Today our guest is Abby Topperwien from Sydney, Australia. She is the founder and owner of a new online travel start-up called Travel Scavenger. We have conducted an interview with her.
Why did you decide to start your own travel business?
The idea for Travel Scavenger came while I was travelling. I was in New York City and I was searching for things that were a little different, off-the-beaten track things that I hadn’t already done. I knew they existed but all my usual resources were failing me; they’d either come back with generic search results or they were difficult to search and would return results that were almost right but were too expensive or didn’t fit my needs.
That’s when I thought “I can do something to fill this gap.” Travel Scavenger basically came about because of my own travel needs.
What is the concept behind Travel Scavenger?
The idea is to make searching (and finding!) things to do whilst travelling easier, simpler and more personal while also providing a more in-depth database that goes beyond the ordinary adventures that appear in the guide books.
We’ve created a dynamic search function on our site that lets travellers personalise their search across multiple fields according to their interests, budget, preferred method of transport, style of travel and more (with even more to come in the near future!). We have an ever-growing database of activities, events and tours to search through so that the traveller never has to miss out on finding that off-the-beaten track adventure that’s perfect for them.
What has been the most challenging from the conceptualisation of your idea to launch? And how did you overcome that challenge?
There have been a great deal of challenges along the way, as there are with any start ups, I imagine, everything from finding the right people to work with to learning new skills outside my field.
The most challenging however has been remembering the original drive behind creating Travel Scavenger. There were a good few months when I got sidetracked and fell too deeply into believing I had to follow the industry standards. In those moments building Travel Scavenger become about building a site for business instead of building an easy-to-use travel resource for travellers.
Every time I felt like Travel Scavenger was going in a different direction from that initial idea I came back to “I’m not a business person, I’m a traveller, what do I want out of this?” Going back to that original thought, that moment when the idea first popped into my head as I was travelling, that is what would keep things moving in the right direction.
Which groups of target audience do you wish to reach?
I hope to reach travellers like myself; independent, adventurous, millennials. Travel Scavenger is about searching out and finding those unique, authentic experiences, something that strongly speaks to myself and those I’ve travelled with. This audience is growing too as people extend their world adventures well into their late twenties and early thirties.
Who or what motivates you the most?
My belief in the potential that Travel Scavenger has to grow into a hub for discovering unique adventures keeps me motivated to keep developing the site. Every time I feel exhausted or full of doubt, thinking about all the ideas that could help this site grow and the ways we can continue to develop it to include more traveller sourced finds gets me excited.
I have multiple “whos” that motivate me, too many to name but the belief they all have in me and the idea keeps me going.
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