In 2007, a group of nine entrepreneurs decided to travel the world in a single engine Pilatus PC-12 propeller plane. Why? Because they could. A mantra that has also inspired a generation of fellow holiday makers, city breakers, travellers and nomads — from all walks of life — to grab their opportunity to explore more places in one lifetime than has ever previously been possible. And yet, what the crew couldn’t do was find a reliable source of authentic and trustworthy information online, to help plan their trip and decide on the next destination. In addition, they found nowhere to store the information and numerous recommendations they did have.
Fast forward more than a decade and the same problems still apply. The online travel industry is positively booming, predicted to reach a worth of almost $818bn by 2020.* So, how has it remained so unreliable? Hotels that fall short of their online ratings, five-star day trips that take all of 30 minutes, phoney advertising… the travel industry’s online ecosystem is broken, aligned in favour of only the largest corporations — which the crew of ‘Smiling Flyer’ set out to fix.
Contrary to the industry, the online travel community is stronger than ever; but what tools are available to collate travel destinations, inspirations, itineraries and reviews in one place; and what platform is there to share recommendations of truly great locations and experiences with others?
The rise of Instagram and the opportunity to blog about our experiences have provided a taster of what could be. Yet, for all the information now at our fingertips, it’s completely dispersed — and the industry is monopolised — so that there’s no way it can be easily saved, stored and shared from sources we can trust (our friends, or friends’ friends, preferred news sites or favourite influencers).
The Vado app is being created to address all of these things. It stemmed from the founders’ desire, as travellers, to create a place for indulging our intrigue about the world; to manage all the amazing destinations we see and want to add to our bucket list; to plan our next adventure; and to help inspire others to plan theirs. But the opportunities don’t stop there. As a place to store, organise, and share all kinds of locations, Vado opens the doors to a myriad of possibilities to help people — the stakeholders — make the most of their surroundings. You can save a boutique store to share with friends, create a list of restaurant locations to send to your partner, or put together a trip of local attractions to help an out-of-towner.
But isn’t this all too good to be true? What’s the business opportunity? And how can people be encouraged to get involved? It’s something we, at Vado, will be going into more detail about as this series progresses; but the really exciting opportunity here will come from the use of blockchain technology. This will form the basis of a unique reward scheme for users, while for merchants it will provide a data-driven advertising opportunity to reach audiences directly, free from the middleman.
Vado’s story is just beginning but the opportunities are endless. Follow our journey and don’t miss our next blog post for the latest insights on the app’s development. You can also be a part our growing community on Instagram (@vadoapp), Facebook and Twitter. Send us your thoughts or questions — we’d love to hear from you.