Travamigos CEO and co-founder James Wormington has appeared on BBC Radio Leicester to talk about developing his revolutionary group travel app. Interviewed by Ben Jackson on his morning Programme, James discussed the Travamigos story, its success and plans for the future.
Asked about the ‘lightbulb moment’ when he conceived Travamigos on a beach in Copacabana, James said: “They brew Brahma beer in Brazil, it’s a real local delicacy, 50p a pint. I was enjoying one of those on the beach and I was on my own and I thought, ‘this is too good an experience not to share with other people – so, lightbulb moment, flash!’”
Since launching in May 2018, Travamigos has accrued five-star reviews on the app store and had over 10,000 downloads in the UK. “People have said it’s amazing and they wouldn’t travel without it. Someone even met their girlfriend in one of the groups,” James told Ben. To date, users have created over a thousand groups to plan trips all over the world, from Bali to Amsterdam.
The app has become so successful that James gave up his job as a quantity surveyor last year to focus full-time on Travamigos. “It’s a proud moment, what started as a hobby is now my full-time job,” said James. “What makes me even more proud is that people who wouldn’t have gone travelling before can go now. I want everyone to have the experience of going backpacking.”
When asked what makes the app so unique, James explained: “The problem with organised tours is that you don’t get to meet people until you get there, the prices you pay are usually 30 percent higher and you have a tour guide, so it almost feels like a school trip. A lot of people crave that autonomy and freedom but also like the comfort of being in a group. So, we provide the hybrid for that.”
Following financial backing from Mark Duckmanton of Top Chain Investments Ltd earlier this year, James talked about current plans to develop additional safety features for Travamigos, including passport checks for new users. In the coming months, the app will also launch on Android and there will be a major update of the iOS version.
Speaking about plans for the future, James said: “We’re constantly developing the app, we’re implementing machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning to keep us one step ahead of the game.”