When asked why I started working in tourism, two answers come to mind. First, traveling is my passion and working on something that I deeply love simply motivates me. Secondly, tourism – if done right – can do so much good for the world: it can dismantle prejudices about other countries and its people, it can educate, it can create awareness about problems and solutions around the world. It can protect the environment and it can create an economic foundation for sustainable growth of communities.
The key is: “If done right”.
Cruise lines offering their clients only getting off the ship for a few hours to “get to know a country” is, in my opinion a nightmare for tourism. All the mentioned benefits that tourism can create are bypassed: travelers don’t have the chance to get to know a country and the money stays with the cruise owners, not the local population.
To do it right the idea of viventura was born 16 years ago. To offer trips to travelers, that really want to get to know a destination, its culture & its nature. To provide a working place where employees could thrive and a business model, that benefits the local tourism industry and protects the environment. viventura has become a leader in this aspect, providing responsible tours to South America. From day one until today we have taken our philosophy very seriously. Our Travel Philosophy can be summed up in one word: FRISP. In order to succeed with our goal of successfully establishing our responsible trips in the market we strictly followed our Philosophy:
- Fun – Make our trips fun for travelers and the work fun for our team members.
- Responsible – This entails travel responsibility towards the environment, respect for the local people in the places our clients visit and the generation of economic benefits for the right people
- Innovative – This has lots of aspects: from the small innovations in each day of the trip to big innovations (for example, 15 years ago, we started selling directly to our travelers without the use of catalog or travel agencies).
- Specialist- For viventura this means South America! We believe focusing on one destination improves the quality, the originality and the pride in our trips.
- Personal – Our travelers have a fix contact throughout the trip preparation, we have our own, well-trained staff of tour guides, which are part of a team and personally visible for each departure.
We are proud, that thanks to the success of our trips, we don’t just have 25.000 Thousand enthusiastic and happy travelers, we don’t just have 60 enthusiastic team Members, but are also very proud to be able to give back something to the destination South America. From day one we supported social projects in South America, our foundation later became viSocial, and we – together with our travelers and other donors- were able to generate over 1 Million EUR of support to projects around South America over the years.
16 Years later, we believe it’s time to take the next step. At a time of international consolidation it becomes harder and harder for small, specialized tour operators like viventura to compete with large international corporations, that offer South America in a traditional, non-sustainable way. Because of their Marketing power it’s hard for us to get our story out to interested travelers and show them they have a better choice. At the same time we want to open up our systems and teams to other entrepreneurial spirited people, that have the same passion for other destinations around the world, that we have for South America.
viventura stays viventura
This led me to split up the present organization into Ventura TRAVEL as a mother company and viventura as its specialist for South America. Already, from the 60 people working in our organization, most of them work in South America in our offices in Medellin, Cuzco, Quito and La Paz. Now viventura is officially based in South America with its headquarter in La Paz, Bolivia. viventura will continue on as an organization offering FRISP trips only to South America, for viventura nothing changes.
There is one slight, but important change. While my passion for South America has not decreased, over the years another passion was born. A passion to help talented people succeed in tourism. One of these talented people is Pablo Von Vacano. Pablo started as a Finance Assistant for our company in May 2007. Over the years he took on more responsibilities and has not only shown his talents, succeeding in his projects, he has also proven his loyalty. He has truly been FRISP and as our Operations Manager he has achieved great results for viventura. Our client satisfaction has reached a new historic level, that seemed impossible in the past.
I’m extremely honored, proud and happy to announce that Pablo is now the Executive Director of viventura, taking strategic decisions for viventura and running the entire organization. Within viventura, he is also responsible for investments and new services within South America. He will also be the face of viventura. I’m really happy to see, that a South American local is now leading viventura.
Ventura TRAVEL is born.
Our vMembers working in IT, Marketing and Finance became Ventura TRAVEL. These departments now support viventura as well as new upcoming “venturas”. These amazing team members helped viventura achieve its overwhelming success. The same team is now ready to support other intrapreneurs, that have knowledge, experience, network and most importantly the same philosophy of responsible travel as we do. My personal focus will shift from being the head of viventura to empowering entrepreneurs to succeed in travel ventures.
I believe this approach is beneficial for all parties involved.
- Travelers, who want to travel in a responsible, fun, personal way -a FRISP way- can continue to do so with viventura in South America, and do so at record high quality levels. viSocial will keep giving back to the visited destinations with generous donations
- Travelers to places outside South America will now have the opportunity to explore new destinations, under similar positive philosophy, supporting more local communities.
- viventura - thanks to the updated structure - will be supported by stronger IT, Finance & Marketing Departments. While keeping its specialization on South America, viventura is able to compete with top international players
- People with an entrepreneurial spirit will have the chance to develop their ideas and themselves, in a world in which it's hard to start a new tourism brand. Entrepreneurial spirited tourism professionals, who want to take the next big step in their career, will have access to the muscles of Ventura Travel: Marketing knowledge, IT systems and the experience/ know how of the ventura network. This, combined with the in-depth knowledge of the Entrepreneur will result in success.
- our vMembers can concentrate on their niche and rest easy at night knowing they have the support of strong IT, Finance and Marketing professionals
- Our viSocial foundation has the opportunity to grow, getting more resources to provide even more help
The next Ventura is born
I’m very happy to announce that the first successful “Ventura Baby” was already born: puraventura, a specialist for Central America & the Caribbean. Puraventura launched last year as puraventura.fr catering to French-speaking clients. Basically, we experimented with puraventura, to see if our idea could become successful, not just on paper, but in reality. The results have blown us away. We have seen a huge interest in puraventura trips. In Jonathan, we found a fantastic intrapreneur to lead a new venture. Following the success of puraventura.fr, we will soon launch puraventura.de.
We empower intrepreneurs to succeed in travel
Can you sense our excitement about this change? It doesn’t end there! I’m personally deeply motivated to help others succeed, and I’m thrilled this will become Ventura Travel's mission: Empowering Entrepreneurs to succeed in Travel.
With the birth of venturatravel.org I’m delighted to launch ventura.careers. This portal will be the centerpiece of Ventura TRAVEL´s future. We are looking for the best tourism professionals to help us write history together! So, please take a look at ventura.careers and share this site with people who have great potential and are interested in taking the next big step in their career.