March 16, 2016

In Pursuit of Adventurous Travel Pioneers

In Pursuit of Adventurous Travel Pioneers


Duara, the first winner of Impact Business Competition organised by Impact Iglu in May 2015 has travelled 20 000 miles to find their first partner communities but is still in the very beginning of their journey to change the future of travel in emerging countries.

Since last May the founders Elina Voipio, Annika Järvelin and Johanna Vierros have taken some important steps in building Duara as the game changer on how all of us travel in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Duara is an online platform for travel that connects travellers with local communities to drive micro-entrepreneurship in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


The team travelled to Tanzania for one month earlier this year to find the first reliable Duara contacts and establish the first pilot communities. They found seven family circles, each ready to host travellers in local homes.

“If you want to travel to Tanzania tomorrow and live in a fisherman’s village on Zanzibar or in a maasai village in the North, we can make that happen”, Järvelin says.

Two weeks ago the team participated to TeamUp Bootcamp by Aaltoes where Duara was selected as one of the top three pitches out of 25 participants. There they also found a technically skilled Juho Toivonen who joined the team.


“I like the ideology behind Duara. I joined the team because I was impressed by the founders’ passion to change the travel industry”, Toivonen says.

The next step for Duara is user testing – sending adventurous travellers to the communities to confirm the demand of such service.

But why would anyone stay in a host family in an unknown country if you can choose to stay in a comfortable hotel instead?

Voipio has realized why:

“The goal of our own trip was to test if staying in Tanzanian homes makes sense. It does. We stayed in 14 families and visited dozens more. I have been to Tanzania many times but this trip was something completely different.”

Would you like to help Duara while travelling and getting real experiences? Become a pilot traveller or subscribe to their newsletter on


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Written by Roope Kiviranta

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