Here’s a good one for a hot game of Scrabble: “glamping.”
The word is a mash-up of “glamorous” and “camping,” on the face of it, an oxymoron. In fact, glamping is one the latest trends in luxury travel, which rhymes with Boomer travel.
Glamping is shorthand for upscale camping, which means lose the sleeping bag; add a minibar and a massage. And those sorts of amenities – in exotic locations no less – are what Boomers want, according to a recent travel headline in a Sunday New York Times. And whatever Boomers want, Boomers get (at least from travel companies), because the demographic (ages 49 – 67) represents 26 percent of the population and controls the lion’s share of discretionary income. Besides glamping, boomers want access to WiFi (yes, even on safari), and boutique hotels. The trick is to find it all in a click.
Enter Sarah Fazendin of Globa.li (pronounced “Globally’).
Sarah emerged as one of four winners from the inaugural Telluride Venture Accelerator talent search, a new entrepreneurial initiative of the Telluride Foundation. TVA was founded by Telluride local Jesse Johnson, who serves as the business’s CEO. (See Related Post for the history of TVA and an interview with Jesse.)
Globa.li, was selected for development from a field of 100 new business applicants from all over the world at various stages of incubation.
Like the other winning founders, Sarah got to relocate to Telluride for six months, where she receives intensive business mentoring; a co-working space at The Peaks Resort; a $30,000 investment (plus up to an additional $8,000 for travel and lodging); $100,000 in free services from companies like Microsoft and Amazon; access to two successful entrepreneurs-in-residence; and access to Telluride’s robust angel investment community.
Globa.li’s mission is to provide boutique hoteliers and tour operators with free, easy-to-use cloud-based technology that supports inventory management and online sales through Globa.li and other online travel retailers such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com. For many of the company’s end-users, the company’s proprietary software allows participants to sell online for the first time.
Bringing emerging markets – in consumer-speak, “emerging” means exotic locations, not major markets such as New York or London – online helps travelers find special experiences and hotels, ones that are generally discovered now only through word of mouth. (According to Sarah, in emerging markets like Africa and Latin America, only about 4% of hotels are bookable online.)
Sarah Fazendin spent more than a decade working in the travel industry. Her passion is helping small tourism companies thrive.
To learn more about Globa.li, click the “play” button and listen to my chat with Sarah Faazendin.