An Interview with Tony Carne of Urban Adventures

Tony at workToday we’re talking to Tony Carne, the general manager at Urban Adventures; which facilitates day tours, with a local.

One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Given one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies, we’ve been profiling the entrepreneurs in the travel industry to learn more about who they are, what they are working on, and what makes them tick.

Here is a bit about Tony…

1) What do you do?

I’m the General Manager of Urban Adventures. Our simple goal is to make sure people have the Best. Day. Ever. in all our destinations around the World. We want to make sure that all and every destination experience people have – from their coffee and breakfast in the morning until their last drink at night – is a great one. We combine a mix of people, knowledgeable and technology to ensure a curious traveller is always catered for, be it from a recommendations on the best local breakfast from our free iPhone Treasure mApps to meeting a passionate, enthusiastic local guide who wants to answer your questions that are relevant to your interests about the destination, to having a unique experience that you just couldn’t access without going on one of our tours. At the end of your stay in a destination we want only positive memories and wonderful stories for a traveller to take away with them.

2) Why do you do what you do?

In a nutshell I love travelling, hate having crappy experiences when travelling and not a fan of doing mountains of research before travelling. I’m sure I’m not alone so we now have a business to see if that is the case. In a little over 3 years we’ve managed to find well over 100,000 others with the same needs so we are on the right track.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

There is so much to be excited about right now. We work with wonderful and passionate people so the excitement levels are always pretty high but we’ve just kicked off in a range of new destinations including San Sebastian, Mexico City, Dubai and Bogota. We love seeing our range grow into new areas where people can now be guaranteed great experiences – every time. We are also closing the whole of destination visit loop with our Pre Arrival Survival notices to help people before they physically meet up with us and our Treasure mApps that are kryptonite to tourist trap crappiness when it comes to places to hang out, eat, drink and have fun. Continually adding value is always exciting.

4) What’s next for you?

We have something we think is seriously game changing coming up. We will be partnering with some very smart people who have cracked the code (literally) on booking ground transport. Together we are going to package together passes that allow maximum freedom in travel choice like a backpacker might experience (full freedom of accommodation choice, stay in a place as long or as short as you like, be spontaneous) but without the hassle and with the ability to plug them into the local (non-tourist) scene of a destination as soon as they arrive through all the value add services we offer at Urban Adventures. We’ll be giving them a SIM to get the full experience from our Treasure mApps (they also work offline but not with full features) without worrying about roaming charges and 24/7 phone support. This will be the closest anyone has come to commoditising FIT that we know of.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I’m seriously passionate about win-win outcomes in community tourism. We really want to be a tool to help people take control of tourism in their destination. We don’t hire people and funnel profits out of destinations but rather we partner with people to build sustainable businesses that improve communities. That’s as good a reason as any to turn up to work each day.

A big thanks to Tony for sharing his current passions and projects, if you’d like to connect or find out more about Tony, you can find him on his OHW profile.

To learn more:

Urban Adventures on Twitter or Facebook


We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks as a part of our interview series. If you’re an entrepreneur in the travel vertical and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld dot com).

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Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow.com from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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