Meet Janice

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Janice Sousa has spent the last 15+ years as a tour operator, managing hundreds of guides around the world. Her passion is to help tour hosts scale their businesses and emerge from COVID-19 more resilient. So we thought it was well and truly time for everyone to meet her.

Welcome, Janice! Tell us, what made you get involved in travel?

Well, it was quite by accident. Like many of us, I don’t recall picking travel as a career. However, my first job after university was as a student tour operator.

We specialised in sending young people to Latin America, Asia & East Africa to help learn about emerging development models and help volunteer in local communities while learning about a new culture.

I didn’t get to travel much as a child. However, this job allowed me to travel to interesting places and learn how to navigate international workplaces, hire people globally, and run remote teams (decades before that was a public health requirement!).

So how did you then make entrepreneurship your career?

Ha! I don’t know that it was a conscious choice, but I saw problems that I could bring a unique perspective and experience in a solution that I didn’t see in the market. Neither of my parents were entrepreneurs, and I didn’t have anyone growing up that I knew was a business owner. It was a terrifying decision to make as I was brought up believing that job security was working for someone else. Having gone through the 2008 GFC, I knew that was no longer true. I also wanted to create the company culture I always wished I had.

When and why did you start indie Travel?

I started indie Travel in late 2020 (beginning a travel tech amid the COVID-19 lockdowns levels up your resilience as a founder for sure!).

I started indie to solve a problem that I had seen ignored in the larger eCommerce/restech space - why was no one building a simple tool for solo entrepreneurs who wanted to launch their first tour or activity. There are plenty of great travel reservation software companies and booking systems for mid to larger companies, but none focused on the new entrepreneur in the tours and activities space. At the same time, the creator economy was quickly accelerating with tools for solo/fractional entrepreneurs, Gumroad, Patreon and Substack, to name a few, but again no equivalent in the travel sector. So we thought it was something worth building with application across the entire sector, not just tours and activities.

Finally, three fun facts about yourself?

Ok, so I love the outdoors. I’m a big fan of walking hikes and have been to turn a “quick meeting” into a three-hour tour!

Number two, although many people consider them cheesy, one of the first things I do when I arrive in a new city is taking a Big Bus Tour. I think it’s such an exciting way to learn about modern cities and especially city planning, culture and the political choices that influence travel.

And finally, my random fact for your amusement – I first learned to play the guitar upside down. Not on purpose, just left unattended in music class!

Thanks again, Janice!

Looking for a tour booking software for your experiences? Extend your distribution with indie Travel marketplace and manage all your bookings in one place. Try for free today or contact us now for a demo.

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