The former commercial director of both Travel Republic and Loveholidays is aiming to transform the adventure travel sector with a new online agency.
Chris Roche, who has spent the past decade at board level of two of the fastest-growing OTAs, both of which completed buyouts, has launched The Adventure People.
And he is looking for “an A-Team of travel agents” with experience in the adventure sector to join the business, to work either from its offices or from home.
The site aggregates adventure operators on one platform, focusing on local, boutique and independent operators worldwide.
Roche says the site allows customers to “easily find and book” adventure holidays without spending hours browsing lots of websites. It currently features more than 40 suppliers, with “hundreds” waiting to be loaded, offering more than 5,000 adventures.
The Adventure People recently attracted £500,000 in funding from eight ‘angel investors’, seven from outside the travel industry and one from within, Wendy Wu Tours founder Wendy Wu.
Roche and the site’s co-founder, former Travel Republic chief technology officer Andrew Pery, have used the money to build the “unique search engine”.
Roche said: “Customers can create bespoke searches by choosing multiple elements, such as several countries. Or, they may just search for trips in April 2019 for between £500 and £999 in Asia which include trekking, for example.”
The company will be investing heavily in video marketing, including setting up a YouTube channel and building a filming studio at its Brixton office.
“We want to create a community of adventure people,” said Roche. “This starts with our team all being front of house [on screen]. It’s a kickback against artificial intelligence. People in this growing sector want to speak to and be inspired by like-minded people.”