A new travel dating site has shunned aggressive user acquisition in favour of member safety, by choosing to manually verify every new profile.
Launched last August, TravelHostDate.com offers its users the chance to meet likeminded people whilst travelling, or host those looking for someone to show them around.
After growing tired of worrying about his privacy on free dating sites, CEO and founder of TravelHostDate, Roberto D’Assisi, decided to set up his own website, where every profile has to be individually verified.
When we spoke to Roberto about why he did this, he said: “We decided to avoid user acquisition as many other sites do. The philosophy of THD is that we are a safe community of 100% real people.
“So we started with seven users and in a few months we reached 1,500 users from over 140 countries.
“We actually received more than 8,000 requests, but we strictly observe our verification policy: every active profile has been verified through one photo of the member holding the sign TravelHostDate. It means that we approve less than 20% of the requests we receive.”
For an account to be verified, each user is required to upload two pictures to their profile, and one must be of them holding a sign with “Travel Host Date” written on it.
Their members can also check the identities of other singles by using the site’s “flashcoms site messenger v7.0” videochat option, which lets users have a virtual first date.
The site is free of charge for female users, but male THD users must pay a membership fee to access all the site’s features.
The company said the premium membership is used to discourage “the lazy ones” and to deter potential scammers from the site.
And interestingly, unlike other dating sites, TravelHostDate doesn’t share any personal information of its users with search engines like Google.
Explaining this decision, D’Assisi said: “We think that search engines and social networks are often too intrusive in our life.
“Of course we are connected with all the major social networks, but we understand that a dating site needs more privacy than others: as dating sites users, we didn’t like the idea that our boss, ex-partner or whoever could see our dating profiles. And those sites never asked us to choose whether our profiles were public or not!
“TravelHostDate really cares about its members’ privacy, so we locked all the images that users upload on THD. By doing that, we renounced a lot of free advertisement and a significant amount of money.”
The dating company was founded by five friends, and has an international team from the Netherlands, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain, with eight employees working in its Bulgarian headquarters.
The site is currently live in over 140 countries, its biggest markets being Germany, Russia, UK, Italy, Ukraine, USA, Turkey, UAE, Mexico and Indonesia.
In addition to its matching and browsing features, the site also has guides to the top destinations in the world, including a section recommending top romantic destinations.
D’Assisi said the company plans to improve this side of the service over the next year, saying:
“In the next year we will enhance our tourist services, providing suggestions about the best restaurants, clubs and hotels in the most important cities, as well as directly booking flights and hotels at promotional rates.”
An app version of TravelHostDate is also set to be released at the beginning of 2016.
Check out the site here.