A new platform, Lovu, hopes to connect romance travelers with travel advisors when it launches this fall.
Lovu was founded by Shri Lildharrie, who recognized a need to link consumers directly with hotels and travel agents for romance travel after working at wedding website the Knot. While wedding-related websites give consumers a large amount of information on venues and destinations, he said, they don't help consumers plan their destination weddings or honeymoons in a personalized way.
"There's a viable solution here, and nobody's doing it," said Lildharrie, who also has experience in digital marketing technology. "I feel that I'm well-fitted to getting the job done."
Shri Lildharrie, founder of Lovu.
Lovu will either directly connect consumers with a hotel or with a travel advisor. Hotels and advisors will have profiles on the platform highlighting their properties or specialties. They pay an annual fee (though there is a "freemium" profile for hotels, Lildharrie said) to be on the platform.
Consumers can choose to book directly with a hotel, Lildharrie said.
They can also connect with a travel advisor on the platform, and LOVU hands off that potential client to the advisor.
If that consumer eventually comes back to the LOVU platform, perhaps for planning an anniversary trip, Lovu will notify that agent that their client is looking for travel again.
Right now, Lovu is limiting its platform to 100 travel advisors.
Those interested can benefit from an early "founding partners" rate of $450 per year, plus the first six months free. Their profiles will feature their top 10 destination specialties, five images, a biography, links to websites and social media and reviews. Founding partners will also enjoy virtual mastermind classes with Alan Berg, valued at $500. It is crowdsourcing funds via the website Indiegogo.
Lovu is seeking experienced travel advisors only. Agents must prove they meet at least four of the following criteria: CTC or CTIE accreditations from the Travel Institute; a certificate of completion from the Institute's destination wedding and honeymoon course; certification from the International Association of Destination Wedding Planners; Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association romance travel certification; membership in CLIA, ASTA, the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association, IATAN, TRUE or the ASTA Small Business Network; references from three suppliers; or acceptance to GTM East or West.