Sherpa, a new travel app that enables users to plan their trips and discover new places through the eyes of influencers, has launched on the Apple App Store. Based in Brooklyn NY, the app is a community-generated travel guide powered by photos from top Instagram photographers. Launching with 15,000 travel guides within the app and over 500,000 geo-tagged location photos curated from a select group of early adopters, Sherpa is reorganizing Instagram’s most beautiful travel content to connect people through authentic travel experiences.
“Today, everyone is to some degree, a travel influencer. Sherpa is allowing different styles of travel to emerge, whether you’re a backpacker, luxury traveler, adventurer or digital nomad. Sherpa is embracing all of that, allowing you to find people that you identify with most, browse albums based on the places they’ve been, and see a city through their eyes,” says Paul Aaron, Co-Founder and CEO.
The app reinvents the old-school travel guide by allowing users to scroll through a visual feed of shareable trip summaries. Instead of pouring through thousands of photos on Instagram for travel inspiration, users can explore the world on an engaging, minimalist and easy-to-use interface. “Sherpa wraps into an elegant little package all the inspiring travel content of Instagram in a way that helps you save, organize and plan your next trips all over the world. No more screen caps in a folder on your phone, or note books filled with scribbles,” says travel photographer Wesley Verhoeve.
The unique ability for Sherpa to surface visual content is reliant on the app’s algorithm. Sherpa leverages data from Wikipedia, FourSquare and Instagram to push the most highly-rated travel locations to the top of the feed. The algorithm also boosts destinations that users save to their profile, ensuring that users to see travel content that is relevant to their interests.
Working with over 2000 micro-influencers from 90 countries, Sherpa has 15,000 plus location-based albums in the beta version alone.
“Travel has this really important role to play in society in bridging cultural divides,” says Aaron, “and we will do everything we can to live up to this mission through the user experience. Whether it’s partnering with select users to do a revenue-share so that photographers can fund more trips, or collaborating with NGOs to raise awareness of a certain region’s needs, we are committed to the belief that the global travel industry can become a tool of enlightenment.”