Illinois Tourism & Travel

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Philadelphia entrepreneurs launch ‘Saltete’ travel guide platform

As vacation picks back up, a Philly married few is rethinking how to make it much easier for individuals to check out areas all over the globe — commencing with their have metropolis.

Regan Fletcher Stephens, a freelance vacation author, and Eric Stephens, a merchandise supervisor and entrepreneur, have released a 1-of-a-sort publishing system referred to as Saltete, a marketplace for writers to make and offer market, electronic vacation guides. The 1st one particular up is about Philadelphia, readily available for $19.

“My aim — our aim! — is to democratize, and give writers from everywhere, all in excess of the entire world, a platform to share their expertise, great writing, and ideal advice,” Fletcher Stephens explained.

“In the last just about two decades functioning, initial as a photo editor and then as a writer, I certainly have an understanding of that it’s difficult to split into this field,” she included. “Especially as a human being, like me, who couldn’t afford to do an unpaid internship at a magazine in NYC or one thing related.”

COVID took a massive bite out of the journey marketplace, and freelance writers saw alternatives dry up. Now journey is bouncing back, with TSA checkpoint volumes matching or exceeding prepandemic figures.

The concept to leverage that with a new on the web platform arrived to Stephens in the middle of the night time, he reported. He has experience with this variety of point. In 2008 he produced BeerMenus.com, which allows beer lovers to obtain their faves nearby, and bar entrepreneurs to promote their picks

“Eric is constantly at the forefront of the tech market,” Fletcher Stephens said.

Saltete is also completely self-funded and unbiased, according to the couple. Its creation was achievable in part because they moved back to Philadelphia from Brooklyn 6 many years back, Fletcher Stephens said: “We had been kind of amazed by how strong and vivid the tech and imaginative group is here — it is remarkable.”

Philly is an best spot to start this variety of enterprise for the reason that it features a very good harmony of prospect to good quality of lifestyle, said Alex Hillman, husband or wife and director of method at 10k Independents Challenge, a collective that “aims to get 10,000 unbiased workers to the issue of sustainability,” for every its internet site.

“I like the pieces of Philly’s organization lifestyle that are about provider and community. It tends to be a lot more about fixing complications than ‘changing the planet,’” Hillman said.

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Optimized for cell products and outfitted with GPS

To develop Saltete — the identify is a mix of the words “salt” and “été,” which usually means “summer” in French — the Stephenses took inspiration from nationwide successes like Substack, and solicited nearby advice from husband-and-spouse design studio Smith & Diction, located in the Bok Developing.

As an alternative of a membership-centered platform, they decided to supply individual vacation guides for a a single-time invest in. Not like printed guidebooks or downloadable PDFs, nevertheless, Saltete guides are interactive.

Optimized for cell equipment and outfitted with GPS, the platform allows you click on any segment of a tutorial to obtain advised eateries, parks, and museums. It also shows them on a map, allowing you get a far better grasp of the length from 1 exercise to yet another.

The system aims to make matters easier for writers also, giving them the electricity to monetize their text.

“Regan and I have had so many conversations in excess of the decades about various CMS and publishing instruments she’s applied, and how aggravating some of them can be,” Stephens stated. “It’s been so enjoyment to have a environmentally friendly-area opportunity to create a single from scratch … and seriously think by means of how we can make the workflows as pleasurable to use as feasible.”

Highlighted on the internet site ideal now is “A Information to Checking out Philadelphia with Young ones,” by Fletcher Stephens herself.

Influenced by the Delco native’s working experience introducing Philly to her three younger daughters, it consists of subsections like “What to See and Do” and “Advice From Nearby Moms and dads We Love” in addition to 160 recommendations from Fletcher Stephens herself.

The guides include tips sourced from people living in the destination city
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The guide clues vacationers in on every little thing from tiny-recognized environmentally friendly areas, to how to navigate tourist places in Previous Town, and where to go for a day excursion outdoors the town.

There’s also an itinerary area, with alternatives including “Historic Philly” and “Rittenhouse and the Schuylkill River Path,” comprehensive with stage-by-step activities, sights, and food items places, all with several hours of operation and walking distances listed.

The potential of Saltete is unlimited, the couple claimed, with writers from about the place and earth acquiring all set to share their ordeals and suggestions on the system.

They’re also just thrilled with the likelihood to collaborate, Fletcher Stephens extra. “I just experience seriously psyched that we get to perform collectively on something that draws on every single of our respective abilities and ordeals.”