How Vayando Works

Connect travelers with entrepreneurs to create meaningful impact


Broadening the Tourism Map

Vayando is an online marketplace that connects curious travelers with local entrepreneurs in emerging economies around the world. We provide a platform for travelers visiting those areas to book directly with local entrepreneurs to spend a day in their coffee fields, shops, fishing boats, studios, etc. learning about their livelihoods. Travelers get a very personally unique experience while entrepreneurs gain the opportunity to diversity their income or build their business.

We market good people. Travelers can book to spend the afternoon beekeeping with Sylvestre, a 76 year old beekeeper in Muramba, Rwanda - and member of a cooperative marketing honey locally and to national buyers, to working with Maritza, a hillside farmer in Costa Rica looking to expand into market oriented hydroponic production, to connecting with entrepreneurs at the forefront of technology or enterprise in their country.

How It Works



Ready

Pick a community where you want to go and book an experience with an entrepreneur. Choose from arts and crafts to coffee or cacao farming.

Set

Meet your entrepreneur at a central location and they will be your introduction to their community for the day.

Go

Connect and learn about a community, local people, and their livelihoods.

For the Traveler

Vayando is an introduction to a community, and a way to meet great people and better understand local livelihoods. Expect a personal day-in-the-life, and less of a guided tour. Know that some experiences will be more structured than others. Realize that there may be a bit of a language barrier. Go with it or book a local interpreter too! Be curious and open to the day developing organically!

To identify entrepreneurs, Vayando partners with reputable field partner organizations (for example, NGOs focused on community development) in each country where we operate. These partners identify motivated entrepreneurs in the communities where they work and support them in creating a profile on Vayando. This provides quality assurance for both Vayando and the traveler, and is an opportunity for our field-partners to increase impact of their organization. Tech savvy entrepreneurs can apply directly to Vayando to create a profile and be marketed. Entrepreneurs who sign up directly are vetted through a series of Skype interviews, referrals, and social media presence. Vayando works closely with these Entrepreneurs to ensure quality and fit.

Social Impact

By 2030, travel to developing countries will account for 60% of the global tourism market, or one billion travelers per year. More and more, travelers today want to get lost and off the beaten path, to connect locally, and to know that their tourism dollars are having a positive social impact. Vayando sees this as an opportunity.

Vayando’s social impact goals are an 1) increase in working capital at the entrepreneur level through bookings and 2) increased access to new markets for entrepreneurs and associated cooperatives groups. With two to three bookings per month, more marginalized entrepreneurs on our platform can double their monthly income. To increase impact, at least 50% of Vayando’s profiles are female entrepreneurs. Empowering women economically has proven to have a higher impact across scales.

Entrepreneurs marketed on Vayando receive 70% of the each booking fee paid by travelers. During the onboarding process, entrepreneurs are interviewed and asked what they want to charge per traveler. Majority of time that amount is significantly below market rates. Vayando sets a minimum $15USD per person and works with the entrepreneur to find a price that accurately reflects hosting experience, time commitment, skillset required, uniqueness of activity, marketability, material costs, etc. Vayando’s margin is added on top of this agreed price so there is no cost to the folks we market. Bimonthly, Vayando sends payment directly to entrepreneurs via mobile money at no cost to them. Entrepreneurs only need a basic cell phone and receive an SMS code that they can redeem for cash wherever they sell airtime for their mobile carrier.