“A Tour Operator’s Point of View”: Kylie Chenn – Show Notes

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic Agency
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand
  • Name: Kylie Chenn
  • Position: Founder & CEO at Acanela Exeditions
  • Favorite Destination: Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia
  • Dream Destination: Madagascar or Georgia

“A Tour Operator’s Point of View” – Show Notes and Highlights


About Kylie:

  • Kylie grew up in a small town in Northern Idaho. As a child, she traveled a lot within her state and enjoyed being outdoors. While she was in university, she continued to travel within the country while playing for her school’s basketball team. 
  • Kylie’s first international travel experience was when she got the opportunity to study at Oxford and Cambridge in England, as well as in Lisbon, Portugal. It was during these travel abroad experiences that Kylie grew to love international travel. After graduation, Kylie and her husband moved to Malawi, Africa for an internship. While there, they had the chance to visit several other countries in Africa. Over time, their love for crossing borders grew from a hobby, into a passion.

About Acanela Expeditions

  • Acanela Expeditions was founded as a way to bridge the gap between the average consumer and international travel. Some of the first tours they offered were to India, with other countries such as Finland, Peru, and Morocco soon following. 
  • Acanela started to grow once they were able to recognize the places that people wanted to go, but were afraid to go by themselves. Now, Acanela Expeditions offers tours in 100 different countries.

How Can DMOs best appeal to Tour Operators?

  • Accessibility is vital when it comes to curating tours around a destination. Government politics, visa accessibility, and language barriers are all important factors to consider.
  • It is also important for destinations to bring visibility to what makes them unique. Oftentimes, a destination might have amazing things to offer, but don’t have the media exposure to inform potential visitors.

Building a Trip Around a Destination

  • When people travel to a country, they often travel like they might not ever get to come back. Because of this, it is important to curate trips where people get to experience multiple highlights of the destination. Visitors want to experience as much as possible.
  • People are traveling because they want a life-changing experience. They want to make memories and take photos. We, as destination marketers, need to foster an environment that promotes this personal growth in our guests. 
  • Travelers, especially those traveling for a long time to get to your destination, want a bucket-list trip. Consider partnering with multiple destinations and attractions to create this kind of experience.

How Acanela has Adapted for the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Over the past couple of weeks, Acanela has begun launching artisan products. Some of these products include the adventure dress, the adventure pack, as well as spice blends sourced directly from various locations around the world. The implementation of these products will be a great long-term component of Acanela. 
  • Another question Acanela has been working to answer is how to bring travel to people. They have been diving into creating content to help people experience international destinations from the comfort of their homes. Acanela has utilized content creation as well as collaboration with some of its partners across the globe to bring to life this unique experience.

Acanela Trips

  • Acanela offers trips all over the world with various experiences geared towards different types of travelers. Kylie recently returned from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the popular trekking adventures. 
  • Womens-only trips are also popular at Acanela. These are geared towards women who want to travel but feel more comfortable traveling with other women. This is one way that Kylie has discovered demand in the travel market.

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast