“All the beauty of the world in your pocket.” Such is the promise of Laurence Foucher, founder of the startup Pathport, which publishes travel guides curated by Instagrammers.
An avid world-traveller, this 33 year-old Frenchwoman stumbled on Amble in 2014 while planning a trip. Created by Louis Vuitton, Amble takes advantage of social media by allowing users to follow stars on their travels, and to plan their own celebrity voyages. “I felt the potential”, Foucher confides.
Born in Limoges, Foucher rose through the ranks of Danone in Paris, but always dreamed of starting her own company. Discovering Amble was the inspiration she needed to begin to realize that dream. “I took two years to reflect, and to talk through the idea with many people.” She finally opened a blog, showcasing the world’s best travel sites through sourced Instagram photos. “I had an excellent response to the blog. Professionals from Fubiz media were seduced by my photos–except they’d all come from Instagram!”
In the same way that iTunes creates music playlists, Pathport creates playlists for travel. The idea is to lead users on a unique, yet assured journey. “We lose so much time preparing our travel plan with traditional guidebooks and resources. There’s too much general information to sift through.” And as travelers know, most of the lists found online, with “15 of the best sites in Venice” or “10 most photogenic spots in New Zealand” are out of date or impossible to manage in one trip. With Pathport, you can plan a complicated, multi-stop travel experience with a navigable flow. “We help you make the best choices.”
This Frenchwoman–who had always dreamed of living in the US–realized that dream on January 18th, 2017, the day that Pathport was officially founded in New York. Pathport currently offers around 50 guides, from destinations as wide-ranging as Paris, Singapore, and South Africa. Each guide–available as an E-book or PDF at $4.99 each–showcases 20 unique sites, with all the travel information necessary for easy travel planning. A link on the final page of each guide will allow the reader to download the Instagrammer’s complete itinerary directly onto Google Maps. “We guarantee the best experience to prepare your travel”, assures Foucher.
Pathport ‘Grammers were selected on the basis of their aesthetic, and their following. “I contacted 400. A quarter were interested, we interviewed half, and I chose 25.” Amongst them is the DC-based Danish photographer Bénédicte Reitzel-Nielsen, who has since become an official partner to Foucher: “She’s an experimental entrepreneur, and a star of the app. It will help us a lot in relating to our Instagrammers.”
2017 will be busy for Foucher and Reitzel-Nielsen, who plan to create hundreds of new guides. Their goal? To make Pathport the future of travel. We can’t wait to join them for the ride!