Make Travel Fair was established online at the end of 2006.
An online platform to communicate some of the global issues associated with travel, to encourage education amongst travellers and to encourage travel as a means of education.
2011: Recalibration and a return to the personal blog
Following a departure from working long hours at someone else’s start-up and neglecting the development of Make Travel Fair it was time to reassess the mission and reorganise priorities. Much of 2011 was spent continuing work as a consultant in the travel and tourism space predominantly with the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C.. Make Travel Fair began to act more as a personal blog than as a magazine syndicating the writing of others. Largely as a result of how the blogosphere has changed with so many new entrants. I began to work towards becoming a freelance writer, beyond the confines of my blog. I enrolled in MatadorU and took my first press trip to Virginia Beach in November. I finished the year by immigrating to the U.S. to marry my fiancé.
The acquisition year of 2010
2010 was certainly one of the most exciting years so far for Make Travel Fair. An acquisition of site and skills by WHL Group promised a bright future, with great plans to develop a more commercially minded website through the addition of the group’s booking tools and travel product. Unfortunately with the driving force behind Make Travel Fair (me, Stephen Chapman) allocated to a slew of other WHL Group projects, Make Travel Fair was largely forced into hibernation whilst WHL Group’s own Blog continued to develop as ‘the Travel Word’. Unfortunately at the end of 2010 WHL Consulting (the group company that had acquired Make Travel Fair) was forced to fold and this site left the company with me. I made two trips to South Africa during this period.
Exciting collaborations for 2009
This year saw collaborations with The International Ecotourism Society on helping communicate and promote their new ecoDestinations project, and as of March this year I began some exciting work for whl.travel – one of the most exciting, pioneering and passionately grass roots orientated travel companies to appear in recent years (see WHL: Making Travel A Little Fairer By Design). I worked in many areas of company – business development, SEO services, social media and tourism development in the field – and have been involved in some corporate restructuring strategy to create WHL Group, together with brand creation and the rebranding of whl.travel. It is this work that enabled Make Travel Fair to continue its existence, development and independence during a tough period. I made trips to Prague and Vietnam during this period.
A return to the road for 2008 & a new website
Following a successful 2007 I decided to travel some more, this time with my fiancé, and recconect with everything I’d been writing about online. A 6 month around the world trip took us to the U.S.A., The Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Dynamic websites were starting to put older static websites to shame so I quickly discovered WordPress and assembled a brand new www.maketravelfair.co.uk after we returned home.
I believe that everyone has an interesting, important and unique view of the world as a result of their own childhood, culture and experience. Everyone has story to tell and writing is a great way to communicate that. The blogging bubble has started to burst as a result of the paid/sponsored underworld that’s begun to emerge, creating SEO and promotionally focused blog content. The honest, unpaid writing that had proliferated in previous years is starting to get diluted by the added noise.
A successful, award winning 2007
It all started with a homemade website at www.maketravelfair.com built with very little knowledge of web design. It was a static site (which was the norm in 2007), built using Adobe Dreamweaver, it wasn’t ideal but a professional job would have cost the earth and I had no money. Winning ‘Best Online Education Website’ in the Travelmole 2007 Web Awards was a huge surprise given my very amateur ability but our message was strong and ethusiastic. Later that same year I was selected as ‘One-to-Watch in Travel & Leisure’ as part of Courvoisier The Future 500 Rising Stars and featured in The Observer newspaper supplement ‘The Future 500′.