The story of Airguides

Paul Rowsthorn, Airguides

22 March 2019

The story of Airguides begins in a remote jungle in Borneo. While on a trekking trip, hoping to see orangutans in the wild, the founders came upon a bat cave and stumbled across a creature rarely seen by tourists… Sir David Attenborough, the world’s greatest natural historian recording his latest documentary.

Crazy story, but we were actually in Borneo because we got inspired by one of David’s (we’re basically friends now) documentaries! When you really think about it, storytellers have been inspiring people to travel since Marco Polo first wrote tales of the Silk Road.

This got us thinking. What if your travel heroes could plan a trip just for you? What if you could follow in their footsteps? 

That has become the Airguides mission ever since.

Where it all started

Photograph by local guide

First, we had to find out who the modern-day David Attenborough’s are. Who inspires people to travel further than they ever dreamed possible? We searched the world for the most talented and passionate storytellers who shared with us their greatest adventures and best kept secrets. We are very proud to be working with them.

I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.” – Sir David Attenborough

They are filmmakers, photographers and adventurers who are trusted by people because they are really good at something. You have probably come across some of them. Maybe on a blog, social media or in a travel magazine, where they share their greatest adventures. 

Interestingly, these storytellers have such massive audiences that they often reach more people than well-known travel companies. It’s a growing trend. People trust people over companies, especially when it comes to travel. 

Pretty much all our storytellers started out their craft because of an absolute passion for creating content. They do it because they love it. Nothing makes them happier than to inspire and help people travel through their content. 

Storyteller Meghan Maloney – New Zealand

Photograph by Meghan Maloney

Up until this point, this content has always been inspirational, but not very functional. As a traveller, you get inspired by these amazing photos and videos, but now you just want to book. After you’ve seen the most epic places on social media and blogs and said: “Yes! That’s where I want to go!”. Where do you go from there?

The journey from inspiration to booking is fragmented, making travel planning hard, time-consuming and often, it doesn’t meet expectations.  

That is where Airguides comes in. We’re the first online travel agency where travellers can book unique trips from trusted photographers, filmmakers and adventurers. 

All Airguides trips are made with a lot of ♥ by our storytellers, only using authentic content and handpicked recommendations. We tailor-make the trip to your dreams and take care of all your accommodation, transport and activity bookings.

You are totally free to travel at your own pace, without being stuck on a tour bus.  

The best bit? You will get access to the storyteller’s interactive guide with lots of free activities to help you find your way to the most epic places. Packed with expert advice, this guide will be your trusted resource during your trip. 

The first Airguides trips are now ready to book in New Zealand and the Philippines with many more destinations on the way.

Airguides brings tourism away from machine learning algorithms telling you what you like, back to the glory days of Lonely Planet when authentic content ruled. We give the power back the storytellers so they can continue doing what they do best: inspiring people to travel and putting lesser-known destinations on the map.