One of my favourite emails I’ve received in the last few years said:
‘Tribewanted is the only place you can go on holiday and feel homesick when you go home.’
Seven years into our journey to build a collection of the very best eco-tourism and community experiences available we’re ready to take that feeling of belonging to some more amazing places by launching an exciting crowdfunding campaign (video)
Since 2006 we’ve been funding and building our eco-tourism communities – first on Vorovoro Island in Fiji, then on John Obey Beach in Sierra Leone and this year we opened Monestevole, in the hills of Umbria. Each project has had its successes and challenges.
But what has connected them all is a sense that, together with our local partners and supportive members we’ve created places where we all feel at home. Like a part of us has always belonged there – even though the language, diet and culture may seem very different to the place we might normally call home. And because we feel ‘at home’ we’re open to engage with different ideas, foods, experiences, and people as well as rejuvenate and play. With the leadership of our local teams and communities we’ve been able to reinforce the importance of protecting cultural heritage as well as the natural environment and resources.
It’s one thing to feel and experience this. Its quite another to bottle it and build a sustainable business model around it so you can grow what you and others believe in.
Shifting our model towards Partnerships
Moving ‘doing it from scratch’ to partnering with those that already do it to a high standard will be a slightly new approach for us. But it is something we feel strongly about. First, because the market conditions are right – responsible and eco-tourism is finally on the verge of going mainstream – it’s growing a lot faster than other parts of the industry. Secondly, because we’re ready – we’ve learnt through 7 years of prototyping our models on the ground what works well (eating together, open participation in projects, private accommodation, creative space, sharing our story and cultural immersion) and what doesn’t (short-term partnerships, depending on local government support, under-pricing, trying to do too much).
Our stronger, more experienced leadership team
I’ve been working with Filippo for four years now. We lived in Sierra Leone together for a year on the beach where we built our partnership. Since then Amy & Neal Carter-James have joined us (now living in Umbria too with baby India) as leaders in sustainable tourism. Amy & Neal’s success with Guludo Beach Lodge in Mozambique has proven that the holy grail of social business in tourism is possible: that the more successful your tourist product the larger your community impact. We’ve spent the last year getting to know each other at Monestevole and planning what would be an important next step for Tribewanted.
Crowdfunding our Tribe
We’re going to carefully select a collection of the very best eco-holiday destinations on the planet.
Our new Partner Locations will provide exceptional holiday experiences with inspiring community projects that visitors can choose to get involved in. Potential Partner destinations include: Guludo Beach Lodge Mozambique, Laos, Nicaragua, UK, & Bali.
These independent Partner Locations have an urgent need for support in marketing, sales, web-presence, online booking facilities and funds for local projects, all of which Tribewanted will supply for a booking commission.
30% of all membership fees will go to community projects at our Partner Locations which significantly improve local inhabitants quality of life (health, education, conservation, enterprise, clean energy). At the same time we aim to inspire our members and visitors to engage in these issues during their stay and when they return home.
Through the crowdfunding equity platform Crowdcube we’re seeking an investment of £200,000 for 20% equity in Tribewanted Ltd with three reward levels. We will be investing these funds into our online product, our team, developing our location partnerships and marketing our business.
I hope you can join us on the next step in our journey!