It is every man’s dream to travel the world but not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time, money and energy to do it. That is why we simply rely on the power of social media for our travel inspirations and dreams that someday we’ll be able to visit our desired destinations.
The Internet these days seems like a treasure trove of travel destinations that are so beautiful, you may want to enter your computer screen to be in there. But that is not always the case. Just few years back, beautiful photos were only limited to professional photographers’ online portfolio. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one or two posted on social media. This became the inspiration of probably the most famous globetrotter today— Jeremy Jauncey.
His company Beautiful Destinations filled the void by tapping the online community to come up with the most beautiful collections of landscapes, cities, seascapes and attractions around the world. This initiative propelled him and his company to global stardom, making Beautiful Destinations the largest Instagram-based travel platform with 9.1 Million Followers and earning Mr. Jauncey the title the “Hottest Male Traveller” on Instagram. But after his first visit to the Philippines, we began noticing his sheer admiration to the beauty of the Philippines and the kindness of the Filipino people.
We are fortunate because we were able to secure an exclusive interview with Mr. Jeremy Jauncey to find out more about him, his company and why the Philippines easily became his favorite Beautiful Destination.
How did Beautiful Destinations begin?
A couple of years back while I was traveling for business, I felt like I didn’t have a go-to resource for travel research. There are a number of noteworthy travel publications that have dominated the market for years, but I felt like they didn’t resonate with me and my peers. I knew there was an opportunity here to fill this void. Since its rise, social media has always been an outlet to get my creative juices flowing. This, combined with my passion in seeking the beauty of the world, was my inspiration behind creating Beautiful Destinations. My vision was to make it the destination for travel inspiration and discovery while building a community of travel enthusiasts that would create, share and appreciate high-quality visual storytelling.
What’s the inspiration behind Beautiful Destinations?
Our company's inspiration has always been to celebrate the beauty of the world through the stories of people, places, and various cultures, and we would always refer to this whenever we go out and shoot content. At a time when the media is consistently telling us stories that have us bringing up walls, we seek to do the opposite and become a force for good.
Typically, what do you look for a specific destination for it to be considered beautiful?
All places in the world have unique stories to tell and that alone can be considered beautiful. But whenever we chose content that we feature on our social accounts, we select them using the #beautifuldestinations hashtag. Together with our social strategy and data science and analytics teams, we select images according to their colour, hue, brightness, scale, and sharpness.
What makes the Philippines a beautiful destination?
Aside from being naturally scenic, it's the people that makes the Philippines more beautiful. I remember, I was canyoneering my way down to Kawasan Falls in Cebu when we got to this huge pool and one of the shoes I was wearing fell off. I was walking barefoot and there were kids around five years old and 4 feet tall who came up to me, and they pointed to where my shoes were in the river and they pointed to my feet. Then they dove in, swam to the river, and they got my shoes back. This is very representative of Filipino culture.
Why did you choose the Philippines as your favorite among the countless beautiful destinations in the world?
Again, it's the people. The world is filled with wonderful places, but what makes a travel particularly memorable is whenever you look back at a particular instance and smile because you realize it was made possible by locals. And to me, that’s what Filipino tourism actually really means. Wherever we went, everyone smiles. Some of our followers we met even gave us presents and that's something we first experienced in the Philippines. When you’ve seen the place and you’ve been there, that was incredibly beautiful, but when you have genuine encounter with people, that makes things more memorable.
Beyond aesthetics, do you also connect with the locals? What have you done in the Philippines so far?
Connecting with locals wherever we go is a top priority in order for us to get good content. Locals can give you the best tips not all travellers would have the opportunity of having, so it's always better to connect to them, get their advice, and be friends in the process.
From the last time we worked with the DOT for their advertising campaign, I have been to the Philippines twice, mostly for business meetings. The last time I was there was in April where I was launched as the new brand ambassador for local clothing brand.
We’ve heard that you’re dating a Filipina, can you tell us more about her? Did she inspire you to fall in love more with the Philippines?
When I met my girlfriend, I was expecting her to give me her phone number, but she didn't. Instead she said, 'Here's my e-mail address!' So we started e-mailing. And I was just about to go to the Philippines two weeks later, and when I told her, she replied with an e-mail that was about four paragraphs long, detailing all the things that I should do here. She mentioned to me that she liked ube polvoron, and so when I got back and we had our first real date, I gave her a pack that I'd brought back. I'd say that yes - she's inspired me to fall in love more with the Philippines.
Any message to your millions of followers on why they should Choose Philippines as their next “Beautiful Destination”?
The Philippines' tourism tagline, "It's More Fun in the Philippines" is actually true to the core and we were there to experience it first-hand. Fun is all over the country and it's made possible by the genuine kindness of the Filipinos. Nothing can be more enjoyable than be in a beautiful country and feel secure because you can easily communicate and relate with the locals. This, I think, is why people should consider traveling to the Philippines.
Truly, more than the beautiful destinations, Jeremy proved to us that it is the warmth of the Filipino people that makes the Philippines a must-visit country.
For more awesome adventures, amazing discoveries and adventures around the Philippines "LIKE" Island Hopping Adventure Philippines (iHAP), "FOLLOW" @ihaptraveller on Instagram and "VISIT "us at www.ihaptravel.com
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