Sustainable travel marketplace built on local connections bags investment to give tourists greater cultural appreciation

Jun 23, 2022

Jenson Funding Partners supports Not In The Guidebooks’ mission to connect holidaymakers with local guides who have genuine, lived experience and knowledge of an area – with the aim of creating more memorable experiences and improving cultural appreciation

Cultural travel marketplace Not In The Guidebooks has secured a £150,000 investment from Jenson Funding Partners as part of an ongoing funding round.  The company wants to replace the generic offerings sold by larger tour operators, often led by people who haven’t even visited a destination before, by connecting holidaymakers with genuine local experts.

The business was launched by Carol Savage. She sought to ensure her three sons experienced the most of overseas culture, from customs and cuisine to places and people, during family travels when they were younger. The goal was for them to truly connect with the places they visited by meeting the locals and learning about their traditions, while experiencing activities unique to the places they visited. Carol believes the more understanding people have of other nations, the more chance there is of fighting intolerance and racism, which ultimately inspired Not In The Guidebooks.

Not In The Guidebooks aims to help people have memorable experiences during their travels, even if it’s just one day out of their time away that they want to do something distinctive to the area. The company achieves this by ensuring all trips are aligned to its three core pillars, which include:

(1) Local: All featured trips, food or accommodation should be found through locally sourced suppliers to enhance the business benefit to those in the community alongside increased authenticity for tourists.

(2) Sustainable: Focused on four of the UN’s 17 SDGs, including supporting local communities; fighting climate change, such as reducing the use of single use plastics; driving diversity & inclusion; respecting animal welfare.

(3) Experiential: Building immersive memories for customers, whether that’s hiking with llamas or making food with a makeshift underground oven, believing in the importance of connecting to people.

With the new investment from Jenson Funding Partners, Not In The Guidebooks hopes to bring in key hires and bolster the rich travel background the team has even further, also enhancing the technology to create better communications between hosts and travellers. With the full investment round, Carol is looking to expand the product inventory to provide more choice of experiences, while driving brand awareness and customer acquisition.

Carol Savage, CEO and founder at Not In The Guidebooks, says: “My experience of travel, personally and professionally, has historically been like buying an album in a record store – it’s a fixed item and you get what you’re given. With Not In The Guidebooks, it’s more like Spotify and you can customise your itinerary like a playlist –  you choose how much activity you want in your holiday. Having a supportive partner like Jenson backing us has been fundamental in executing our vision and we’re hopeful that more like-minded investors will join this round as we disrupt the travel landscape for the better.”

Sarah Barber, CEO at Jenson Funding Partners, adds: “This is the third time we’ve invested in Not In The Guidebooks, which is really a testament to what an innovative concept Carol and the team have built. It’s truly rare to see a travel business with purpose as central to the proposition as profit and, as a business focused on inclusivity ourselves, it’s a pleasure to be a part of their journey.”

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