An Interview with Drew Patterson, CEO of Jetsetter

Let’s get started right off the bat with the Jetsetter name and the audience.

Q. The name is great. It conjures up images of zipping off to some port on the other side of the world where crisp sheets and a tall drink are waiting for you.  So how does Jetsetter work and who is your customer?

A. Travel sites don’t do a good job of helping travelers decide where to go on their next vacation and travel magazines don’t offer a means to book the trips they feature.  Jetsetter is the first vacation site to combine these two worlds.  Like a travel magazine, Jetsetter inspires members to discover new destinations, hotels and experiences.  Then, Jetsetter provides a simple booking process so consumers can easily book that dream vacation.  

Our team of travel experts, known as curators, meet weekly to discuss in demand destinations and thoughtfully hand-select each participating hotel, villa, tour, yacht and cruise. Jetsetter correspondents, representing the world’s most experienced travel writers, visit the property and verify that the experience will exceed member expectations.  They also write a comprehensive review that includes recommendations for the best time to travel, where to eat, what to do, and how to get there. 

Jetsetter provides two booking options for members.  We feature 20-30 vacations on sale at prices up to 50% off in the flash section of the website.  These vacations are available for a limited time, typically 5-7 days, while availability lasts.  The new Jetsetter 24/7 collection features almost 400 hand-selected, verified hotels and resorts that are available at Jetsetter-exclusive pricing 365 days a year.  

Jetsetter members are savvy travelers and discerning pioneers, who want to discover new destinations, immerse themselves in a foreign culture, escape to an oceanfront villa, and be the first among their friends to stay at a stylish new hotel.  They are dedicated to finding value in the details such as excellent service, added value amenities, and insider tips. 

Q.  The imagery is rich.   Clearly that is to “whet the users whistle” as it were or was that decided upon for other reasons?

A. Travel is such a visual, personal experience and it’s a shame that travel sites display a small thumbnail shot of a hotel’s exterior and a few bullets of copy.  Like a travel magazine, Jetsetter is telling a story through editorial and photos.  Jetsetter’s team of photo editors demand-high resolution photography and thoughtfully choose the pictures that best represent the vacation’s amenities and accommodations because that’s what consumers need to make an informed decision.  Our new iPad app http://www.jetsetter.com/ipad takes photography to the next level with amazing 360 degree panoramic images that transport the user into the fabulous suites of the world’s best resorts and hotels.  

Q.  Jetsetter is part of the Gilt Groupe.  What is the relationship?  Is it different companies but related or is Jetsetter a product of Gilt?

A. Gilt incubated Jetsetter, which was hugely important as we were launching the business.  Their audience and brand provided credibility and a template as we were starting the company.  At the same time, travel is a pretty different product than fashion, and the Jetsetter effort has been focused on meeting the needs of affluent, sophisticated travelers, which is why we’ve built a sister brand and distinct product experience. 

Q.  What is your personal favorite location and hotel in the world?

A. An all-time favorite is tough, because there are so many amazing places to see in the world.  The short list would definitely include The Maidstone in East Hampton, which has a unique design for each their 17 rooms, and Bardessono, a relaxed spa in Yontsville, CA.

Q. How did you get involved with Jetsetter?

A. I met the Gilt founders at an industry function here in New York.  They told me that they were thinking of branching out into new verticals, and travel seemed like a perfect fit.  Before Jetsetter, the needs of the affluent, sophisticated traveler were not being met online, and the Gilt membership would be a platform to launch from.

Q. It’s 2014, Jetsetter is……

A. Working with Richard Branson on space travel.

Thank you very much Drew.  Anthidote readers can join Jetsetter here.

* Jetsetter is a member of the Gilt Groupe and is a private online community that provides members with insider access, expert knowledge, and exclusive deals on the world’s greatest vacations. All of the properties Jetsetter features are hand-selected by their team of globe-trotting correspondents, and sales last five to seven days. Jetsetter’s philosophy is that travel should be fun and easy — and that includes the planning part.

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