It was the incredible “otherness” of Japan that inspired our directors Simon King and Alastair Donnelly to start a travel company. Having both spent the previous three years teaching English in Japan, they wanted to give more people the chance to experience and discover a country they had both fallen in love with. That was back in 2000. From there, our ‘get beneath the surface’ ethos was born.
Both directors have always focused on keeping clear values for the business – to be trustworthy, knowledgeable, high-quality, ethical and friendly – as well as a sense of purpose rooted in responsible, sustainable travel and business practices. We were heavily involved in tsunami recovery work in Japan after the 2011 disaster and have continued to support destination communities as well as charitable causes in Bristol.
Since 2000, we have developed two brands – InsideJapan Tours and InsideAsia Tours – and we send over 12,000 customers to multiple countries in Asia each year. In 2020, Inside Travel Group (ITG) employee around 85 staff in our Bristol office and a further 100 employees worldwide in offices in Japan, Australia and the United States.
Inside Travel Group in Bristol
Our first brand, InsideJapan Tours, was created when Simon and Alastair returned from Japan and set-up working from a spare bedroom in Nailsea, just outside of Bristol. Both directors live in Bristol, cycle to work and feel strongly part of the Bristol community. Most of our UK staff also live in Bristol, and love living in the city. ITG is committed to making sure that its business success benefits the local community in Bristol, as well as the destinations we send clients to in Asia.
Activities over the past year include giving 150 hours of staff time to help at the homeless shelter and other projects run by Caring in Bristol in 2019. Our staff enjoy giving back to their community, partaking in everything from marathons to cake baking, and even joining the Dragon Boat Festival in Bristol Harbour to support Caring in Bristol.
We engage our customers too, enabling them to donate partially used transport cards to our Japan charity, Second Harvest Japan, and empowering them to make their trips that bit more sustainable.
Inside Travel Group and Better Business
We’d like to give back more to the city of Bristol, and we know the best way to do that is by joining a like-minded group of businesses. We’re keen to partake in the Better Business community and support the excellent social projects, like training and giving work experience to young chefs.
As well as financially contributing to Better Business, we would like to expand our volunteering programme to give staff a range of volunteering opportunities to partake in. We would also like to host fundraising events in our large break-out area in our centrally located office in Electricity House.
We hope to continue to be a great workplace for our staff, and to restart offering work-placements for young people interested in gaining experience in the travel industry.