Launches Widespread Beta Testing in New York City, Unlocking Travel for Overlooked Communities

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The digital travel assistant sets the goal of making travel safer, representative, and more accessible for diverse travelers.

Vanter is not here as a trend, we are built on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Vanter, a digital travel assistant making travel safer, representative, and more accessible for diverse communities, has announced its launch today in New York City. Founded by Tracey Hobbs and Lindsey Lerner, the app allows people from all walks of life to experience the world in an accessible way.

Tracey Hobbs, a tourism and hospitality professional and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, started the earliest iteration of Vanter as an Instagram page in 2018. Her goal, as a Black business owner and expert in DEI, is to bring inclusion and ease of travel to as many people as possible. “There is so much noise right now that it becomes a little challenging to determine who really supports the Black community and who is just doing it because it’s the cool thing to do and say for the moment.”

Hobbs was soon joined by Lindsey Lerner, an entrepreneur who had spent the better part of 2019 and 2020 managing music tours, and was involved in the “Van Life” community, where people from all over the country travel in their converted vans and RVs. “While people are still not traveling as much as they would like, because of the pandemic, we are working behind the scenes with business owners to ensure that they are ready for all an influx of customers to be coming into their establishments.”

The private beta version of Vanter launched in January 2021. Hobbs and Lerner anticipate a full launch to market this summer. The startup is looking to grow its user base, and move toward fundraising before the end of the year. The proprietary software will provide restaurant and route recommendations, places to stay, artists to connect with, and knowledge that travelers have a community around them, wherever they are. The app is welcoming more beta users to test it through the link on at this time.

The founders also highlight the importance of ease of travel, citing that many young travelers spend upwards of 40 hours planning longer trips, to ensure affordability and safety. Vanter would cut that planning time significantly, allowing travelers to have more time to enjoy their journey, by giving community members a space to rate and review destinations and establishments based on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and their ability to create a welcoming environment for all.

Hobbs adds, “Vanter is not here as a trend, we are built on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is something that’s integral to giving Black and other communities of color, women, those with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community the same kind of travel opportunities so many others enjoy.”

Vanter is a digital travel assistant based in New York City. Vanter is a female-founded mobile app with the goal of making travel safe, accessible, and easy for diverse and overlooked communities. By providing a digital space to connect with fellow travelers and find inclusive spaces, Vanter will change the way we travel.

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