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Traveling off the Beaten Track

photo courtesy of Global Exchange

Bay Area companies and organizations are using the web and social media to redefine what it means to be a tourist and help people create authentic travel experiences that build cultural understanding. 

City Visions host Lauren Meltzer, along with guests from Couchsurfing.orgGlobal Exchangegogobot and Airbnb had a lively conversation about the impact of the web on how, why and where we travel.

Guest Bios:

Malía Everette, Director of Reality Tours, Global Exchange: Global Exchange is an international human rights nonprofit dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice that is based in San Francisco.  As the director of Reality Tours since 1997, Malía has facilitated trips around the world for over 20,000 people that have focused on issues including human rights, political economy, and indigenous cultures.

Dan Hoffer, Co-founder and President, Couchsurfing.org: Couchsurfing is the world’s largest social travel network, connecting a global community of travelers, adventure seekers, and lifelong learners who share their hospitality, cultures and authentic experiences. Founded in 2004, Couchsurfing connects more than 4 million members in 87,000 cities.   Dan is a co-founder of Couchsurfing and currently serves as President.

Travis Katz, Co-Founder and CEO, gogobot:gogobot is a Silicon Valley startup that makes it easier for millions of people to plan trips and get advice and inspiration about where to go by tapping into their personal networks on Facebook and Twitter.  A passionate traveler who has visited 54 countries, Travis was the co-founder of Gogobot in 2011 and now serves as its CEO.

Molly Turner, Head of Public Policy, Airbnb: Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world that was founded in 2008 and is based in San Francisco.  Molly has consulted with governments on sustainable tourism development and now studies the impacts of travel and the sharing economy as head of public policy for Airbnb. 

Resources mentioned on the show: