Meet the Man Behind the First Local-Friendly Travel App in Jamaica – Travel Noire

Photo Credit: Travis Rhooms
Travis Rhooms is a passionate software engineer who has ventured into the world of travel and tourism. Rhooms’s love for exploration and his desire to share the wonders of his home country with the world inspired him to develop the first local-friendly travel app in Jamaica tailored specifically to the island.
His background as a software engineer served as a solid foundation for his travel app venture. Although relatively new to the travel industry, his adventurous spirit has guided him through countless journeys around Jamaica, allowing him to experience its hidden gems firsthand. It is from these experiences and his enthusiasm for assisting others that the idea for the Island Destinations Jamaica App was born in 2021.
Rhooms spoke with Travel Noire about how he wanted to create a platform to showcase Jamaica’s best, from its stunning beaches to its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. With the Island Destinations Jamaica App, Rhooms hopes to inspire travelers to explore beyond the typical tourist destinations and discover the authentic beauty of the island.

Travel Noire: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in the travel industry? What inspired you to develop a travel app specifically for Jamaica?
Travis Rhooms: I am a software engineer by profession, and the inspiration for the app came from the love to travel around my country while sharing my experience with others. As for my experience in the travel industry, it is fairly new as I am just an adventurer and assist others to enjoy Jamaica.
Uma publicação compartilhada por Island Destinations Travel App (LLC) (@islanddestinationsja)

TN: What are the key features and functionalities of your travel app? How does it help tourists visiting Jamaica?
TR: It’s basically just a travel guide showcasing the places. Creating this mobile application provides weekend explorers with information about places from Morant Point to Negril Point. You can plan your trips around the locations on the app. The key features of my application are geopositioning, near me locations, booking and the ability to rate each destination a person visits. This helps tourists come to Jamaica by showing all that Jamaica has to offer and showing Jamaica for what it actually is. When you see the beauty of some of these places, it doesn’t even look like it’s in Jamaica, so go for it.
Uma publicação compartilhada por Travis Rhooms (@_travesio)
TN: What sets your travel app apart from other similar apps in the market? How does it provide a unique experience for users?
TR: Other travel apps and websites show the famous destinations, while the Island Destinations Jamaica App shows destinations that are not listed on any other app/website. I have traveled around the island myself and gathered all the information about these destinations. The app brings attention to some destinations that were not getting any traction, and this helps their business to grow, which in turn boosts the economy. I have partnered with some of the small businesses to list on the app and put packages on the app for booking.
Uma publicação compartilhada por Travis Rhooms (@_travesio)
TN: Could you share any success stories or positive feedback from users of your travel app? How has it impacted their travel experiences in Jamaica?
TR: With recent publicity from the press, I gained a lot of calls and messages for people to list on the app, which is seen as a success. Users really love using the app because it widens their scope of adventure, and with the geolocation feature, they can find these hidden gems with little to no hassle. There is a team member that goes around and keeps the information that is on the app accurate and relevant.

TN: Can you discuss any challenges you faced during the development of the app? Are there any plans to expand the app’s coverage to other destinations
TR: The biggest hurdle was financial to promote the app itself. However, I took on additional side projects to build other apps to finance the marketing budget. Now, I am looking to expand to other Caribbean islands and showcase all the Caribbean has to offer.

TN: Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or developers looking to create travel apps or technology solutions in the tourism sector?
TR: The advice I have to give is that, if you have an idea and have the capabilities to start this idea, do not hesitate or have any fear because you will find people that believe in you and will help even if it is just to motivate you.
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