Our art becomes a reality through traveling!
The happenings: Our way of doing an alternative and sustainable tourism
The happenings are an artistic movement from the 60s that took art from galleries, theatres, and their comfort zone, to “the streets”, available to everybody, transforming audiences into truly active participants.
At VAOVA Travel we take this concept as our center and work philosophy. The happenings manifest themselves in our travel experiences through surprising, moving, and artistic actions that involve aspects of the tradition, culture, and identity of the destinations in which we operate. The happenings also make possible our vision of doing tourism in a disruptive, conscious, and sustainable way.
We connect with local communities, business leaders, start-ups, and more than 200 artists in our activities, for whom we contribute to their welfare, and we enable spaces where we share their stories and culture while reasserting their role in society.
In short, the happenings are our inspiration and our way of combining art and tourism. Because of them, we can offer experiences that no other operator or agency can replicate, and therefore, they are not only genuinely unique experiences for our travelers but also a growth driver in the communities where we work.
We transform the image of our destinations, creating memorable experiences that connect people.
To become the most innovative alternative in group tourism and to be recognized for articulating the different actors in the industry around a common goal: to build a country.
“Va o vá” (either you go or you go) is a local motto that leaves no room for excuses, and we have thus adopted it as the name of our brand. It is, at the same time, a motto that reflects the motivation, vision, and propensity toward entrepreneurship of our founder, Juan Pablo Toro. These features, along with his inspiring passion for travelling, gave rise, in 2013, to the legendary project of VAOVA.
The skill and determination of what started as our founder’s hobby–planning trips around the world for family and friends–, unlocked the door to an ever-growing audience, compelling us to establish a company, by bringing together a talented group of people. Since day one, VAOVA’s leading ambition has been to place at the disposal of our clients, the detailed knowledge that we have of the destinations that we travel to, thereby managing to, according to the interests of each traveler, get the most out of the magic disclosed by each location.
We hit the ground running when we planned, for the first time, a trip to Colombia for a particularly demanding client: 300 students coming from two of the world’s most prestigious business schools: Harvard and Chicago Booth. After witnessing the positive responses from the students, it became apparent that we had created a product that deserved to be replicated for other clients and in other destinations. As a result, VAOVA’s iconic University Treks were born.
After our first University Trek, VAOVA grew exponentially. Ever since, more than 3,000 students have travelled with us to Colombia. Other prestigious business schools from the U.S. and Europe have come aboard the Vaova experience, including Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, and the IE Business School. As a result, we now lead the University Treks market in Colombia. Yet, because of its social and economic impact, the accomplishment that makes us proudest is having ranked Colombia as the third most popular destination in the world, only after Israel and Japan, among MBA students in the U.S. This has, at the same time, encouraged us to expand the limits of our product, in order to welcome numerous students coming from other disciplines–Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia SIPA, and Princeton Med School to name a few–, as well as international organizations, such as YPO (Young Professionals Organization) and the Atlantic Council.
In 2020, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 jeopardized the tourism industry like never before. Yet, at VAOVA, we turned the challenging situation into an opportunity to enhance, amongst other things, our company’s input in strengthening the national tourism industry. As a result, we created Events in favour of promoting our country, a project whose main purpose has been, breaking the frontiers imposed by the digital format, to promote Colombia as a touristic destiny, in the eyes of the international community. The creative spirit and determination that characterized the event enabled us to win the national industry’s most prestigious award, in the category of leadership in innovation strategies.
This is what makes us unique
We add an artistic ingredient to the craft of tourism, by transforming everyday spaces into memorable experiences that bring to light the magic and folklore hidden behind each destination. We tirelessly upgrade the experiences that we put together, in order to always go beyond our client’s expectations.
We firmly believe that tourism has the power to improve the quality of life for the large number of people who are part of the industry. That is why the experiences we offer were designed with the aim of creating employment and growth opportunities for the local communities of the destinations we travel to. Likewise, we work towards environmental conservation by exclusively partnering with responsible brands in this regard and being respectful of natural resources.
VAOVA offers you the opportunity to explore the destinations according to your particular needs and interests, no matter the size of the group. We work very hard to understand your specific aims when travelling, with the purpose of providing you with a service of the highest possible standards. You can count on us throughout the whole trip.
Work with us
We know that talent, like tourism, has no limits. That is why we are constantly on the look for new talented and creative minds to join our team, as well as for new avant-garde and committed suppliers that want to lend us a hand in innovating on the products that we offer. If you believe that your profile or product is compatible with Vaova, please leave us your information below: