Travel And Tour World – A career that started from a hotel, you are now the CEO of trip4real, would you like to describe your journey in a nutshell for our readers?
Gloria Molins: Trip4real initially started out as a simpler idea in which tourists would connect with locals for just an hour or so over a cup of coffee, tea or a bottle of beer, to discuss tips and popular activities to do in the country. But then we thought, why should it stop there? We knew that the most unforgettable travel experiences arise when one strays from the beaten path and explores the hidden treasures of the city that are unknown to all but not the locals. It is then when a tourist becomes a traveller.
We have been around for just two years and I am proud to say that trip4real has become the leader in the European market for peer-to-peer travel experiences.
Travel And Tour World – Entrepreneurship is not everyone’s cup of tea. What inspired you to open trip4real? Or was it pre-determined?
Gloria Molins: I have spent years traveling the world and exploring new cultures and I’ve realized the moments that shone above all the rest were the ones spent interacting with locals and discovering the places that were off the map and away from the mobs of tourists that swallow the city. Those were the moments in which I truly enjoyed myself, concluding that traveling, and even life, is not about where you are but who you are with. When I returned to Spain, I knew it was high time to put the pieces together and create a way for locals and travellers to meet and blend experiences, stories, and ultimately, cultures.
Travel And Tour World: The global travel industry is now a global village where every other travel enterprise is promising unique experiences. What is the USP of trip4real that helps it stand out?
Gloria Molins: Trip4real offers a more personal touch in that all of our experiences are tailor made and led by the ones who know a country the best: its locals. Our company’s particular claim to “be a traveller, not a tourist” awards people with unique and authentic experiences found in a large variety of different categories that all share the same high quality and guarantee to be unforgettable.
Travel And Tour World: What were the most difficult hurdles that you coped up while trip4real was in its initial days? You raised funds through IndieGoGo – what were your efforts to make the campaign work?
Gloria Molins: Peer-to-peer was a confusing concept to a lot in the world since it was just starting to emerge as a tactic to travel when we initially started our company. On some occasions, it was hard to convey that the tour guides were home-grown locals and are regular people with a passion for sharing the gems of their city. Now, however, the peer-to-peer business has grown to the point where our travellers admit the fact that they cannot see tour guides in any other way now.
Travel And Tour World: What made you select Barcelona as a host city for trip4real?
Gloria Molins: Barcelona is in the top ten most popular travel destinations in the world, therefore serving as an excellent host city because we are centred in the midst of all the action as well as helps us better understand and direct the market. Also, it is quite an open and diverse city, allowing it to be amendable towards innovation, which is ideal for a hot budding startup. Plus, it is my hometown.
Travel And Tour World: Trip4real employs the concept of travel cycle from experiencing to sharing on one platform. How do you plan to integrate social media and other digital platforms to indulge more and more travellers?
Gloria Molins: Apart from newspapers and magazines, we gain much of our press through popular blogs, Instagram accounts, etc. in which the blogger has the opportunity to participate in one of our many tours and then shares their experience online. Since the world is essentially entirely connected through the Internet, this establishes a cycle that generates chatter, interest, and therefore attracts additional travellers as well as revenue for the company.
Travel And Tour World: Would you like to share your future plans with our readers? What are the further scopes for innovation?
Gloria Molins: Every day we are growing as a company; we are constantly publishing new experiences, acquiring new locals that want to create and lead their own activities and expanding to new locations. In the future, we plan to target Istanbul, Berlin and Prague as the next cities of operation. One thing remains the same though as the company continues to expand and launch its services around the world, and that is the excellent quality of our tours and activities in Europe as well as a guarantee that our locals are making a living doing what they love.