In an exclusive interaction with Travel And Tour World, Saurav Chakraborty, Founder and CEO, Travel Buddy shares his views on how Travel Buddy is working in travel industry
Travel And Tour World: How does Travel Buddy select and onboard Local Influencers for their initiative, and what criteria do you consider when inviting influencers to join?
Saurav Chakraborty: Travel Buddy’s team identifies, selects, and brings on board local influencers through a well-structured influencer onboarding program. We source potential local influencers from multiple platforms, including Instagram, our proprietary app, and various other social media channels.
Our influencer selection process employs specific criteria to distinguish local influencers. This includes their presence and engagement on the Travel Buddy app, their ratings, and the duration of their activity on our platform. Based on these factors, we determine whether to include them in our local influencer program. In addition, we verify the identity of these influencers by collecting their Aadhar card, PAN card, or Social Security numbers. This ensures that they are genuine local influencers for our program.
Currently, we have more than 10,000 verified local influencers on our platform, representing over 150 cities across India.
Travel And Tour World: Can you provide more details about the types of unique local experiences that local influencers can offer to fellow travellers through Travel Buddy’s platform?
Saurav Chakraborty: Travel Buddy’s Experiences Marketplace is dedicated to providing travellers with genuine, locally-curated experiences in cities throughout India, and in the future, worldwide. These experiences are carefully selected and offered by authentic locals, including influencers and experts from each city.
Since these locals are deeply familiar with their cities, they can introduce travellers to off-the-beaten-path locations and the best activities, creating a highly personalized and curated experience. Some of the unique local experiences currently available include a one-of-a-kind Kashmir heritage walk that’s not offered by any other aggregator in India, as well as explorations of hidden lakes and temples in Gurgaon.
We offer exceptional, authentic experiences in Maharashtra and the Western Ghats, such as tree-related activities. For instance, in Mysore, we have a special program for Dasara and a Dandya program in Hyderabad, which are distinct from the typical offerings of travel package providers.
Travel And Tour World: What are some examples of the rewards and benefits that Local Influencers can earn through their participation in the Travel Buddy community? Are these rewards based on performance or engagement metrics?
Saurav Chakraborty: Local influencers receive a variety of rewards and benefits. This includes both financial compensation and other forms of recognition.
We provide monetary rewards to our local influencers for their efforts, such as organizing icebreakers, meetups, or experiences. In the case of experiences, we charge a platform fee and pass the remaining amount to the influencer.
Additionally, we actively promote the influencer and their experiences on our social media platforms, including Instagram, where we have a substantial following of over 50,000 followers.
Travel And Tour World: Could you elaborate on the ways in which Travel Buddy helps Local Influencers grow their visibility and expertise? What specific learning sessions and support mechanisms are available to them?
Saurav Chakraborty: Travel Buddy functions as a specialized social media network, boasting a user base of over 2.75 million travellers.
Within this thriving community, local influencers gain significant visibility on the social feed, leveraging this exposure to cultivate their personal brand. Crucially, the influence they wield doesn’t just translate to mere views but actual earnings, as they pursue their passion. Ultimately, Travel Buddy’s core mission revolves around empowering individuals to profit from their passions. Presently in India, there exists a sizable pool of 10 million-plus content creators, yet a mere 0.19% of them manage to generate any form of income.
Those who do earn revenue typically secure an average of 16,000 to 20,000 per month. Travel Buddy’s overarching vision involves establishing a platform for these local influencers to seamlessly share their distinctive experiences, enabling platform users to participate in these experiences and earn substantially from them.