Travevel is a new platform that combines the familiarity and interactivity of a social platform with user generated content focused on travel, tourism, exploration and adventure. Travevel’s interactive platform is ad-free and filled with user-generated image and video travel content, including an interactive map. Here’s what CEO LeAnn Campas has to say about the future of travel and social media’s role.
Q. Why are travel and social media so synergistic?
A. Social media is visual and there are few things more visually interesting than travel images and videos. The two were made for each other. Additionally, the vast majority of us put more weight on personal experiences, and there is no better way to share our adventures, explore others’ experiences and interact with them than through a social platform.
Q. Does Travevel lend itself more to user-generated content (UGC) than some other genres and if so why?
A. UGC always carries more weight and credibility to consumers than any form of paid content and we have seen growing frustration from users of other platforms as to the aggressive amount of ads they are seeing, which has a negative impact on the user experience. With Travevel, our mission is to focus on authentic content from personal users. While business user accounts will be a part of the platform, the content they upload cannot be branded or watermarked, nor can they pay any additional fees for their content to be prioritized or shown in a different manner than individual user content. We want to ensure that the user has full control over what they see and how they interact with not only other users, but businesses as well.
Q. What is it like launching a travel-oriented social media platform during a worldwide pandemic that has brought the travel industry to its knees?
A. There is no question that this is a challenging time to develop and launch Travevel, however, we have found there to be some benefits to the timing. Through speaking with other travelers worldwide who have had severe restrictions placed on their movements and activities, we have seen even more enthusiasm about future travel not only from frequent travelers, but from those who didn’t have any plans pre-pandemic. A very large number of people have been actively researching and exploring new destinations to escape this new, and drastically different normal. Travevel is a platform that helps users plan now for travel later.
Q. Will COVID-19 change the future of travel even after a vaccine? What are the positives and negatives that will come out of this for the travel industry?
A. Based on the dramatic increase in activity we have seen in the last few months as more destinations started to open, I feel the only thing that will prevent a return to normal levels next year will be limitations on air transportation and rolling travel restrictions across the globe. Being shut in for so long has certainly seemed to increase interest in travel and new experiences, which should greatly benefit the industry. The main negative long-term will be transportation and occupancy based. It may take some time to see the effects of reduced airline routes combined with destinations operating a reduced occupancy. Unfortunately, at least in the short-term, employees will bear the brunt of these decreases.
Q. What are some destinations you recommend right now for Americans based on COVID-19 restrictions and protocols and all the headwinds associated with them.
A. While it is difficult to put together a list, there are so many amazing National parks and outdoors destinations close to home, no matter where you live. Internationally we have been very impressed with the protocols and restrictions imposed by Jamaica since the country reopened in July. Requiring a negative COVID test, designating a tourism corridor and mandatory masking in public areas have been very effective, and to date, they haven’t had any cases by guests or staff at resorts. We have visited four times since July and have always felt safe. Many countries are now reopening to tourism with a wide range of protocols in place from Mexico with no testing or authorization required, to others where a negative test is required as little as 48 hours prior to arrival in addition to travel authorizations, mandatory insurance. From our personal viewpoint, we prefer to travel to an area with well thought out, and in some cases, challenging safety protocols. These are interesting times for travel and we strongly encourage others to visit destinations that make you feel safe and comfortable based on your personal situation.
Q. What will travel look like in 2021?
A. There is certainly no shortage of people wanting to get away. The struggle will be finding available space in both transportation and lodging because of reduced routes and capacity. These transportations challenges could very well lead to a dramatic increase in weekend trips to parks, beaches and other outdoor attractions close to home.
Q. Any tips for travelers in 2021 and beyond?
A. Be flexible, be patient, and be understanding. The entire world has changed and everyone is still figuring things out.