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What is the difference between a Whitelabel App and a Shared App

In the second part of our blog series, "What are the different types of apps and which one is right for the tourism industry?" we delve into Whitelabel Apps and Shared Apps. Our analysis will help you make informed decisions for creating a tourism solution for your visitors by presenting the advantages and drawbacks of each app type. 

Read the in-depth details we share over the next few pages OR skip to a visual illustration summarising our comparative analysis!

Before we get into the definitions, it’s important to note that White-label and Shared apps can be either a Native app or a Web app. 

What is a Whitelabel App?

A white-label mobile app is created by a third party presented under your brand. Frequently, these apps will also be added to App Store listings under your brand as well. 

What is a Shared App?

A shared app is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of designing an app for one specific destination, it highlights numerous destinations, not just one! 

White-Label Apps

There are pros and cons to consider when thinking about rolling out a white-label solution. Many tourism destinations often think that creating the best travel app experience means having a stand-alone app - and this may be true - but in some cases, shared apps are a better option.  

Advantages of White-Label Apps

Tailored to You

When it comes to your brand, you may have specifications that cannot always be met in a shared platform -  a white-label app will be tailored to your brand guidelines and incorporate only preferred features, enabling you to deliver the travel guide you want without compromise.  

Faster deployment than Custom Apps

Since white-label providers have developed a standard outline for our applications, rolling out a white-label solution is often much faster than creating a custom app* from scratch.

*A White-label app can easily be confused with a Custom app, but there are differences! A White-label provider will use a template to create your app. The developer will “skin” their template with your brand and desired menu items. A custom app, on the other hand, is designed from scratch, using only your specifications. These apps are even more costly to update and maintain. We do not recommend custom apps! 

Drawbacks White Label Apps

Cost to Develop and Maintain

Developing and maintaining a white-label app can be significantly more expensive than leveraging a shared app. If you don't want to limit your audience to either Android or iOS users, you'll have to pay for both platforms' app development. Furthermore, maintaining the app in the app store and implementing feature updates can be costly. Plan on a minimum of $10,000 to develop a white-label tourism solution.

Marketing Efforts + User Downloads

Promoting a white-label app can be challenging. As the sole entity responsible for raising awareness, you may experience difficulty achieving significant download numbers. Visitors may also be hesitant to download a unique travel guide for each destination they visit, resulting in app resistance.

Timelines to Implement

While a white-label application is built from a template, it does take time to implement. Depending on the provider, you should expect anywhere between 2 to 6 months for your completed digital visitor guide.

Shared Apps

Advantages of Shared Apps

Marketing efforts + User Downloads

A shared app can be a powerful tourism tool for your destination. By leveraging a sustainable tourism solution that hosts stories from multiple destinations, you can increase user awareness of your sites. Visitors who discover the digital visitor guide while exploring one destination are likely to stumble upon yours as well. Additionally, providers like Driftscape offer marketing support and a commitment to enhance the app. Our success team works collaboratively on co-marketing efforts, and our development team consistently adds new features to provide added value, keeping explorers engaged and coming back for more.


A developer who concentrates on creating the best travel app experience in a single platform can devote more time to adding new features, giving your sites and stories the attention they deserve. We’re proud to say we have more tools for visitors than any other platform. The endless possibilities available within Driftscape empower you with options - and your visitors with rich experiences. Whether you opt for a shared or white-label solution, Driftscape makes all these features readily available for your digital visitor guide.

No Maintenance Costs

With shared platforms, you’re not responsible for paying for app store listings or maintenance fees. A good, shared platform provider will not charge you for the maintenance of their app. With a shared tourism platform, you can expect your annual rate to range from $2,500 - $10,000, depending on the provider and plan you choose.

Drawbacks of Shared Apps


A shared platform might not include all the branding elements your destination desires, like custom fonts. Driftscape addresses this by offering various branding options, such as branded map markers, a customized menu, an interactive map for your website, and your logo in every point of interest you create.


In conclusion, as tourism solutions for destination exploration continue to evolve, it's important to be aware of the options available to you. Native apps provide an immersive experience that takes advantage of device features while working offline. In contrast, Web apps offer instant updates without any downloads required. White Label apps cater to branding needs but may come at a higher cost, while Shared apps can boost user awareness and offer collaborative promotion opportunities. Our quick comparison guide can help you make the right choice for your needs. Don't forget to check out part 1 of this blog series if you missed it – it's packed with valuable insights

Whitelabel vs. Shared app

In today's ever-connected world, engaging and captivating visitors is key to success. The right mobile solution can make all the difference, and that's where Driftscape comes in. Our comprehensive guide empowers destinations to make informed decisions aligned with their unique requirements. Let our team of experts help you explore your options. Book a call today and take the first step towards a more effective and captivating digital presence.

Book a call with our team of experts to explore your options.



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