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This social network and booking app for travelers was brainstormed by a Filipino teen

By Jerald Uy Published Oct 31, 2023 9:43 pm

How’s your travel vlog doing this long weekend?

If you live and breathe watching and creating hotel room tours online, now might be the perfect opportunity to hop on the newly launched app, Travereel, a Filipino-owned booking platform and vertical video social network for travelers.

Its chairman, Ricky Sy, is no stranger to the tech world as he also holds the role of president at smartphone company HONOR Philippines. Still, he attributes this business idea to his 15-year-old daughter, Maddigan, Travereel’s “chief influencer.” She nudged his technopreneur-dad to combine short video content with his accommodations company Selcouth’s booking platform.

“Gen Zs prefer instant gratification so all information should be available and clickable. Our travel decisions are influenced by social media, either from bloggers, actresses, and celebrities,” Maddigan said.

“Gen Z travelers use their smartphones for travel inspiration and research. The smartphone is the most important device for us when researching, talking (about), and canceling trends,” she added. “These were the key factors which were considered when conceptualizing Travereel.”

Travereel chairman Ricky Sy and his daughter, Travereel chief influencer Maddigan, who suggested making a travel booking app with short videos from users.

From the teenager’s idea, Selcouth toiled for a year for market research and product development with assistance from full-stack digital company Lizard Global. The current version of Travereel lets users post review videos of hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, and staycation spots. The seamless booking experience happens when you click the Book button on the reel.

Travereel also highlighted that content creators can earn affiliate commissions for bookings from their shared travel reels and vlogs.

At the moment, however, the Book button is only available for videos of hotels partnered with Selcouth. Users can still post videos of their vacation stay in establishments not yet linked with the app.

Travereel said it's targeting Gen Zs and millennials because they are the most-traveled generations. To encourage Gen Zs to travel despite having limited income, Travereel also partnered with Billease so they can pay for their bookings at a later date. Other flexible payment terms include options from Paymonggo, debit and credit cards, as well as digital wallets GCash and Maya.

Find off-the-beaten-path attractions, local eateries, and cultural experiences with Travereel's curated recommendations and user-generated content.

“Travereel was born out of a passion for exploring the world and the belief that travel should be accessible, personalized, and unforgettable for everyone,” said Debbie Nebaya, chief executive officer of Travereel.

“Our team has poured their hearts into creating this app, and we are thrilled to bring this vision to life and empower travelers to embark on journeys that leave a lasting imprint on their hearts,” she added.

Available for download from Google Play and the App Store, Travereel aims to have one million users by the end of 2024. It is also making registering and logging in much easier by linking it either with your Google account or Facebook account.

The company added it has an outsourced 24/7 customer service. Travereel also plans to add features for booking flights and experiences such as tours, concerts, and pop culture conventions. It will also include chat messaging for those traveling in groups.