Philadelphia entrepreneurs launch ‘Saltete’ travel guide platform

As journey picks again up, a Philly married couple is rethinking how to make it simpler for folks to examine areas close to the world — beginning with their have metropolis.

Regan Fletcher Stephens, a freelance vacation writer, and Eric Stephens, a solution manager and entrepreneur, have introduced a a single-of-a-sort publishing platform known as Saltete, a market for writers to make and sell niche, digital travel guides. The 1st one particular up is about Philadelphia, available for $19.

“My goal — our aim! — is to democratize, and give writers from anyplace, all over the earth, a system to share their abilities, fantastic composing, and ideal suggestions,” Fletcher Stephens claimed.

“In the very last just about two decades doing the job, very first as a picture editor and then as a author, I undoubtedly understand that it’s hard to crack into this marketplace,” she additional. “Especially as a man or woman, like me, who couldn’t find the money for to do an unpaid internship at a journal in NYC or a thing identical.”

COVID took a large chunk out of the travel market, and freelance writers observed alternatives dry up. Now vacation is bouncing back again, with TSA checkpoint volumes matching or exceeding prepandemic numbers.

The concept to leverage that with a new on the net system arrived to Stephens in the center of the night time, he mentioned. He has experience with this type of point. In 2008 he established, which permits beer fans to locate their faves nearby, and bar owners to advertise their alternatives

“Eric is constantly at the forefront of the tech field,” Fletcher Stephens stated.

Saltete is also totally self-funded and independent, according to the few. Its development was doable in element mainly because they moved again to Philadelphia from Brooklyn six many years in the past, Fletcher Stephens explained: “We were being type of stunned by how robust and lively the tech and artistic community is right here — it’s awesome.”

Philly is an excellent spot to start this style of organization since it presents a fantastic balance of opportunity to quality of everyday living, mentioned Alex Hillman, associate and director of strategy at 10k Independents Project, a collective that “aims to get 10,000 independent employees to the point of sustainability,” for every its web site.

“I like the components of Philly’s business lifestyle that are about assistance and group. It tends to be a lot more about fixing issues than ‘changing the globe,’” Hillman claimed.

Saltete guides are interactive

Optimized for cellular devices and outfitted with GPS

To make Saltete — the title is a mix of the words and phrases “salt” and “été,” which usually means “summer” in French — the Stephenses took inspiration from national successes like Substack, and solicited area information from spouse-and-wife style and design studio Smith & Diction, found in the Bok Building.

In its place of a membership-based platform, they decided to offer particular person journey guides for a one-time order. Not like printed guidebooks or downloadable PDFs, having said that, Saltete guides are interactive.

Optimized for cell units and outfitted with GPS, the system allows you click on any area of a guidebook to discover recommended eateries, parks, and museums. It also demonstrates them on a map, letting you get a better grasp of the length from 1 activity to yet another.

The system aims to make factors much easier for writers way too, supplying them the power to monetize their words and phrases.

“Regan and I have experienced so numerous conversations more than the many years about distinct CMS and publishing tools she’s utilized, and how irritating some of them can be,” Stephens stated. “It’s been so enjoyable to have a environmentally friendly-discipline possibility to generate one particular from scratch … and seriously think by way of how we can make the workflows as enjoyable to use as possible.”

Highlighted on the site suitable now is “A Information to Going to Philadelphia with Youngsters,” by Fletcher Stephens herself.

Motivated by the Delco native’s knowledge introducing Philly to her three youthful daughters, it consists of subsections like “What to See and Do” and “Advice From Area Mothers and fathers We Love” in addition to 160 recommendations from Fletcher Stephens herself.

The guides include tips sourced from people living in the destination city

The guideline clues tourists in on every little thing from small-regarded inexperienced spaces, to how to navigate vacationer locations in Previous Town, and exactly where to go for a working day journey outside the house the town.

There’s also an itinerary area, with choices which include “Historic Philly” and “Rittenhouse and the Schuylkill River Path,” full with stage-by-move activities, sights, and food stuff spots, all with hours of operation and going for walks distances shown.

The likely of Saltete is endless, the pair reported, with writers from around the state and earth finding prepared to share their encounters and recommendations on the platform.

They are also just thrilled with the chance to collaborate, Fletcher Stephens added. “I just feel truly enthusiastic that we get to function collectively on a little something that attracts on each individual of our respective experience and encounters.”