Tourism in Iceland is growing rapidly, this much is true and with the growth of tourist, the need for investment in infrastructure, innovation and services to cater to the market demand is also growing. I believe startups or entrepreneurs are more suited to rise to this challenge. It is difficult for established companies to move quickly, read why I believe this to be true.
Guidetoiceland.is is one of the startups that has been accepted into the GreenQloud Startup Program. I believe for startups to be successful there are a number of requirements, the most important of all is the founding team. I met Elmar Johnson and Ingolfur Shahin, the CEO and COO. Elmar, wait for it… is a medical doctor with a passion for travel. I am very impressed with the team that Elmar and Ingolfur have assembled to take this company forward. In addition to Elmar and Ingolfur, Xiaochen Tian and Iurie Belegurschi are the other co-founders of this team. They have built an online marketplace for destination travel services by connecting a hodge-podge of tour operators, hotels and destinations into a single source that any tourist can easily navigate and also solicit the services of locals to go on guided tours. The online marketplace platform that runs Guide to Iceland is called TravelShift. The way the website operates is by providing free tours from tour operators to bloggers and thereby creating a affiliate program for real services. I think this is brilliant, here is a Google Adwords meet Tupper ware network marketing and selling. All of this surrounded by beautiful images taken by Iurie Belegurschi, who takes just amazing pictures.
The team is tenacious, detailed, and really passionate about how they want to build this business. This is the kind of team that I love to work with. They are always bubbling with ideas and ways to drive the business forward. IMHO, you have seen nothing yet from this team and really excited to be working with them.