Tom StapletonJoint Managing Director & Co-Founder
Tom is originally from Kent, in England and loves real ale and trains. In hindsight TravelLocal wouldn’t have worked without this unique combination - we talked strategy on long train journeys and got creative at the local pub, all in the service of our travel revolution.
Tom does many things for TravelLocal, but spends much of his day choosing and communicating with the amazing local travel companies with whom we work. He has worked in the travel industry since 2005 so knows where to look and what to ask.
He has travelled to many of our destinations and has a real passion for India. Tom’s favourite travel memory is finishing a bottle of wine with an Iranian couple on the Istanbul-Tehran Express, just before the Iranian border!
Huw OwenJoint Managing Director & Co-Founder
Huw is originally from Wales, as his name gives away, and is a failed musician, which has had no effect whatsoever on TravelLocal. However he has lived and worked in some far flung places - as a teacher in Japan, managing a local travel company in Cambodia and latterly working with the UN to mentor local travel entrepreneurs in Uganda and Egypt. He has worked in the travel industry since 2003.
Huw spends most of his time extolling the benefits of buying local to just about anyone who will listen, and ensuring that our customers are well looked after. He has travelled all over the globe, but reserves a special place in his heart for Central Asia. His favourite travel memory is exploring Uganda’s art scene with a brilliant local artist.
Mark was born and raised in East Africa. He now has two homes - one is where he lives, near Zurich, and the other is anywhere he can get to on a pair of skis. He helps us with the bigger picture strategy and is on our Board, drawing on years of experience of working with growth companies in different sectors across Europe, the USA and in Africa. He experienced the late 1990s dotcom rush first-hand, leading a startup in the film industry, and later was a Partner in an investment fund. Way back in the mists of time Mark worked for Tilda Rice in Uganda - his deep love of curry dates from this period.
Mark knows East and Southern Africa particularly well and goes back to visit whenever he can. That said, his favourite travel memory is of watching tigers at dawn, from elephant back, as the sun rose to warm the jungle’s chattering wild residents in Bandhavgarh National Park, India.
Penny EdwardsHead of Digital Marketing
Penny’s roots are in the countryside, surrounded by dogs, cats and other miscellaneous pets. She likes “making stuff” and spends many an evening folding origami, sewing or working on some carpentry. Penny also - crucially - loves spreadsheets, and has a mug saying “I love spreadsheets” that proves this.
At TravelLocal she is the marketing guru, making sure our website is beautiful and easy to use and that there’s useful and inspiring content for our customers.
Her favourite travel memory is of standing on a picnic table in South Africa, watching her father being chased by a mother warthog while the rest of the family ate lunch.
Richard is the Travellocal techy guy, complete with a full beard and comfy shoes. He is in charge of a whole development team of young whiz-kids which keeps him on top of the latest technology. The grey hairs were earned at Deloitte and Microsoft - where he led some major projects including the UK’s first DNA database - and subsequently in running Rocketmakers in Bath, all of which has prepared him to ensure Travellocal is built on the latest and greatest technology and in a secure and reliable way.
His favourite travel memory is camping on Anglesey in high winds with the future Mrs Godfrey, when their tent was blown clean off a cliff – he has never camped again.
Tom Clifford joined TravelLocal when Tom (Stapleton) and Huw realised they could only get 8 hours of sleep a night by bringing more people on board to help out. His main responsibilities involve managing TravelLocal’s online platform and putting together engaging content for the website, but extend to interacting with our partners and scouring the globe for new travel opportunities.
Tom has lived in the Netherlands, Spain and Chile; this last experience sparked a passion for Latin America. He loves to regale people with (mostly true) stories of hitch-hiking through Patagonia and mountain biking down Andean volcanoes.
Martha loves words. She might even like them more than people. She writes and edits almost all the text on our website - all 30,000 words of it. Before working for TravelLocal Martha spent twelve years exploring various corners of Europe and the Middle East, turning her hand to tour guiding, ski repping, English teaching and wine tasting along the way.
Her favourite travel memory is believing an Omani citrus farmer when he assured her his lemons were so sweet you could eat them whole, peel and all. She politely grimaced her way through an entire lemon straight off the tree and could taste nothing but lemon oil for the next week.
Kati grew up in the South East and spent most of her childhood writing stories and bossing her siblings around. She moved to Bristol as a student and, having fallen utterly in love with the city, has never looked back. Neither have her siblings.
She loves baking and "cooking", spending many an evening trying bizarre combinations of flavours and hoping for the best. Kati keeps us connected to the outside world, telling our customers about the amazing trips they can take and generally making lots of noise (digitally).
Her favourite travel memory is of riding the Battambang 'bamboo train' through an unexpected rain storm.