A manifesto for a travel platform that rewards content creators for their contributions and delights travellers with great content and more.
Tom and Greta are a young couple who love to travel. Every six months, they venture to another part of the world.
Tom is a software engineer at a young, vibrant startup. Greta is a nurse who works mostly with infants and small children. They work hard and wish to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Travelling fuels them and gives them a higher perspective. Every time they go someplace, they return home refreshed, filled with inspiration and new ideas.
They visit each place only once because it’s their goal to see as much of the world as possible. So they do a ton of research to prepare for their trip and not miss out on anything important.
Their destination research looks something like this:
They DuckDuckGo top 10 things to do, use TripAdvisor, check Instagram, visit Pinterest, peruse old travel magazines, see what travel agents offer, talk to their friends, read travel guides and spin their globe.
Once they finish their labour-intense research, they categorise all of their findings in a nifty spreadsheet Tom prepared a ways back. They then proceed to create simple itinerary.
These days they don’t wing it anymore and rely on the locals for guidance. They realised that often the locals aren’t that aware of the great things to see and do around them. The grass is always greener on the other side, huh?
Naturally such a deep dive takes some work, but it’s worth it, think Tom and Greta. Of course, they wouldn’t mind an easier way.
That is why now and again they try out a new travel app to see if it helps them discover new places and make it easier to plan their journey. Usually, they end up disappointed.
Most travel apps are more of the same. Clutter, poor user experience, lousy recommendation systems, shitty content.
Being passionate travellers, they’ve seen a thing or two when it comes to travel apps, which to them, feel stuck back in the early 2000s: all those lists and top 10s, lack of real personalisation, information overload.
Mostly, they miss a single, central place from which to plan their travels.
Tom and Greta’s story isn’t uncommon among travellers. We’ve all had it. Travelling is often cumbersome. Most of the time, we wing it, and so often we end up missing out on the best experiences in a destination.
Maybe we lazily open up TripAdvisor or check out a Lonely Planet guide, possibly search for a blog and perhaps, even, buy one of those things, eh, book guides.
But honestly, that seems a tad dated. We live in a world of self-driving cars, AI, Alexas and Siris, yet when it comes to the travel space, it appears it was left behind.
True, many newcomers come about, but they either produce something sub-par or create a copy of an existing solution and add some flavour on top. We haven’t seen much ground-breaking come to the fore in a long while.
So we said let’s change that, let’s create a travel platform for the next generation of travellers.
We’re creating an end-to-end travel app that connects travellers, content creators and the travel supply into one platform.
On Travelicious, travellers will discover exciting experiences through content shared by others. Planning a trip will be effortless and delightful.
Content creators will be rewarded for their contributions to the platform, and not used to deliver content for nothing.
Travel suppliers will be able to offer their travel products and services to a global audience of eager explorers.
For content creators
On Travelicious, content creators will share their experiences around the world, and will in return, be rewarded for their contributions.
But there’s more. Content creators will also earn money when connecting travellers to travel suppliers through experiences they shared. Instead of Travelicious pocketing the commission, the content creators, who formed the connection through their content, will reap the reward.
We’re not talking an affiliate-esque 1% commission; we’re talking, 5%, 7%, 10%, maybe more — depending on the travel supplier.
It is essential to us, as an organisation, to distribute wealth among those who created it. It’s the world we wish to inherit, and so, we shall start with ourselves.
Beyond monetising their content, they will also:
- increase their audiences
- get more traffic to their blogs
- gain a larger social media presence
Travellers are going to find inspiration on Travelicious and be able to plan their trips using an intuitive, advanced travel planner that will help them plan virtually with friends. They’ll also get suggestions as to which experiences and activities they might like based on various factors.
As an end-to-end solution, travellers won’t need to look anywhere else to have their travel needs satisfied. That is our long-term vision, at least.
This means Travelicious will cover all six touch points of the user’s journey:
Daunting, yes, but that’s what we intend on doing. Anything less is for us, a half-product. Why bother at all, then. We don’t want to replicate and create unoriginal products.
For travel suppliers
Travel suppliers — be it accommodations, transportation, restaurants and bars, or suppliers of various experiences, will be able to add their inventories to the platform.
Integration, not competition
Our aim is to create a seamless and effortless planning feature for travellers, one that integrates their favourite services and makes both discovery, and travel planning a delight.
Equal and fair distribution of wealth
People are going to help us build the platform through their contributions. It is only logical to reward them for their contributions, is it not? We want to equalise the distribution of wealth and not siphon it away to reward those who had little or nothing to do with the platform’s success.
How much does a platform such as Instagram pay its content creators? Nothing.
Yet it makes billions from the people’s content, and shares none of it with them. They’ve unequally divided the pie, favouring themselves (and their shareholders) to an absurd degree.
We see much of the same in the travel sector. Share your comments on TripAdvisor, and build up their business, why don’t you. Even newcomers such as Mapify rewards you with nothing for creating content on their platform.
Some quick math
All right, let’s do some quick math to determine whether or not this is worth doing and what’s the opportunity. Let’s examine a couple of numbers.
- Expedia Group and Booking Holdings, which are two of the largest OTAs (online travel agents) in the world, own many of the apps and platforms you use when you travel. This includes Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline.com, HomeAway, Kayak, Momondo, Rentalcars.com, Agoda.com, and Cheapflights. In 2018 these two conglomerates made $25B in revenue and over $4B in net profit.
- The world’s average salary (according to United Nations’ International Labour Organization) is $1,480 a month, which is just less than $18,000 a year. And this isn’t even in normal dollars, but Purchasing Power Parity dollars. So it depends where you live. But let’s leave it at that.
- We all know that averages can be very misleading, so consider this: only in 41 countries is the average salary above $1000 per month.
So let’s imagine that through Travelicious, or rather, between the supply and demand on the platform there’s a fee volume (from the transactions) that sums up to 1% of the annual revenue generated by the behemoths above. That makes $250M.
Now let’s divide $250,000,000 by $18,000.
We get 13,888.
This means 13,888 people could earn an average world salary while enjoying what they do: travelling and sharing their experiences on Travelicious.
According to HypeAuditor, an influencer discovery platform, there are currently 84,659 content creators on Instagram in the travel & tourism space, who have more than 20,000 followers, and who’ve posted within the last 30 days. So, these people are active and serious.
They are also our early adopters.
If we were to divide 250M with 84,659 we get $2,953 per content creator. Not bad.
Let’s make it better. Let’s get to $18,000 per content creator. That’s a goal of $1.5B in fee volume. Or 6% of Expedia’s and Booking’s total revenue.
Consider that $200B is spent on travel annually — just by millennials.
And where do they spend the bulk of it? Online.
Check out the Beta (MVP)
Our MVP (minimal viable product) is up and running. With it you can:
- Create your profile
- Share your experiences
- Favourite other experiences
- Earn affiliate revenue through a booking map generated on an experience you share
So if you’re a content creator, you’re invited to request early access to the platform.
One App the World Around
We aim to create a place for travellers and travel content creators to call their home, where they can express themselves and discover fantastic new experiences. And be fairly rewarded for what they bring to the table.