As our ever-changing world reminds us to expect the unexpected, more people are looking to make their travel experiences count – from personal growth to healing and connecting with the environment, We Love Transformational Travel, a booking platform for transformational trips, is helping travellers do exactly that. CT talks to founder, Niamh Keohan.
Connecting Travel: What’s the business model for We Love Transformational Travel?
Niamh Keohan: The idea was born in 2018 upon the realisation that people wanted more from their travels. There wasn’t a booking platform to find the variety of options available to consumers, so we launched the business in 2019. The business model is pretty much a win-win situation.
“There is zero cost to be featured on our platform”
Our travel sellers, or ‘Transformers’, as we like to call them, get a dedicated page for their trip, and all the benefits of our PR and marketing activities. When – and only when – we drive bookings, we get a small reward of 12% for our PR and marketing efforts, bearing in mind that these are bookings they would not have got otherwise. In short, we invest in the marketing, we promote the trips and we increase their bookings.
CT:How do travel sellers sign up with WLTT?
NK: To partner with us, travel sellers can easily contact us through our website, social media channels or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We then have a call with each potential ‘Transformer’ to make sure our understanding of transformational travel is aligned, and their trips or experiences offer our visitors the opportunity and tools to transform their lives, or the lives of the people or the world around them, in a positive way. The benefits of featuring their businesses on WLTT include increased awareness among their target market; inclusion in our global PR and marketing activities; valuable insights on transformational traveller behaviour and key analytics on their marketing content’s performance.
CT: How many travel sellers have signed up so far, and what are your plans and projections for year one?
NK: Since we’ve launched the platform, we’ve featured almost 60 transformational trips, and projections are that we’ll reach over 200 by the end of the year. Having said that, our focus is not on the quantity but rather on the quality of the trips we feature. We need to ensure that we have the very best life-changing experiences available for travellers who visit our platform.
CT: What services do you offer these travellers?
NK: We’re not a travel agent. We’re an online booking platform, but our team is always there to support. There is an automated enquiry form for each trip, plus they can live chat to one of our team while they’re on the platform if they have any questions.
CT: What kind of transformational holidays are available via the platform?
NK: There are nine categories of trips: health and fitness; mind and spirituality; nature and adventure; learning and upskilling; creativity and self-expression; love and relationships; success and leadership; purpose and impact; and healing, addiction and trauma.
CT: And what kind of transformational holidays are trending right now?
NK: Currently, we’re seeing a lot of interest and enquiries about our health and fitness trips. The pandemic has made health a priority for many people over the past 18 months, not only to fight the virus, but to combat the development of unhealthy habits from long periods of lockdown. The majority of our travellers don’t know exactly what they’re looking for when they visit We Love Transformational Travel. They do know that they want to travel with more purpose, meaning and intent.
“Travellers come to us for inspiration and guidance on what trip could help them achieve some of their life goals”
CT: How will transformational travel develop in the future?
NK: Skift identified travel focused on personal fulfilment as one of its 2018 megatrends in their ‘The Rise of Transformative Travel’ report. But we believe transformational travel is the future for travel and not a trend. It has been brewing for a few years, and Covid-19 has made it more relevant than ever. The world has changed, and the pandemic has taught us that travel is no longer our right or something to take for granted. Travel will now require more meaningful planning and purpose.