Vayando is an introduction to a community, and a way to meet great people and better understand local livelihoods.
Expect a personal day-in-the-life, and less of a guided tour. Know that some experiences will be more structured than others. Realize that there may be a bit of a language barrier.
Go with it or book a local interpreter too! Be curious and open to the day developing organically!
Book your tour on www.vayando.com
To identify entrepreneurs, Vayando partners with reputable field partner organizations (for example, NGOs focused on community development) in each country where we operate. These partners identify motivated entrepreneurs in the communities where they work and support them in creating a profile on Vayando.
This provides quality assurance for both Vayando and the traveler, and is an opportunity for our field-partners to increase impact of their organization. Tech savvy entrepreneurs can apply directly to Vayando to create a profile and be marketed. Entrepreneurs who sign up directly are vetted through a series of Skype interviews, referrals, and social media presence.
Vayando works closely with these Entrepreneurs to ensure quality and fit.
Vayando is an introduction to a community, and a way for travelers to meet great people and better understand local economies. Expect a personal day-in-the-life, and less of a packaged tour. The people we market are engaged in their livelihood practices, and are not "tour guides" per se. Know that some experiences will be more structured than others and realize that there may be a bit of a language barrier, just go with it or book a local translator too. Be curious and flexible and open to the day developing organically.
Activities marketed include local farming, animal husbandry, agroforestry, beekeeping, fishing, shopkeeping, local food preparation, the arts, cottage industries, handicraft production, coffee harvesting, public health outreach opportunities, environmental conservation initiatives, community development efforts, and cooperative level production. We market local people. The possibilities are endless.
We do not market activities that contribute to human trafficking, the endangerment of child welfare, illicit drug trade, organized crime, poaching, animal abuse, nor natural resource exploitation. This includes, sex tourism, child labor, narcotic production, gang involvement, and illegal environmental degradation. Activities that seek to promote educational awareness of certain types of the above practices are considered. Some activities - such as farming - can arguably be considered harmful to the environment. These types of practices are permitted as long they are part of the local economy and not promoted strictly to market for tourism. Vayando follows the UN’s Ethical Code of Conduct for tourism and engages with industry leaders in developing strong child protection policies.
Managing a Vayando profile is free for entrepreneurs. All entrepreneurs must be vetted by an established Vayando field-partner organization or representative. All the entrepreneur needs is access to a basic cell phone to manage bookings and receive payment.
Vayando is a community driven tool, and not an open access platform. All entrepreneurs on Vayando have been referred to the system and added with support from a reputable field partner organization. Further, Vayando is working to include a review system into our platform so travelers can publicly rate the quality of the experience and offer constructive feedback that goes direct to the entrepreneur via SMS for service improvement. Testimonials will be added to entrepreneur profiles as well where travelers can add highlights of their experience. Conversely, entrepreneurs will be able to publicly rate travelers as well via an SMS to online system. Vetting and review adds layers of trust to the system.
Vayando is a market-based transaction between a traveler and a local with a valuable skill. Entrepreneurs receive 75% of the total amount listed on the profile (Please note their is a small surcharge added on during checkout to cover international money transfer fees). During the onboarding process for new entrepreneurs, Vayando's field partners ask entrepreneurs what they think is a fair price to receive per traveler. More times than not, entrepreneurs undervalue their service and Vayando bumps up the price point to better reflect market rates. Vayando is working to standardize our pricing structure based on a number of factors, including length of experience, skill level required, types of inputs included, etc.
For profit social enterprises have a double bottom line. It means that we not only focus on being a self-sustaining and profitable business but that we include longer term social impact into our value proposition. Being for-profit means that we are responsive to our customer and client needs and not dependent on financial support from grants or donors. To have a sustainable impact - and be a viable business model - Vayando captures a 10% service fee and 15% booking fee for each transaction, added onto the per person rate agreed individually with entrepreneurs, and not deducted from the entrepreneur's earning. This covers credit card processing, booking fees, money transfer rates, and all the work Vayando is doing on the backend!
Vayando utilizes Stripe payment for all credit card processing. Stripe is a leading payment gateway meaning that credit card information is never exposed or stored on Vayando. All credit card information passes straight through to their system. Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification for global business.
If you don't have a credit card, you can confirm a booking and easily make mobile money payment via our Invoices page. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of the experience, requested booking date, and number of travelers and we'll walk you through the process. It's so easy!
We get asked quite often if it's Ok to just pay in cash day of the experience, vs reserving and paying online. When travelers book a visit, the entrepreneur is reserving that day to host the group and is also blocking out other travelers from booking the same day. Receiving payment upfront guarantees that the entrepreneur will receive payment in the event of a last minute cancellation or "no show" from the traveler. Please see our Cancellation policy below for specifics.