Tuesday, 24 April 2012
MissTravel: New Online Dating Site Pairs Beautiful Women With Wealthy Men For Travel
Misstravel Who needs money? Beautiful people travel free. No, Samantha Brick has not written another Daily Mail article on the perks (and pitfalls) of being so attractive. Instead, that's the motto of MissTravel, a new dating website that pairs wealthy, worldly men with beautiful women who want to explore exciting destinations but lack the means. The site breaks members down into two groups: those who are "attractive" and those who are "generous" (there is no third category for women who are good-looking and wealthy, so if you're both, you may be out of luck). The raspy voice behind the promotional video promises women they can stay at five-star resorts, experience fine dining and 'do the fun things travelers do' all for free. The only requirement to make you eligible to find a "travel buddy" is that you be attractive (accounts are subject to approval following photo evaluations). As for who's footing the bill for these trips, the site says they have thousands of doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs and profession-uncategorized millionaires. MissTravel also features an incentive system whereby generous members can gift the attractive members frequent flyer points that they can redeem for airline tickets and hotel rooms. So despite the fact that the site purports itself as just another online dating service looking to help singles find love, as Jezebel points out, the reward they advertise for a woman who travels with rich men enough is eventually getting to travel on her own. "It's like one of those sugar daddy websites, only with a jaunty globetrotting theme," Lindy West, author of the Jezebel post wrote. "It's the Explorers Club meets Ashley Madison. (Do you like your Sherpa guide, but just wish he had bigger boobs and less interest in you as a person?)" It's easy to see how one might start making comparisons to sites like Seeking Arrangements, which matches young women (some of whom are looking to pay for college) with older men willing to provide them a comfortable lifestyle in exchange for companionship, a potentially vague notion. It gets even easier to make such comparisons when reading MissTravel's about our founder section which confirms that the man behind it and the man behind Seeking Arrangements, Seeking Millionaires and What's Your Price -- all sites accused of sounding a lot like legalized prostitution -- are one in the same. Even the sites' users have admitted the lines can get a bit blurry at times: in 2009, one Seeking Arrangements user told the New York Times that with her sugar daddy, “I don’t feel like a prostitute, though maybe I am." Lest anyone get the wrong idea about what traveling with a generous companion might imply or entail for the women, MissTravel attempts to preempt concerns about impropriety with a no-smoking'esque we-don't-welcome-escorts sign. "Our members expect to find genuine profiles, with genuine opportunities to fall in love and enter into a relationship," the disclaimer reads. "We understand that every member has a different motivation for joining this site, but we do not support any members who are registering as escorts. This is not an escort site, nor will we permit any type of escorting on this site. MissTravel.com is strictly an online dating service for people who are looking for a travel partner." Still, the site is self-aware enough to warn users that despite its goal of helping travel enthusiasts find love, by nature, what it's proposing could end up being not so safe: one of their instructional steps is to "Use common sense."