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TravelLocal, the ‘buy local’ expert in tailor-made holidays

8 February, 2017

TravelLocal is an innovative travel company, all about bespoke travel… with a difference. Why book with a tour operator at home – based thousands of miles from your holiday destination – when you can now safely go direct?

TravelLocal empowers travellers to create their own perfectly-tailored holidays by connecting them directly with carefully-selected, tried-and-tested local travel experts in destinations around the world. There’s also important added value and back-up from TravelLocal, in the form of both financial protection via ABTA and careful vetting of these experts by its Bristol-based team.

Understanding Earthquake

What exactly is TravelLocal’s innovative concept?

  • Thousands of unique and exciting holiday ideas to create the perfect holiday with expert, on the spot advice.
  • Control is in the hands of the holidaymaker, who is put in touch direct with trusted and carefully-vetted travel companies whose teams live and work in the 40-plus long-haul destinations worldwide featured by TravelLocal. (More destinations will follow soon.)
  • The new concept delivers authentic experiences which chime exactly with the holidaymaker’s personal likes and wishes (rather than a pre-set itinerary chosen by someone else).
  • This innovative approach delivers better value all round; TravelLocal’s ethos is to trade fairly with local suppliers rather than taking the lion’s share of the holiday cost.
  • While communication/trip planning is direct with local suppliers, TravelLocal is there in the background, keeping a watching brief, monitoring performance, providing financial protection via ABTA, assisting its local experts to showcase their original ideas on the secure TravelLocal website and, importantly, also marketing the overseas experts’ key ingredient – local knowledge – to a wider audience.
  • TravelLocal treats its suppliers across the world as joint partners, and ensures that more money goes directly into the local economy – due return for its partners’ all-important efforts and knowledge.

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TravelLocal was founded by Tom Stapleton and Huw Owen in 2012.  They met whilst working for a well-regarded specialist travel company, and have both also worked abroad in various destinations; they’ve seen the travel industry from both sides of the fence.

They came to regard local travel companies and local guides as the unsung heroes of the travel industry, and jointly came up with the concept of TravelLocal in an attempt to balance the travel business equation more fairly.

Joint MD of TravelLocal, Huw Owen, says: “It was a bit of a ‘penny drop’ moment when we first came up with the idea back in 2012. We genuinely believe that this is the future of our industry – booking locally and direct, thus providing a better experience for the client and a fairer deal for the local travel companies.

“Many travellers would like to book with a travel company in their chosen destination, but they don’t know which ones to trust and they rightly worry about transferring money abroad. TravelLocal solves this dilemma by carefully selecting top-notch local travel companies, by providing ABTA-backed financial protection for all bookings and by taking payment in the UK; it’s a great result all round.”

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Joint MD, Tom Stapleton, comments further, saying: “We are turning the tailor-made travel business on its head, radically improving it for all involved – and our customers love it. After all, no-one knows a country better than its local travel experts. Why book with a company based thousands of miles away from your holiday destination, with teams who only rarely visit it, when you can now safely go direct?

“Our long-term aim is for TravelLocal to become the preferred choice for travellers seeking individually-tailored holidays with a personal touch simply anywhere in the world.”

Examples of authentic experiences with TravelLocal:

TravelLocal provides a selection of sample ideas and itineraries in each of its destinations on, where travellers can browse a range of different, authentic experiences around the world. Trips range from unique experiences such as taking the Soviet-era Metro to explore Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and stalking wildlife with the Hadzabe Bushmen of Tanzania, to island-hopping through The Philippines and exploring Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches and rainforests.

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Interesting sample itineraries include:

*All TravelLocal trips exclude travel to the destination, giving more flexibility and allowing customers to book their flights via points schemes if preferred.

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TravelLocal currently showcases local travel companies from more than 40 countries around the world, across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East and North Africa. More will come online as soon as TravelLocal is able to source, vet and train local suppliers in the use of its online platform; its aim is to ensure consistent best practice and high levels of customer service no matter what the destination.

For more information, call TravelLocal on +44 (0)117 325 7898 or visit


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