Introducing our final Founder story for 2022 featuring Hailey Brown, Founder and CEO of Vacayit.
Vacayit is Australia’s first audio tourism platform, using storytelling to revolutionise travel for blind and low vision tourists.
Check out an audio-described version of the story and transcript below.
[00:06 – 01:20] Hailey Brown
All destinations around Australia should be using this platform so that they can cater to a wider range of people and at the end of the day just create better experiences.
With Vacayit you can pick up your phone and learn more about destinations near and far away. From navigating your way From navigating your way around the local coffee shop, to experiencing the Great Barrier Reef. You can be transported into an immersive audio experience.
I’m Hayley Brown and I’m the founder of Vacayit Vacay is Australia’s first audio storytelling platform, specifically catering for blind and low vision tourists. And we replace images with sound stories and history clips so that users can make informed and independent decisions. Feel the magic of the steam train travel from the moment you arrive as you inhale the smoky scent of steam billowing out of the vessel’s chimney and are greeted by the evocative sound of the train’s whistle.
I was actually presenting something to a competition for the World Tourism Forum Lucerne about two years ago now, and it was about a gap in the tourism industry. And so I was speaking to my friend Henry and he was telling me about some of the challenges that he had when he was traveling.
[01:24 – 01:48] Henry Macphillamy
The world is set up for sighted people in ways that don’t always work well for someone who is blind or visually impaired. So so when I travel, I don’t always know what the scenery is like. There’s a gap if imagery isn’t described and that can be a real challenge when you’re on holiday in a new environment and a new experience.
[01:48 – 02:30] Hailey Brown
So I went around and interviewed people all around the world and what I found was that this issue wasn’t isolated to just Henry. It was actually a very common story that I was hearing from everyone.
Our product is creating content with destination marketing organizations all around Australia at a local, regional, state and national level and what we do is actually take their preexisting stories and then our content editing team goes through and rewrites it to be engaging and captures all of our emotions instead of just the visuals. That’s what we’re trying to do is make those situations better and more engaging and more inclusive.
[02:31 – 02:46] Henry Macphillamy
Traveling is something that should be open to everyone. I’m really proud of what has been done so far and I’m really excited about the prospect of using the platform to change the way I experience new places.