Gil Antolin is the founder of Luxury World Traveler. His account, which has reached a staggering 2.2 million followers, is one of the most sought-after and talked-about accounts in the luxury travel segment on Instagram.
The best part? Antolin has built an entire businessand content channel on the one thing that he’s loved to do the most in his life — travel. Within a brief three-year period, he has managed to amass this enormous following while also launching Luxwt, a sister content channel to help handle some of the influx of advertising requests he’s been receiving.
Antolin tells me that he has about 40 Luxwt prime members that travel to destinations, all-expenses paid by upscale hotels and villa companies, with the promise to produce content that would be solely owned by Antolin’s Luxury World Traveler, while helping to promote the places in question on his feed. These prime members promise to produce a certain amount of content and share it on Instagram in exchange for the privilege of traveling and staying for free.
However, all things begin considered, I wondered how Antolin built such a large network on Instagram, and subsequently launched Luxwt in the process. What he tells me surprised me. Similar to Alex Jimenez, the founder of The Yacht Guy, another really popular travel profile that hasn’t quite hit the million-follower mark, it was a long-time coming.
Antolin spent a considerable amount of his time and resources searching for high-quality, high-definition photos of places he longed to visit. When he found out about the Maldives and its shimmering turquoise waters and white-sugary-sanded beaches replete with exotic palm groves, he was hooked.
Antolin spent hours on Sunday evenings and every opportunity he could get searching for the best travel photos he could source in order to post them throughout the upcoming week. He spent his time connecting with photographers and hotels for permission to use the photos, and in turn, built up a fairly-significant network in the process.
In the beginning, he wasn’t focused on doing this for business purposes. All Antolin wanted to do was share the best travel photos he could find. But when he started building some momentum and thousands upon thousands of people started following his account, that’s when he thought he might really have something here.
What started out as a passion project, turned into something that went far beyond his wildest dreams. Today, he tells me, he spends weeks and months at a time on the road, traveling and staying for free at the best destinations in the world, in the best hotels and suites that money can buy. He gets to travel in private jets, superyachts, ride around in exotic cars, and meet the who’s who in the world wherever he might be.
In the process, Antolin has not only created a business that could potentially be sold for millions of dollars, but he’s also amassed terabytes of exquisite photos and vides of the world’s best destinations for use in an upcoming project. However, it all started with his desire to spread value in the form of stunning photos and information about the world’s most highly-sought-after destinations.