Coventry entrepreneur aims to shake up travel business - The Coventry Observer

14th Aug, 2022

Coventry entrepreneur aims to shake up travel business

A COVENTRY entrepreneur has launched an online venture which he hopes will shake up the travel business.

Matthew Barker, a former pupil at Stoke Park School, has started Horizon Guides which, he says, is a new and innovative way of bringing would-be travellers and travel firms together.

Matthew, 35, who lived in North Avenue, Stoke Park, explained: “We have guides to such wonderful travel experiences as touring Cuba, seeing the Northern Lights, and trekking in Patagonia.

“Written by experts and beautifully designed, they are free to download from our website. We make our money because each one is sponsored by a travel firm.

“With our technology we can put travel firms directly in touch with their potential customers, at a fraction of the usual cost of online advertising.

“The readers get valuable and reliable information, because the sponsors have no editorial control, and the sponsor gets a regular stream of new customers, cheaply.”

It works – as one partner, Ker Downey Africa, discovered. Marketing manager Nick Wright said: “Horizon Guides has done all the hard work to generate content, and then given us the revenue generation potential. It’s almost too good to be true.”

And Horizon Guides has won praise from Tony Wheeler, the man who launched Lonely Planet travel guides. He said: “I’m always intrigued to see new travel publishing concepts…and Horizon Guides seem to be going somewhere interesting and with high production values.”

After 12 months, Matthew has published 20 guides and notched up over 10,000 downloads. Now he’s looking for £150,000 in new investment to expand and he’s using the crowdfunding website Crowdcube , to give the public a chance to buy a slice of his firm. People can go on to the site, hear his pitch and check out the firm before deciding whether or not to invest from as little as £10.

Matthew says: “All investing is risky and potential investors need to satisfy themselves that this is for them, but I’m confident that if we get the finance we are looking for we can take Horizon Guides to the next level. Eventually I want us to be a worldwide name in travel publishing.”



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