How This Social Network Helps You Capture The Best Travel Stories
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The landscape of travel has drastically changed through the last decade with social media playing a pivotal part in planning holidays. Different formats across social media platforms like videos, photographs, live feeds and even 360 degree video options have exposed enthusiastic travelers to a host of unknown destinations.
Leveraging the booming travel market and the use of social media through travels, two friends Monish Shah and Malhar Gala, while holidaying in London thought of a unique idea. What if they could create a platform where co-travelers could capture their journeys live and record activities to a shared timeline? Something that would resemble a social network site that would cater exclusively to travel.
After almost 3 years of planning and development, the two launched TraveLibro in 2017, a one-of-a-kind platform that combines social media with a travel guide. It brings together a community of travelers to plan, execute and share their travel stories and also allows users to connect with bloggers, travelers & travel partners.
Why the Travel Bug
Shah and Gala, both passionate travelers, realized that despite so many travel portals out there, there was a dearth of a one-stop shop for all travel related information. And the information they would get on these sites would mostly be half baked.
Wanting to provide more cumulative and holistic information to aspiring travelers, they designed the TraveLibro app in a way that users could have access to a detailed set of information, categorized with the type of holiday as a base.
"We aim to be the bridging the "Gap" between Social Media, travel consumers and the travel service industry," said Shah.
How it Works / A Travel Social Ecosystem
TraveLibro is turning the fragmented world of digital travel - from both the traveler's and the travel merchant's perspective - into an efficient and consolidated ecosystem. Instead of spending hours planning and booking your itinerary and then more hours sharing your travel content socially, the platform gives users one place to manage every step of their journey - all rolled up into a familiar social networking experience.
TraveLibro is a new digital travel ecosystem that turns every traveler into a storyteller. The platform attempts to consolidate the scattered world of online travel into a community-based product that combines social networking with targeted ecommerce.
At long last, they're allowing people to capture every aspect of their journeys "live on the go" - via chronological photos, videos, posts, reviews, and more. These content logs can then be shared with family and friends; or, revisited by the user. Instead of searching through the massive social networks, TraveLibro makes discovering travel stories easy!
These appealing social media aspects help open the door for TraveLibro's other primary function: connecting users with travel businesses. They're giving local travel agents and other offline vendors a direct connection to travelers - and full transparency when it comes to their likes and dislikes. This allows them to offer unprecedented customization of their offerings to a targeted customer base.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, TraveLibro allows even the most intimate travel memories to be hosted on a shared timeline - meaning individual moments captured by travel groups don't have to be separately shared. Everyone on the trip together can document things together which saves a great deal of time and effort and allows you to get back to the fun.
These experiences can be reviewed on-the-go to capture moods instantly. This real-time rating system is the foundation of benefit for travel businesses. Travel agents, tour guides, and attractions alike can create their own mini-website, quickly allowing them to leverage these positive reviews on the platform. Products/services can be easily uploaded to the mini-websites to reach out to their large travel ecosystem with customized offerings.
Additionally, TraveLibro has information on over 700 destinations with must do's, hotel and restaurant recommendations and an in-depth metasearch feature via partnerships with leading digital travel providers like Agoda, Homestay, Viator, Skyscanner, and more.
Business Model and Growth
The venture has a two-fold business model --- User Based and as an Agent Marketplace. While it is free for users, each partner (travel agent, tour operator or local guide) chooses between a basic (free), advanced and premium package to gain access to features and to increase their visibility on the portal.
The website receives over 25,000 unique visitors monthly and the app already has a user base of 30,000 since its launch in April this year. The company features 30 big travel influencers around the world who are actively using the platform/app to document their travel stories.
Being a cluttered sector, everything from setting up base to operations can be challenging. Recounting these Gala says, "The biggest challenge we faced was during the beta stage when we did not have an in-house tech team. We hired a few agencies to help us with tech, design and marketing. While we were able to achieve the beta stage, we realized that the pace at which the outsourced teams were delivering was not matching the company's expectations."
"Moreover, we needed to be cost-effective, learn from the feedback, and go live quickly. To achieve this, we decided to hire an in-house team and go back to the drawing board to create the revolutionary app," he added.
While the venture may be born in India, TraveLibro aims to be a global travel social network where travellers discover the best travel stories.
"With the online travel industry estimated to be worth nearly a trillion dollars by 2022 and with social media having an undeniable influence on peoples spending and travel patterns - we believe there are massive inefficiencies that exist in the market today," said Gala.
The duo feels with close to 1.8 billion people who are expected to travel by 2030, the need for an integrated platform like TraveLibro will only increase over time.