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[Herald Interview] DayTrip introduces ‘hidden gems’ with curated travel app

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : May 17, 2023 - 16:07

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DayTrip co-CEOs Lee Ji-eun (left) and Yoon Seok-jun pose for a picture during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Friday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald) DayTrip co-CEOs Lee Ji-eun (left) and Yoon Seok-jun pose for a picture during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Friday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Purchasing a package holiday can be a convenient option for travelers but may not be the ideal choice for people who dislike ticking off a list of famous tourist spots and attractions.

Founded as a startup in 2020, DayTrip is an app that aims to provide well-curated and eye-catching travel content not provided by more conventional travel companies and platforms.

“We started (DayTrip) during the COVID-19 pandemic, (which) was a very difficult time for us to make a travel platform,” DayTrip co-CEO Lee Ji-eun told The Korea Herald in a recent interview. Lee, however, said that she and co-CEO Yoon Seok-jun believed that demand for travel would significantly increase after the pandemic.

DayTrip’s goal is to introduce its users to “hidden gems” that perhaps only locals would know. To offer such localized choices for travelers, DayTrip works with a number of experts in different fields.

“DayTrip provides personalized and carefully curated recommendations for travelers, ensuring they have the best possible experience while exploring new destinations. Our unique approach involves partnering with more than 200 city experts and content creators from 11 countries and various fields such as architecture, photography and design to curate hidden gems for our users,” Lee said.

Many of DayTrips "curators" are travel influencers "who have 200,000-300,000 followers (on social media platforms)," said co-CEO Yoon.

With its partners, DayTrip introduces overlooked travel spots and has gained over 400,000 followers on its Instagram page.

DayTrip has also collaborated with the Seoul city government and the Korea Tourism Organization to help them promote locations that would appeal to the growing number of inbound travelers to Korea.

Big brands have also worked with DayTrip to promote their offline venues, including Samsung Electronics, Burberry, Volkswagen, Stella Artois, Hyundai Motor, BMW and Marriott International.

While DayTrip has mainly been focusing on showcasing new spots in Korea, the startup is now setting its sights on the global market.

The co-CEOs said the company will increase its curated travel content for travelers headed to overseas cities, such as New York, London and Paris.

“The travel destinations on the app were mainly in South Korea, but the company began increasing the amount of content involving overseas travel locations since late last year," Yoon said.

“Another important aspect is finding and working with thought leaders who have different backgrounds and tastes, which will appeal to like-minded customers."