The TRAVLR journey began with The Bali Bible. What was Bali’s go to guide, started by Simon & Lani te Hennepe in 2009 as PDF, quickly became one of the most trusted places online for Bali advice. Growing to a passionate following of 2m+ followers across social media and 10’s of millions of unique visits a year.
The Bali Bible revenue model was to rely on advertising revenue, or third party affiliate links and we quickly recognised there were a number of flaws with this approach…
Our business model was entirely reliant on third party social platforms where we built our brand and following to enable us to continue to access our audiences.
They owned the user and platform, and at any moment could reduce our organic reach to our followers. This actually occurred in 2017 where META dropped our reach to our followers from 100% to 3% overnight and we could only access our audiences if we paid. This has continued to reduce over the years and now represents < 0.025% organic access to our audiences.
The other flaw in the approach was we were creating high quality, inspirational content but our entire revenue model was reliant on farming our customers, who were primed to purchase, off to third parties via affiliate links or advertising banners sending consumers away from our site.
We may have got a small clip on the transaction if audiences booked immediately from that link, but we traditionally saw these bigger OTA’s re-marketing directly to the customers, replacing our cookies and tracking, meaning we never received the revenue from the sale we inspired on their site.
This was why we created TRAVLR - initially developed as a requirement for The Bali Bible, the leading destination and guide for Bali to have connectivity to the global travel industry, all within our ecosystem where we could have the ability to seamlessly engage audiences through a funnel to transaction, but also retain ownership of the user, develop a database of customers we could communicate to directly and the data and insights.
We rolled this out into TRAVLR in 2019 and saw a 21x increase in NET revenue from commissions, 23x increase in our email database and 18x increase in TTV within 18 months.
It worked, and The Bali Bible quickly became a content first, travel booking platform that could service consumers at every stage of the travel experience.
As we saw the effects of the platform, we recognised what we built for The Bali Bible had global application. There were hundreds, if not thousands of businesses including content creators, tourism businesses, media companies, or even smaller travel blogs who were in the same predicament we were in back in 2017.
TRAVLR could provide the platform as a white labelled offering, providing end-to-end customisation and global connectivity through one of the largest travel marketplaces on the planet - all seamlessly integrated into any of these industries' or partners existing ecosystems.
Over the course of the next few years we secured enterprise level partnerships with some of the largest media and publishing companies from around the world including Paramount, MTV, BBC.
In 2023 we opened up the platform to broader audiences including fintech, loyalty and influencer markets where the platform could be quickly adopted at a basic level, with the same level of customisation but extending access to our travel marketplace and the most remarkable travel products from around the world to an enormous network of potential creators and travel inspirer’s.
We strive to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the sector, and will continually evolve the technology we’ve developed over the last 5 years to focus on being at the forefront of changing the way consumers dream, plan and book their travel.