Travel Tech

TravelStarter is a global crowdfunding platform for big and small ideas exclusively in tourism with emphasis on stories, locations and rewards. By acting as a bridge between local communities and global travellers, TravelStarter enables project owners to source funds, market insights, and validation from their potential customers. After taking part in our Travel Disruptor's Pitch at ITB Berlin, we are pleased to share the news that TravelStarter have successfully launched the first US project on their platform - a bed and breakfast from San Diego. Within 5 days of launching the project on the platform, they have nearly reached 50% of the funding goal.

The First US Project Explained

Have you ever been working towards a goal, certain that you’re about to achieve it, only to find a huge obstacle suddenly placed in your path? That’s just what happened to Michelle and Kelly on their mission to transform one of San Diego’s most iconic buildings into a boutique B&B. After working at San Diego’s popular Banana Bungalow Hostel, Michelle Aftimos and Kelly O'Hara saw an opportunity to own their own business when the historic Dunaway building in the San Diego neighbourhood of Pacific Beach came on the market. The Dunaway building is one of Pacific Beach’s best known buildings, located just a few blocks from the beach. Michelle and Kelly’s dream was to breathe new life into the iconic building by turning it into a new and unique type of accommodation: a boutique B&B with the fun, friendly atmosphere of a backpacker hostel.

Just when they were about to open however, the City of San Diego informed them they needed to get several more permits than they already had. This meant hiring a lawyer, a building planner and an architect, creating huge costs in addition to those of the initial renovation work. That’s why they’ve turned to TravelStarter, a tourism crowdfunding platform that connects travellers and small business owners, helping the little guy win in the age of global travel.

To realize their dream, Michelle and Kelly need support from people that can make the opening of the Dunaway Bed & Breakfast possible by funding any amount from $5 upwards. There are as many reasons to support this project as there are rewards. See the full list here.

How does it work?

Tourism professionals all around the world work hard to realise their vision and dreams but funding is often the number one issue for projects not becoming a reality but remaining in the drawing book. TravelStarter is supporting local communities and small entrepreneurs to share their vision and stories and raise funding for their project. Crowdfunding has proven to be a successful way of funding projects, making it interesting for businesses or individuals to create projects and get their peers to help fund their dreams.

Starting the process is straightforward. A project needs to be created with the aim to raise the target funds, social networks and the wider web need to be engaged in order to get people to donate money in exchange for different rewards. TravelStarter is supporting big and small ideas in tourism from accommodation, food & beverage, travel, ecology & sustainability to adventure & activities.


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