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Travel Industry Mavericks – Out of this world – selfies from space with Spelfie CEO Chris Newlands.

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Travel Industry Mavericks – Out of this world – selfies from space with Spelfie CEO Chris Newlands.


In today’s episode of the Travel Industry Mavericks, Peter Syme, Christian Watts chats with Chris Newlands about his unique business model and the journey that led to the creation of spelfie.com.

We discuss how COVID has changed Chris’s business landscape and the challenges of bringing brands, events, and partners together. We discuss how Spelfie works, the unique benefits brands get when partnering with them at events, and how Spelfie can work for destination cities and in-destination supply partners.

Chris highlights the first socially distanced event for Spelfie and how real-time opportunities can evolve the business’s offering. We also discuss how satellite technology is evolving, both in terms of quality and capacity, the many possible new avenues it will give travel partners, and what Spelfie will be doing in the future.

More About Chris Newlands of Spelfie.

Chris Newlands is an award-winning CEO, Founder, keynote speaker, and one of the most connected entrepreneurs in the travel and technology sectors. Following his service in the Royal Navy, he spent more than 30 years as a Chartered Financial Planner.

He is a member of the Presidents 1783 Network and the Institute of Directors.  He is the CEO and Founder of Spelfie, an experiential hyper-targeted marketing tool that creates a selfie from space for a unique and personal shareable memento of an experience.

This week on the Travel Industry Mavericks Show presented by Tourpreneur – the podcast for tour operators:

  • Chris’ background and the inspiration behind spelfie.com
  • How COVID has affected Chris’ business
  • How spelfie connects a satellite photo to a users selfie
  • The challenges of bringing brands, events, and partners together
  • The unique benefits for brands when working with spelfie
  • Why you can’t use drones to create the spelfie effect
  • The cost comparison of using spelfie for branding compared to other options
  • How spelfie is looking at in-destination supply opportunities
  • Possible new opportunities for spelfie in destination cities
  • How brands can engage with users on spelfie to build relationships after events
  • The first socially distanced event spelfie did
  • Changes Chris foresees for the travel and event industry following COVID for end-users
  • The real-time opportunities that are coming to satellite photography applications
  • How satellite technology is moving forward and how that will change the way we use them
  • Where spelfie will be in three years

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “The ability to do something that you can capture the people at the event and allow people to participate remotely, we think, is going to be a real value.” – Chris Newlands
  • “We bring a kind of consumer fun element to satellite imagery.” – Chris Newlands
  • “The need for a change of scenery and to capture other experiences and cultures will still drive people.” – Chris Newlands

Connect with Spelfie and Chris Newlands

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is kindly sponsored by Checkfront

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The Travel Industry Mavericks on the Tourpreneur Podcast

Who are the Travel Industry Mavericks?

Travel Industry Mavericks Peter Syme

Peter Syme is the Managing Director of 1000 Mile Journeys and is obsessed with adventure travel, having visited more than 120 countries himself. He splits his time between being the Owner/Operator of several small niche adventure travel companies and helping startups as a strategic advisor. He is also a well-known conference speaker, recently speaking in the UK, Germany, Morocco, and the USA.

Connect with Peter Syme:

Christian Watts -Travel Industry Mavericks

Christian Watts is the Founder of Magpie Travel, a SaaS company that focuses on content management for the tour and activities sectors. Best known as the Founder and CEO of City Sightseeing San Francisco, Christian came from the north of England and was one of the early adopters of web-based distribution strategies. He has a BA Hons in Economics and Management from the University of Leeds.

Connect with Christian Watts:

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Tourpreneur. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe to the show and leave a review. Be sure to share your favorite episodes on social media to help us reach more tour operators

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Contact Tourpreneur

Shane Whaley

Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.

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