My business partner, Joe Diaz, and I started AFAR because we love travel and we believe in its power to transform and enrich people’s lives. We knew there were many who shared that view. Our dream was to find these people and connect with them. And we have.
This issue marks the second anniversary of AFAR, and connecting with you, our community, is an incredibly fun and gratifying experience.
There are a lot of you out there. We estimate that each issue of AFAR reaches more than half a million people. And you are incredible travelers. Our recent subscriber study (which got a great response—thank you very much!) revealed that our average reader takes nearly 20 trips a year, half of which are to international destinations.
You seem to like what we’re doing. You spend over an hour with each issue, and more than 80 percent of you take action based on something you’ve read.
Of course, we always strive to make each issue better than the last, to keep surprising you, and to reach out to all those other people who might not yet have heard about AFAR.
We also want you to be able to connect with us in new ways. We’ve recently made the magazine available digitally through Zinio (zinio.com/afar) so you can access it no matter where you are. And we continue to expand and improve AFAR.com, where you can engage with other travelers and locals to have deeper, richer, and more personal travel experiences. We recently introduced a feature that enables you to share pictures and descriptions of your favorite travel moments. In the next few months, we’ll be adding more content from the magazine to AFAR.com to spur more conversations. Perhaps most exciting, we are working on a mobile application so that you can create and access content on the go.
We’re also excited about connecting with you in the real world. This October, we are launching AFAR Experiences with a three-day event in Cairo that is sure to be unforgettable. More than 700 of you have already asked for more information about it, and we’re looking forward to putting together a fascinating group. For those who won’t be able to join us in Egypt, rest assured we are already working on another Experience for next spring. But no, I’m not telling you where it will be just yet.
Finally, in a project that is close to all of our hearts, we are helping to develop the next generation of AFAR travelers. Now in its second year, the Learning AFAR program helps send high school students, most of whom come from low-income families, on 10-day overseas trips. Led by our partner, Global Explorers, the trips take these young people inside other cultures and open their minds to all kinds of possibilities. This summer, we helped send more than 70 students to Costa Rica, Peru, and Cambodia. Sarah Girma, one of our Learning AFAR students, said, “Our trip had such a profound effect on me. I would love to be able to work for a company like Global Explorers or AFAR and help young adults travel, exposing them to what the world has to offer.”
We are indeed fortunate to do what we do. Thank you for joining in the fun. As always, please let us know how we can do it even better.
COFOUNDER & CEO
This appeared in the September/October 2011 issue of AFAR Magazine