We're working on fighting global poverty, but not in the traditional way. Instead of continuing to perpetuate Bangladesh's battered image as an impoverished nation in need, we are here to introduce it to the world as a new frontier in travel development.
We want to show that there is an economic opportunity to be derived from travel to Bangladesh, one that many Bangladeshi tour operators are struggling to take advantage of. Many in the industry are also actively linking tourism income directly to the people who could benefit the most from such opportunities.
The Crowdsourced Travel project is about creating a new open source repository of Bangladesh-focused travel information and marketing material for one of the world's most misunderstood countries. As passionate travellers, we believe in the life-changing potential of journeys to Bangladesh -- it is one of those extraordinary destinations that will open your heart while challenging your soul.
Instead of continuing to forward charity initiatives that rely on using images of people in poverty, we believe that Bangladesh needs to harness the economic potential of tourism to create more grassroots economic opportunities for its people.
To promote the country our first initiative was to source and design a 'coffee table style' photography book called Positive Light. We seek to present a balanced image of Bangladesh, one that shows both the beauty and the reality Bangladeshis face.
As we authored the first edition of Bangladesh: The Bradt Travel Guide, we also assembled a mountain of travel intelligence, travel photography and tourism marketing material. As we travelled we also acquired GPS and geotagged photo data for every hotel, restaurant and tourist site in the entire country.
We had no idea what we would end up doing with all this material. But we knew it would one day help make travel much easier and approachable in a country where information is incredibly difficult to find. After the guidebook was published, we stopped developing our online initiatives simply because we didn't know what to do with the information and we couldn't afford to keep doing it voluntarily. Our bread money was running out.
But now, the last four years we've spent mastering open source technology has taught us the value of open source and crowdsourced material. We have been very fortunate to participate in the open source movement from Australia and it's now our turn to give back to the travel community we care about in Bangladesh.
We use collaboration, open-source software, websites and mobile applications to promote under-travelled destinations, especially those in which the tourism market can bring economic opportunities to those in need.
About Crowdsourced Travel
Crowdsourced Travel is also an online travel guide: where open source platforms like Wikitravel leave off, we step in with more detailed, in-depth and multimedia-rich travel information, generally targeted to longer explorations in a single destination.
Whenever possible, we release the results of our work to the creative commons or open databases (eg. Wikitravel, Flickr), thus enabling the royalty-free usage of our photographs, videos and text.
Finally, Crowdsourced Travel is also an adventure tour operator and agency, offering specialty exposure tours to travel media and to those aspiring to join the travel media. We feature the best companies and experiences in a destination and invite travel media or travellers to join those experiences.
• Open source, Community-powered
• Travel for Good, Travel for Change, Travel for Knowledge
• The traveller comes first