Manifest, an exclusive, chapter-based lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. paired with private plane service, announced that digital travel pioneer Richard Bangs has joined the company’s Board of Directors.
Often called “the father of modern adventure travel,” Bangs is a pioneer in digital media, travel, marketing and commerce, and an expert at building tourism sectors around the globe and has spent decades as an explorer and communicator, pioneering virtual expeditions online and leading first descents of 35 rivers around the world.
“We are thrilled to have Richard Bangs join Manifest’s Board of Directors,” said Manifest Founder and CEO Jeff Potter. “As a pioneer of adventure travel who has been an integral part of some of the industry’s most innovative brands, Richard’s leadership will ensure Manifest stays on track to become the leading experiential travel company in the U.S.”
In the early 1990s Bangs produced the first internet travel site, MT Sobek; the first travel CD ROM, The Adventure Disc; and the first virtual expeditions, Terra Quest. He was founder and editor-in-chief of Mungo Park, a pioneering Microsoft travel publishing effort, and part of the founding executive team of Expedia.com, serving as its Editor-at-Large. Bangs was creator and publisher of Expedia Travels Magazine (published in partnership with Ziff-Davis), and executive producer of Expedia Radio, and founder and executive director of Expedia Cafes. He also served as president of Outward Bound; founded Well-Traveled.com for Slate; and was founding editor and executive producer of Great Escapes, another Microsoft Travel initiative. He also ran and founded First and Best for MSN, and founded Sobek Expeditions, which in the early 1990s merged with Mountain Travel to become MT Sobek. Bangs has spent 30 years as an explorer and communicator, and along the way led first descents of 35 rivers around the globe, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa. He has published more than 1,000 magazine articles and 19 books and has produced a score of documentaries. Bangs is the recipient of numerous awards for his books and documentaries and won the Mark Dubois Lifetime Achievement Conservation Award in 2007.
“When first introduced to the Manifest story, I was immediately struck by its innovative model, and the opportunity to deliver unique, first-class travel experiences to an unserved market,” said Bangs. “As someone who has spent a lifetime exploring new and better ways to drink in life’s greatest adventures, I am thrilled to join the Manifest team as it redefines the experiential travel space.”
Bangs joins a best-in-class leadership team at Manifest that boasts over 150 years of collective experience in the aviation, technology and hospitality sectors, including Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air. Other recently added team members include Kelly Tompkins, who founded AdventureLink, the first-ever SaaS platform for booking multi-day tours, and LeisureLink, which pioneered the ability to book vacation rentals through major GDS and online travel services, and recently joined Manifest as Chief Product Officer; and Dan Cohn, VP of Business Strategy, who brings deep aviation experience to the table, including stints with Boyd Aviation Consulting, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines.
Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, chapter-based lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S., removing the hassle of typical travel by providing private plane service. Currently, Manifest has a wait list for its Denver chapter, with additional chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles Basin launching in Fall 2020 and more to follow. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.