Janet, UK (two TravelLocal trips thus far, to Costa Rica and India)
The travel industry is the wrong way round. That idea – all eight words of it – first came to us back in 2008. By then we had both worked in travel for a few years, had seen how many layers there were between travellers and their destination and how local knowledge and expertise were deliberately downplayed or hidden. The obvious solution was to turn our industry on its head, by connecting those same travellers straight to the best local travel companies we could find in each country.
When you cut all those layers out there are two major consequences: you get a better holiday, created by true experts based in your destination who know it in the finest detail. In turn those companies, run and staffed by local people, can expand and grow.
That win-win ethos is now central to everything we do and is at the heart of what we stand for.
In 2012 we launched the first TravelLocal website. In the early days it was just the two us, plus a group of old friends and contacts – local entrepreneurs based in about 20 countries worldwide. We hustled our way into some major publications – the Sunday Times, The Guardian, National Geographic – and we told everyone we could about what we were doing. We are proud to still have many customers that we remember from our earliest days.
Six years later we are in high growth, expansion mode. We feature in the national and international press weekly (rather than annually!), we have customers from more than 30 countries worldwide, a network of 46 amazing local partners and a brilliant, committed team here in Bristol. Where will the next few years take us? Join us, and find out.