In just 19 hours the campaign to create the photo-book 'The Climbing Travel Guide' reached its 10K euro fundraising goal to promote sustainable travel.
Mapo Tapo, an Italian startup that organizes group trips for climbers with a strong stance on sustainability, did not give in when the second lockdown put a halt to traveling. They launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to create 'The Climbing Travel Guide', a 200-page photo-book to give visibility to off-the-beaten-track areas and to raise funds for the NGO Maewan, active in eco-tourism, education, and outdoor sports. And the climbing community seems to love it, the initiative got entirely funded in less than 19 hours, with 240 backers from 33 different countries!
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The book features destinations like Thailand, Sicily (Italy), the atoll Makatea (French Polynesia), Palestine, covering 50 climbing areas in all continents. For each area, Mapo Tapo provides an overview of the best climbing spots, with particular attention to off-the-beaten-track areas, working hand-in-hand with local climbers. A photo-book with 50 destinations, more than 1000 crags, and the portrayal of thelocal climber, your point of contact for the area. The Climbing Travel Guide is the essential book all outdoor lovers need for this stay-at-home holiday season. The Mapo Tapo team plans to ship it by June 2021, but you can get some awesome gift cards if you want to give a copy of it for Christmas to a friend.
To amp up the involvement of the international climbing community, even more, each destination is accompanied by pictures by an outdoor photographer from a different part of the world. "The book itself will be a collaborative effort: we want to portray the work of photographers and writers from the outdoor community to make this a book for outdoor enthusiasts by outdoor enthusiasts!" said Daniele Calvo Pollino, CEO and co-founder of Mapo Tapo.
"Climbing is getting more and more popular, and some 'famous' areas started to suffer from overcrowding. But there are thousands of areas equally beautiful that simply didn't get the same visibility. And visiting such areas can make a difference for the local communities. Once this pandemic will be over, we want to inspire climbers to try this: spread out, explore, discover, meet up with the locals. That's the goal of The Climbing Travel Guide" said Daniele.
The support from the international climbing community has been incredible: the initiative has been shared by athletes of the caliber of Nina Caprez, Klemen Bečan and Emma Twyford, photographers like Lena Drapella, Giacomo Tonoli, Francesco Guerra, journalists/writers such as Alistair Humphrey and Andrew Bisharat and local climbing communities like Brocchi sui Blocchi and Truce Climbing.
As of Tuesday, the project's Indiegogo campaign has 17 days left to raise money and has already received almost €20,000 in donations, 198% of its €10,000 goal. The team managed to pivot their activities from travel to publishing/crowdfunding in just three weeks, in a true startup mindset. They involved talented photographers, designers, and illustrators from the outdoor industry and were able to activate Mapo Tapo's online community, which counts more than 7000 people, to spread the word, contribute ideas, and provide feedback.
Daniele and the whole team at Mapo Tapo hope to inspire the outdoor community out there to travel off-the-beaten-track and to get in touch with the local sport buddies; and be pioneers of a more sustainable way of traveling after the pandemic. "We believe there is nothing more awesome than going somewhere you didn't know about, get in touch with the local sports community, and discover the place through your favorite sport." Daniele said. "The world has to know about these places. Get ready to be inspired."
Before the second wave of restrictions in Europe, Mapo Tapo pursued this mission by organizing trips in areas that are still off-the-beaten-track, working directly with the local guides, B&Bs and communities to design and execute authentic itineraries. With each trip, Mapo Tapo was reinvesting part of ther revenues in local sport infrastructure, such as financing bolts for climbing. The creation of The Climbing Travel Guide is a way to keep the community and network of local partners engaged, even if traveling is not possible.
This Indiegogo campaign is also a way to raise money for an NGO. All profits will be donated to Maewan, an NGO supporting the development of ecotourism based on outdoor sports in remote areas around the world, like the bolting and educational initiative in Makatea that involved Charlotte Durif, Jonathan Siegrist and many other professional climbers.
According to Daniele, The Climbing Travel Guide is simply the first step in a bigger plan to promote a more sustainable way of traveling that benefits local communities and preserves the natural landscape and cultural identity. A new normal of traveling we all look forward to.
Mapo Tapo is an Italian startup founded in 2020. Mapo Tapo designs and organizes group trips off-the-beaten-track for rock-climbers. Their mission is to develop extreme sport tourism in remote locations as a way to bring economic growth in a responsible manner, respecting the environment and making local communities thrive. Mapo Tapo was featured among '2020 Most Disruptive MBA Startups' by Poets and Quants and among '32 Best Italian Startups Founded In 2020' by Startup Pill. The startup won the 1st prize at INSEAD Venture Competition (startup competition with past winners of the caliber of BlaBlaCar) and was admitted to the Bocconi University Accelerator program, B4i - Bocconi for Innovation.
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