One of the best parts about international travel is finding those “off the beaten path” places that don’t get overrun with tourists and provide a unique look into a country’s culture, cuisine or natural beauty. Finding those diamonds in the rough isn’t always easy, in part because local entrepreneurs serving the tourism industry often lack the resources or expertise to market their businesses to visitors from abroad.
But what if there was a way to bring tourists and local tourism entrepreneurs together for the benefit of both?
Ideator Orlando Franco is working on it. A management consultant and business model strategist with a passion for world travel, he hopes to support the development of the tourism industry throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa by empowering remote travel destinations worldwide.
What’s the Problem?
Most countries have a sizeable group of entrepreneurial resources, such as guides, accommodations, restaurants, and transportation, that are ready and willing to serve visiting tourists. Yet, due to lack of money and marketing infrastructure, these authentic local resources often remain invisible to international travelers looking to avoid tourist traps and expensive fees. This is especially true in remote, low-income areas that have much to offer visitors from abroad.
What’s the Big Idea?
Landspot is developing a platform to provide an accessible and affordable way to promote thousands of remote tourism destinations in developing economies, thereby ensuring a self-sustainable way for them to benefit from tourism. The business model relies on a carefully managed stakeholder network and a simplified set of digital tools designed to make it easier for travelers and “invisible” entrepreneurs to connect with each other.
Where Is It Headed?
More than just creating a platform for tourist information, Franco hopes to reinvent tourism in developing countries while building awareness about world issues such as housing, nutrition, and connectivity. He also plans to help entrepreneurs around the world grow their local tourism industries while preserving their local identity and nature.
“We see ourselves as a global platform for building solutions on top of a large base of travelers and destinations, while making tourism a sustainable source of income in remote and low-income areas,” Franco said
Like many Ideators, Franco identifies the process of transitioning from idea to reality as Landspot’s biggest challenge. Despite the current lack of funding, he managed to build a basic MVP, or minimum viable product, which has helped to explain his idea to collaborators and potential customers. He has also used Ideator as a platform for ideas and connections.
“Ideator has been helpful from the very beginning, providing insights and a means to network with like-minded entrepreneurs,” said Franco. “It has been, by far, the most responsive of the different platforms we have engaged with.”
Franco is currently looking for team members to help shape Landspot’s technology strategy or engage with other work streams. If you have a passion for world travel, or simply want to learn more, send a tweet or visit the Landspot Facebook page