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Steller acquires influencer marketing agency Travel Mindset, adds Microsoft veteran Rik van der Kooi to Board of Directors

Strategic additions bring new expertise and service offerings, expanding Steller’s ability to serve global and domestic tourism partners

KIRKLAND, WASH. – Steller, a platform that allows travelers to discover, connect and book based on experiences shared by their favorite creators, announced the acquisition of Travel Mindset, a leading travel-focused influencer marketing company, and the addition of Rik van der Kooi to the company’s Board of Directors.

“Steller is quickly becoming the go-to travel service for storytellers and experienced travelers alike. The acquisition of Travel Mindset is a great complement to that, and I look forward to supporting the team in scaling it to many more users and destinations.”

Influencer marketing is expected to be a $21.1 billion industry this year, and its importance in the travel sector is increasing, with as many as 84 percent of U.S. adults saying they use influencers as resources for travel recommendations. Tapping into this insight, Travel Mindset has been connecting influencers and brands in the travel space since 2012. The agency offers a full suite of services ranging from editorial, video and social media to event and campaign management. Its client base includes Fairmont Hotels, Celebrity Cruises, Under Armour and several state and national tourism boards.

As part of the acquisition, Harley Schachter, founder and CEO of Travel Mindset will join Steller as the company’s first Chief Revenue Officer. The expertise Steller gains through this acquisition is further bolstered by the addition of Rik van der Kooi to the company’s Board of Directors. Rik recently spent 11 years as the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Advertising, where he led the company’s global advertising business. During his tenure at Microsoft, Rik played a key role in multiple acquisitions and industry partnerships and grew Microsoft Advertising to a $10 billion business.

“The acquisition of Travel Mindset and the addition of Rik van der Kooi to our Board of Directors are two important milestones in Steller’s journey to connect inspiration to bookings. As travel picks up again in the wake of the pandemic, and as more people look to their favorite influencers when making travel decisions, we see a real need to evolve how destinations are discovered, planned and booked. We welcome Rik, Harley and the rest of the team at Travel Mindset as we continue deepening the value to our brand and travel partners, content creators and travelers alike.” said Pete Bryant, CEO, Steller.

“Influencers are becoming increasingly important in the travel booking process, with many boasting more engaged audiences than traditional publishers. By joining the Steller team, we’ll be able to offer our clients an expanded global reach through Steller’s distribution network, improve our existing services and help travel marketers drive new sales.” comments Harley Schachter, CEO, Travel Mindset / Chief Revenue Officer, Steller.

“Steller is quickly becoming the go-to travel service for storytellers and experienced travelers alike. The acquisition of Travel Mindset is a great complement to that, and I look forward to supporting the team in scaling it to many more users and destinations.” says Rik van der Kooi.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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