RepFest Creators Launch App and Digital Platform

The Bridge, a digital platform designed to continue to bring the travel industry together beyond the pandemic, has made its debut. Founded by industry insiders Andrew Finn and Dave Kartagener, The Bridge is an app (with a desktop version) that allows users from all corners of the travel industry to connect, collaborate and communicate. Features for travel advisors include a library of destination and product trainings, sample itineraries and trip reports; a directory of pre-vetted suppliers and industry partners; live daily news and industry updates; public chat forums to share thoughts, insights, advice, and recommendations; and private communication channels.

The Bridge App

The launch comes six weeks after a successful beta period, during which more than 100 travel advisors and suppliers used the platform and offered feedback and recommendations. More features and functionality will be introduced in the coming months.

Finn and Kartagener are the minds behind RepFest, a virtual travel festival that took place in October 2020 and April 2021. The festivals brought live travel programming over three days to more than 2,000 global industry professionals. The Bridge will utilize the same user-friendly platform that RepFest attendees loved.

Kartagener, who is also president of Kartagener Associates, a luxury travel representation company, said in a press announcement, “The feedback from RepFest was so positive and the energy was so infectious that we wanted to create a permanent channel to build on that sense of community. We chose today (October 28, 2021) to launch The Bridge because it’s the one-year anniversary of the first RepFest.”

Inclusion is one of the key pillars of The Bridge. Any advisor with an IATA number and a desire to learn and engage is welcome to join. Currently, the platform is free of charge to all who qualify. A subscription fee of $49 per year will be introduced in 2022.

Keeping with the idea of inclusion, The Bridge will not solely focus on the luxury market. While many suppliers on the platform will be five-star accommodations and service providers, the community will welcome additional vetted products that provide quality service and value, even if they are not five-star rated.

The co-founders believe that they have created a community for like-minded people to join hands and improve the way the industry works. The platform is meant to be a tool for the travel advisor that complements their existing partners and efforts. With so many resources available on The Bridge, there is something that can benefit everyone.

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