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Travel start-ups: It pays to prioritise

Would-be travel start-ups must prioritise certain parts of their offering over others in order to compete in a competitive marketplace.

Sam Bruce at TTL Conference WTM London 2017
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Sam Bruce: “Travel is such a big sector and you just can’t do it all to begin with. Find that niche within it and then scale outwards.”

That was the message from Sam Bruce, co-founder of locally run excursion supplier Much Better Adventures, to the Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders Conference. Bruce highlighted Much Better Adventures’ own issues “trying to aggregate the whole travel sector” when launching.


“Be laser-focused and do one thing you know you are good at,” he said. “Do something that you’re actually passionate about – it’s important that you do what you love.


“Travel is such a big sector and you just can’t do it all to begin with. Find that niche within it and then scale outwards.”


Bruce, a member of TTG’s 30 Under 30 programme, was speaking on a panel discussing the work of the Traveltech Lab – a London-based co-working space initiative that helps incubate technology startups.


Much Better Adventures, which launched in 2012, received support from the scheme.


Alongside Bruce was Gee Mann, founder of venue booking platform ibookedin, which was also given backing by the Traveltech Lab.


Advising delegates on the process of pitching to potential investors, Mann said presenting to the right person with the right level of seniority was key.


“If it’s someone too high up then it’s very difficult to get them to pay much attention to a start-up,” he added.


Katie Hegarty, programme manager of the Traveltech Lab, urged start-ups to “pitch not only to investors but to peers and colleagues. If people become advocates of your brand then they could open doors later down the line with contacts and suppliers,” she advised.

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