Longstanding travel blogger "Traveling Mitch" recently interviewed TRVL's founder Jochem Wijnands about how TRVL benefits the traveler community. "Jochem has created a platform that serves to empower the traveller, not swindle them. He wants to see the traveller have extra cash in their pocket to keep fuelling that trip, even if it comes at the expense of fuelling his company’s coffers."
I’ve met many movers and shakers in the travel industry, and Jochem Wijnands, the founder and CEO of TRVL, is certainly one of them.
Since I began seriously travelling, roughly ten years and eighty countries ago, a lot has changed in the way that we all travel. We now all quite literally have the world at our fingertips. For better or worse, long gone are the days of fumbling with bulky maps and booking hotels through happenstance and intuition. Now, we’ve got an endless stream of reviews to sift through for just about any form of accommodation. But, according to Jochem Wijnands, the traveller is rarely being put first.
From my conversation with him, I got the sense that Jochem is tired of that trend, and has created a platform that serves to empower the traveller, not swindle them. I got the sense that he wanted to see the traveller have extra cash in their pocket to keep fuelling that trip, even if it came at the expense of fuelling his company’s coffers. It was nice to chat to a founder who seemed so open and honest about his company’s intentions and ambitions.
I caught up with Jochem about a week ago to talk about TRVL’s approach to travel and how he got where he is today. We’ve attended several of the same conferences (including TBEX), and know many of the same folks, so it delightful to dive a little deeper with him here.
Just so you know - In very, very brief terms, TRVL allows you to earn money on your hotel bookings by paying you the commission that usually ends up in someone else’s pocket. They’re trying to shake up the industry.
Chris Mitchell: Firstly, Jochem, thanks so much for catching up with me, I really appreciate it. Can you start by telling everyone a bit about yourself, and your relation to TRVL?
Jochem Wijnands: I created TRVL to pursue traveler happiness. TRVL started in 2010 as a magazine for iPad out of frustration with travel magazines. I’ve been a travel writer and photographer and I knew first hand that magazines are paying more tribute to their advertisers than their readers. They make us see the world trough the eyes of tourism boards.
TRVL quickly grew to 2 million app installs and maintained a 5 star rating. We then created software to publish directly to mobile, which Apple acquired. We moved to California and started building Apple News. When that shipped, I quit my job to return to TRVL and turn it into a new type of travel booking platform.
Travel brands don’t really care about you and whether you have a great trip or not. They rush you into booking decisions and want you to stay in a hotel that offers them the best margin.
Chris Mitchell: I can appreciate that philosophy as a fellow traveller, for sure. So, what were you doing before TRVL, and how do you think that prepared you? If I’m not mistaken, you essentially created Apple News, which is no small feat!
Jochem Wijnands: I didn’t feel I was prepared at all, haha! But I have always been deeply involved in both traveling and publishing, and I have always been quick to tackle a problem and try to solve it. I think the two lessons I learned are... continue reading on Travelingmitch.com