Is travel the next big wave? Predictions aside I’d like relate travel to entrepreneurship. Both are liberating, both give you that sense of freedom. And probably this is the reason why we’re seeing a growth in the number of travel startups. India is a huge travel market, and has infinite experiences to offer in its fold. And to help you to get a good taste of the experiences out there, many entrepreneurs are going high on travel.
Founded by three travel enthusiats, Travspire is travel site that offers memorable travel experiences within India. From camping in the forests of Periyar led by rehabilitated poachers to Kerala home cooking, there is a variety for travellers to choose from on Travspire.
Founders Arjun Bhat, Ami Naik and Satya Tammareddy,all come from different backgrounds. Arjun was born and brought up in the coastal town of Udupi and later moved to Bangalore to work with Synopsis. Ami chanced to meet Arjun through their common passion for travel and that sparked the initial idea for Travspire while she was with Elevar in 2010. When Ami went to do her MBA from Wharton, she met Satya who also came onboard.
Their aim is to get people to experience the local nuances of a place. “There is generally a very high emphasis on the accommodation part of a trip, we want to shift that to activities and the cultural angle with Travspire,” says Arjun. There are other players in the space like India Untravelled and Tushky who exist in the travel experiences space but given the large number of experiences that India has to offer, there is space for more.
Travspire is targeting the international market along with the local audience. It currently has only nine experiences on the portal but Arjun says they want to be really sure about every experience they add on to the site, which according to him will be about 5-6 every month. Currently in the beta mode, the experiences they offer can be customised as per the budgets of the traveller.
Completely bootstrapped, most of their marketing has been through referrals and they have seen the maximum demand for the Kerala Kalaripayyatu experience. For an experience, Travspire requires a minimum of 2 people and this batch size can go up to 8. They have been operational for close to eight months and have delivered more than 60 experiences (an average of two a week).
A young startup just off the line, Travspire has a good market to tap into, but will have to differentiate itself in terms of the value proposition they are providing which may not be in line with what a conventional traveller seeks.
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