US: Global online booking platform Vegvisits, which connects travellers with vegan and vegetarian locals offering accommodations, has relaunched its website and is eyeing further expansion in the alternative travel market.
Founded in 2016 by vegan co-founders Linsey and Nicholas Minnella, Vegvisits is now active in more than 80 countries and has accumulated over 1,000 listings across its free-to-use site, although its operations were hit hard by the travel restrictions imposed from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now however, the startup is targeting taking on the mainstream booking platforms and online travel agencies [OTAs] by launching a brand new website and accelerating its growth plans to connect and inform the “entire vegan and vegetarian community”.
The platform works by inviting hosts around the world to list anything from rooms to entire homes, vacation properties, retreats and B&Bs for guests. From this, it hopes to make travelling seem easier and more comfortable for vegans and “veg-curious” travellers who have found difficulties finding suitable food when staying in more traditional accommodation on holidays previously, based on the personal experiences of the co-founders themselves.
Travellers have the option to search for accommodations at their desired destination, and use filters created to support their lifestyle to find the perfect place, such as being served a vegan breakfast or having access to a blender.
As well as receiving “valuable” vegan / vegetarian advice, guests will have the opportunity to exchange recipes, dishes and experiences with their hosts if they wish, and learn about the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants, produce markets, hiking trails and nature spots available.
Vegvisits also encourages plant-based eaters to share their lifestyle choices and hosts to include additional services in their profiles that they can offer to travellers in order to make the stay “memorable and life-changing”.
To be able to list on the Vegvisits platform, hosts are required to keep their homes free of meat and seafood, as in “the sights and smells of animal flesh”, for the entirety of a guest’s stay to bring them a sense of peace around their environment.
In recent years, more and more short-term booking platforms have launched that provide select and niche offerings to travellers who feel as if their travel needs are not being adequately met by the larger mainstream OTAs.
This includes sites that cater to “female only” renter members [e.g. Golightly], federal and military members and families [e.g. At Ease Rentals Corporation], the LGBTQ community [e.g. FabStayz and misterb&b], eco-conscious travellers [e.g. BecoStay], and many more traveller demographics.