Vayando is an introduction to a community, and a way for travelers to meet great people and better understand local economies. Expect a personal day-in-the-life, and less of a packaged tour. The people we market are engaged in their livelihood practices, and are not "tour guides" per se. Know that some experiences will be more structured than others and realize that there may be a bit of a language barrier, just go with it or book a local translator too. Be curious and flexible and open to the day developing organically.
Activities marketed include local farming, animal husbandry, agroforestry, beekeeping, fishing, shopkeeping, local food preparation, the arts, cottage industries, handicraft production, coffee harvesting, public health outreach opportunities, environmental conservation initiatives, community development efforts, and cooperative level production. We market local people. The possibilities are endless.
We do not market activities that contribute to human trafficking, the endangerment of child welfare, illicit drug trade, organized crime, poaching, animal abuse, nor natural resource exploitation. This includes, sex tourism, child labor, narcotic production, gang involvement, and illegal environmental degradation. Activities that seek to promote educational awareness of certain types of the above practices are considered. Some activities - such as farming - can arguably be considered harmful to the environment. These types of practices are permitted as long they are part of the local economy and not promoted strictly to market for tourism. Vayando follows the UN’s Ethical Code of Conduct for tourism and engages with industry leaders in developing strong child protection policies.
Managing a Vayando profile is free for entrepreneurs. All entrepreneurs must be vetted by an established Vayando field-partner organization or representative. All the entrepreneur needs is access to a basic cell phone to manage bookings and receive payment.
Vayando is a community driven tool, and not an open access platform. All entrepreneurs on Vayando have been referred to the system and added with support from a reputable field partner organization. Further, Vayando is working to include a review system into our platform so travelers can publicly rate the quality of the experience and offer constructive feedback that goes direct to the entrepreneur via SMS for service improvement. Testimonials will be added to entrepreneur profiles as well where travelers can add highlights of their experience. Conversely, entrepreneurs will be able to publicly rate travelers as well via an SMS to online system. Vetting and review adds layers of trust to the system.
Vayando is a market-based transaction between a traveler and a local with a valuable skill. Entrepreneurs receive 75% of the total amount listed on the profile (Please note their is a small surcharge added on during checkout to cover international money transfer fees). During the onboarding process for new entrepreneurs, Vayando's field partners ask entrepreneurs what they think is a fair price to receive per traveler. More times than not, entrepreneurs undervalue their service and Vayando bumps up the price point to better reflect market rates. Vayando is working to standardize our pricing structure based on a number of factors, including length of experience, skill level required, types of inputs included, etc.
For profit social enterprises have a double bottom line. It means that we not only focus on being a self-sustaining and profitable business but that we include longer term social impact into our value proposition. Being for-profit means that we are responsive to our customer and client needs and not dependent on financial support from grants or donors. To have a sustainable impact - and be a viable business model - Vayando captures a 10% service fee and 15% booking fee for each transaction, added onto the per person rate agreed individually with entrepreneurs, and not deducted from the entrepreneur's earning. This covers credit card processing, booking fees, money transfer rates, and all the work Vayando is doing on the backend!
Vayando utilizes Stripe payment for all credit card processing. Stripe is a leading payment gateway meaning that credit card information is never exposed or stored on Vayando. All credit card information passes straight through to their system. Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification for global business.
If you don't have a credit card, you can confirm a booking and easily make mobile money payment via our Invoices page. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of the experience, requested booking date, and number of travelers and we'll walk you through the process. It's so easy!
We get asked quite often if it's Ok to just pay in cash day of the experience, vs reserving and paying online. When travelers book a visit, the entrepreneur is reserving that day to host the group and is also blocking out other travelers from booking the same day. Receiving payment upfront guarantees that the entrepreneur will receive payment in the event of a last minute cancellation or "no show" from the traveler. Please see our Cancellation policy below for specifics.
The start times listed are general times that the entrepreneur is available. If the time doesn't work well for you though feel free to contact Vayando and we'll confirm another start time with the entrepreneur before you book.
When travelers book on Vayando, you receive an immediate email receipt showing payment. The Vayando team will follow up with another confirmation email - typically within 24 hours - that includes the entrepreneurs full name, telephone number, and a detailed description or address on when and where to meet for the visit. We are working to fully automate this process, so in the mean time we will respond as soon as humanly possible! If you need to reach us before then, you can always email us directly at email@example.com.
Do you work for an organization in one of Vayando's countries of operation? If so, and you'd like recommend entrepreneurs that your program supports to be marketed on Vayando please refer to our Field Partner page for detail. Send us an email and we'll reach out to further discuss.
Vayando's social impact goals are 1) an increase in working capital at the entrepreneur level through bookings and 2) increased access to new markets for entrepreneurs and associated producer groups. With two to three bookings per month, many entrepreneurs on our platform can double their monthly income. Financial impacts are increased by entrepreneurs gaining exposure to new markets and better access to additional financing mechanisms. Vayando's objective is to utilize growth in the travel industry to unlock opportunity for micro-entrepreneurs towards the bottom of the economic pyramid. For more than fifty of the world’s poorest countries, tourism is ranked first, second or third for contribution to their economies. According to the UNWTO, poverty, hunger, gender inequality, and environmental degradation can be alleviated through a pro-poor approach of tourism. Work at the grassroots level to develop micro-enterprises and build local capacity is one key component of increasing tourism’s benefits to the poor. Most notably needed are the marketing of services, revenue opportunities, and linkages with the private sector. Vayando is well positioned to address each and we are working with Peace Corps and other organizations to promote ongoing vocational and business development trainings for entrepreneurs.
To increase social impact, at least 50% of Vayando’s profiles will be female entrepreneurs. Empowering women economically has proven to have a higher impact across various scales. At the household level, it has shown to significantly improve nutrition, education, and healthcare for children. Further, female entrepreneurs act as role models for the next generation of women business leaders in their communities and work to break down discriminatory stereotypes across all levels.
If Traveler attempts to cancel the Visit more than 72 hours before the Visit is scheduled to begin, Vayando will endeavor to refund Traveler the fees paid, minus the Service and Booking Fees. Once Traveler books the Visit, the Service and Booking Fees are not refundable. If you know that you will not be able to attend the scheduled booking please email as soon as possible so we can notify the entrepreneur. Cancellations after the 72 hour mark, however, can not be reimbursed and entrepreneurs will receive full payment for the booking. We can not reimburse after this window since entrepreneurs have reserved this time slot for travelers. If you need to cancel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, number of travelers canceling, email you used to book, and date / title of experience.
If an entrepreneur is not at the location during the scheduled time please notify Vayando at email@example.com. This affects their overall rating and can lead to removal from the system. One day prior to the scheduled booking date, Vayando contacts entrepreneurs with a reminder to confirm the visit. If necessary to reschedule, Vayando will - whenever possible - connect Traveler to an alternate Provider who can fulfill request. If not, Vayando will refund the Total Fees for such booking to the applicable Traveler within a commercially reasonable time of the cancellation.
Cancellation Due to Outside Factors: Certain Visits may depend on factors outside either party’s control, such as weather (“Outside Factors”). The Provider has the discretion as to whether Outside Factors will prevent the Visit from taking place. As a Provider, if you need to cancel a Visit due to Outside Factors, you must contact the Traveler and Vayando firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible. Subject to the Traveler’s consent, the Provider and the Traveler may choose to reschedule the Visit for another date. If the Visit cannot be rescheduled, the Traveler should contact Vayando so we may assist in finding a replacement Visit. For clarity, in the event the alternative Visit is of a higher price than the former, you may be responsible for any difference in price. In the event the alternative Visit is of a lower price, you may be entitled to a partial refund for the difference. As a Traveler, if you have contacted Vayando as provided above and Vayando is unable to find you a replacement Visit, Vayando may refund the Total Fees for such booking to the applicable Traveler within a commercially reasonable time of the cancellation.
Why yes we do! Please refer to our Terms of Service - on our Company page - for additional detail, especially as it relates to our cancellation policy.