reflect how it would look on a smartphone.