You may not know his name, but Gil Antolin is the man behind the popular and viral Instagram account @luxuryworldtraveler, which has millions of fans worldwide!
Being the creator of the luxury travel Instagram account has its perks, and Gil has turned his passion for traveling into a successful entrepreneurial business. Each day Gil posts countless incredible photos from destinations around the world for people to view, like, tag a friend and comment on. And what’s even more exciting is that he has now partnered with various resorts, companies, and charity organizations to give people who could only dream of taking a vacation a chance to win and/or nominate a friend to see some of these outstanding and luxurious landmarks around the globe.
The Levity Ball caught up with Gil aka Mr. Luxury World Traveler in his hometown of sunny Los Angeles to find out more about becoming the first man to turn a passion into a overnight Instagram success story:
How did you come up with the concept and name of the Luxury World Traveler Instagram account?
Traveling the world is one of my biggest passions. I wanted to create an account on Instagram that was more structured then some of the other themed accounts were. I decided to create an account that someone like myself (fellow travelers) would enjoy. So I decided to feature a different region of the world for a month at a time and really highlight some of the unique places and activities specific to each of those different places. The name of the account was just a product of wanting to feature the luxurious and higher end hotels. Restaurants and activities that I believe everyone in the world someday hopes to be able to experience.
Why do you feel today’s society can’t stop looking and dreaming of the fabulous photographs of destinations you post?
Because I feel that dreaming and setting high goals to someday aspire to be wealthy or live a luxurious lifestyle is an inherit human quality that people around the world share. I believe everyone can see themselves inside the pictures and want to believe that someday they too can enjoy a similar experience. For seasoned travelers that follow my account, I believe I give them ideas and places to add to their bucket list.
You have given away dream trips via your account… How can someone win a trip themselves?
We have begun a process for giving away and including our Instagram followers in some of our luxurious vacations. We have a process now where we announce a competition via our Instagram account, and then our followers can nominate someone they feel deserving of an amazing luxury vacation. My staff and I then select 6 of the finalists and allow for our community to elect the winner via popular vote. We will be announcing the next trip very soon, and when the television show stars full time, and then it will be much more frequent.
Where has been your own personal favorite place to travel to?
That is a very difficult question to answer because I have appreciated so many different things about some of the different places I have visited. I would say Cozumel, Costa Rica, Abaco Island Bahamas, Spain and Uganda Africa have to be in the Top 5.
What do you feel makes a vacation “luxurious”?
I believe a luxurious vacation starts before you ever reach the airport. A true luxurious vacation starts with the ride to the airport in a luxury car and or limousine. Flying first class and or in a private airplane. Then being whisked away from the airport in another exotic or luxurious car and taken to an amazing Hotel or Resort. The levels of service you receive from each of these companies also enhance the luxury travel experience. Being able to partake in activities such as yachting, or helicopter rides, driving exotic cars. These all make a vacation luxurious and not just another average get away.
If you could travel the world with one celebrity, who is still alive, who would it be and why?
This one is easy. It would have to be Kobe Bryant. I am a basketball and Laker fanatic, and he is one of my all-time favorite athletes. I think it would be great to get some hang time, talk sports and reminisce about the good ole days when the Lakers were actually competitive.
How has your Instagram account turned into a full-time business for yourself? How do you profit off it?
Three months ago we partnered up with a luxury travel agency and have now started to assist people book vacations at some of the resorts that we feature. We also sell advertising space on our website and Instagram. So now we get paid to assist people in booking their travel. We also get paid to help promote these amazing companies in the luxury hospitality business.
What is your advice to others looking to capitalize on their own social media accounts?
I would say to create a themed page based around whatever passion you may have. Then follow others on Instagram that have those same passions or are in the same business. Contact them and begin to network and create relationships. Once you have a big enough following you will be able to begin to capitalize and profit from your page.
Where do you see yourself and your account in 5 years from now?
In 5 years from now I see Luxury World Traveler becoming one of the most recognizable luxury travel brands in the world. I believe the account will become a community of over 10,000,000 followers by then.
What do you want to be remembered for overall?
I want to be remembered for a couple of different of things. I would like the company to be remembered for being able to erase stigmas and stereotype about other places in the world. Most people have a certain pre conceived notion about another country or region, even though they have never visited it. One of the most gratifying parts of my job is seeing people write comments such as “I did not know that this country was this beautiful, or looked like this.” We are all citizens of the world and every country has beauty and beautiful places to visit. No one country should ever be perceived as superior to another or judged based on opinions and not firsthand knowledge. I believe this is something that can only truly be learned by being well traveled, and visiting and experiencing new places personally. This is why enjoy traveling so much, because I always meet others that can appreciate and understand this fact.