Global Dream Travel
You will remember last month that we caught up with Felicity Beasley, co-founder of Trove. This month we spoke with Adam Cornish, co-founder of new travel business, Global Dream Travel. Similar to Felicity, Adam and his business partner, Conor Delaney, are in the start-up phase of a very exciting new venture, again starting out in an incredibly challenging environment with the global travel sector almost decimated by COVID. Yet, despite the odds, this pair have achieved a huge amount in a relatively short period of time and have ambitious plans as the economy starts to open up and COVID travel restrictions are relaxed.
Q. Adam, could you possibly tell us a little about Global Dream Travel?
A. Yes, no problem. Conor and I have over 20 years travel and tourism experience and we’ve brought that to the fore in creating Global Dream Travel, building a team of globally focused British and Irish travel professionals. We are able to operate on all continents, having both a global client base and a spectrum of partners globally. We pride ourselves in designing custom trips and packages with the bespoke adventurer at heart.
However, where we really set ourselves apart is in our company ethos; we place a strong emphasis on sustainable and green tourism, everything we do has to have a low environmental impact and a positive contribution to the local communities we interact with.
Q. Fantastic. And what actually inspired you to start the business?
A. I guess our combined and unrivalled love of travel was the starting point, but we also believed our professional experience would stand us in good stead. Furthermore, we wanted to be as sustainable as possible which is an area often neglected within the travel sector. Our experiences and contacts across the world have also inspired us to deliver special trips to our clients.
Q. Great, and what do you believe were your biggest challenges starting out?
A. COVID was of course the most obvious one as we started out just before the pandemic, however, saying that it also allowed us to build up the business and our products whilst the travel world was sleeping, so we had the time to get everything right. Resource was certainly a challenge too; it meant we had to be really disciplined, narrowing down our priorities and focusing on one step at a time.
Q. You have achieved so very much in a relatively short space of time. What are your longer-term growth aspirations?
A. We have lots, but I think the ones that stand out would be that whilst we are passionate about all things local, we aspire to have a truly global customer base (rather than just English-speaking clients) by selling to markets such as China, India, the Middle East and South America. We are also hugely driven to be an employer of local talent in the Oxford area, and provide an excellent career path for young, enthusiastic professionals.
Q. And on to the eScalate programme for a moment. Can you describe how the programme has supported the business?
A. Support from eScalate has really helped us across a number of areas of the business.
Firstly, the specialist advice and significant number of contacts in international trade we’ve obtained have really helped us take the first steps in our global growth ambitions; it has added tremendous value to the business obtaining such knowledge and contacts. Through the Power Hours we have also received expert advice in key areas such as social media, marketing, and recruitment which we have really taken on board as it will be incredibly useful as the team expands over the coming 6 months. The Peer-to-Peer events also gave us perspectives and ideas which we have been able to adapt to our business.
Q. That’s great Adam, I’m glad you’ve been able to get such value from the eScalate programme. And finally, reflecting on your journey so far, what recommendations would you make to other entrepreneurs/business owners starting out?
A. I would say that one huge learning in recent times is the value of contacts and networking. By putting ourselves out there and engaging in multiple conversations with people all over the world, we have gained crucial insight and advice, and such connections literally add value from an investment perspective. Aside from the obvious recommendations such as finding a problem to solve or developing a product in demand, we can’t stress enough the importance of taking a data-focussed approach to determine potential market share, analyse trends (for example destinations, trip types etc in our case) as well as competitor analysis. This is very important in determining priorities, focus areas etc and which marketing channels you might want to target.
Fantastic advice Adam, thank you so much again for your time.
Those wanting to find out more about the services Adam, Conor and their team are offering just head over to www.globaldreamtravel.co.uk.