Since the .travel top-level domain launched in 2005, thousands of individuals and businesses in the travel industry have eagerly embraced .travel as their Internet moniker. Over the years we have interviewed many successful travel and tourism operators using .travel to showcase their business, tell their unique story, and attract more travelers with their industry-specific domain.
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Recently, we talked to Ifigenia Garita and Luis Daniel Montero of Osa Wild Travel, which promotes ecotourism on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Founded by naturalist guides with a passion for helping local communities, they invite travelers to join them on authentic, sustainable, eco-conscious adventures. They use the domain name Osawild.travel because it perfectly describes what they offer to their customers.
Tell us how Osa Wild Travel came about. Why did you start this business?
I didn’t plan for Osa Wild to become a business. We were doing trips around the Osa Peninsula discovering the potential of the land owned by the people. As a conservationist, my biggest dream was to see that the Osa Peninsula is not sold out the way other parts of Costa Rica have been, and that locals will value their land instead of selling it and then experiencing a negative financial impact later on. I was working as a consultant, helping local families understand what to do with their land and how to value the natural resources, customs, and traditions, so they won’t feel the need to sell. I want travelers to come and admire how people live in the Osa.
Community-based tourism became the best way for me to start this mission and soon we had more and more interested local people wanting us to visit their farms. We advised them on creating butterfly farms, cultivating orchids, making trails, and even going for night walks to catch their own prawns for dinner. This type of consulting was rewarding but it wasn’t economically sustainable, so I started working as a guide in the Corcovado National Park, which was very unusual for women to do. You needed to carry food, water, camping gear, and your guiding equipment for 21 or 26 km and the local men thought that was not possible for a woman. I have been doing this since I was 23 years old and now I’m in my 40s. I train more female guides to do this awesome job and demonstrate we can do things that used to be considered just for men.
Does Osa Wild Travel specialize in any particular area?
Yes, we love community based tourism. We are pioneers in developing it here, and we’ve been doing it for the past 15 years. We are also experts at planning trips to Corcovado National Park.
Who is your ideal customer?
A naturalist—a person that loves nature and loves to explore the rainforest. Also, travellers who want to meet people. We love to connect our travellers with local people and the rainforest.
What are your goals for Osa Wild Travel?
We want to be an example of how tourism can really support the local economy, and we want to demonstrate that we can be 100% sustainable. We want the local people to trust that there can be good business and that acting like a social enterprise is the way to reach this goal. At the moment we run environmental, educational, and health programs through our social responsibility programs so we can take the right actions and demonstrate what we love to do: support local people through tourism.
How did you discover .travel?
We discovered it thanks to seeing other quality companies such as arival.travel using it. They have great content on their website.
What made you decide to choose .travel as your domain name extension
Our domain used to be osawildtravel.com, but once we discovered .travel we wanted it. Our official name is Osa Wild Travel Agency so osawild.travel is very accurate, and a much better fit for our brand.
Tell us how Covid-19 has impacted your business and what you are doing to address the challenges.
Covid-19 has hit us hard, as any other tourism business, but we remain hopeful and optimistic that when this storm passes people will be anxious to visit places like the Osa Peninsula and reconnect with nature.
We are doing our best to move on, working on our website, creating new products, and having fun traveling to new destinations around the Osa. We know it will be hard, but we know that we have a brilliant staff of collaborators working hard so when things get better we will be prepared and do even better than before
We want to send a big hug and pura vida to all the other travel businesses that are having a hard time right now. Hang in there. We must remain united and show solidarity.
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