Press Release: Introducing SideStory

SideStory is an immersive travel service that offers imaginative, curated experiences with creative professionals. Primarily half days, SideStory Experiences are centred on the creative industries, offering the discerning traveller the chance to explore in depth a city’s local art, design, fashion, photography, and food and drink hubs.


Designed for small groups, each experience is tailored to provide unique insights into a city’s cultural highlights and most dynamic neighbourhoods. The SideStory Insiders hosting these groups include award-winning photojournalists, a Sotheby’s lecturer, Wallpaper* magazine’s Interiors Editor-at-Large, a top fashion stylist, a coffee magazine editor, an active street artist and a celebrated street poet. And we won’t be stopping there
– SideStory is adding more Insiders and Experiences all the time.

‘We’re all used to websites that allow us to book places to stay and restaurants to try. We wanted to create something that allows the discerning traveller to find new people to meet – people who could help you
to unlock the city you’re visiting’

SideStory launched in late 2015 in response to the growing demand for ‘experiences’ within the travel industry. Picking up on statistics that 82% of people are more interested in making memories than money, and that 91% would prefer to focus on meaningful experiences than their own careers1 , the team behind SideStory began looking at a way to fulfill the discerning traveller’s needs.

1 Statistics from an American Express study, 2015

‘The idea for SideStory was born of a personal experience, when I was hunting for a photographer in Seville. I saw a gap in the market for putting travellers with a creative ambition or interest in touch with a local who could make a trip truly out of the ordinary.’ Giovanni Donaldson, SideStory Co-founder & CEO

‘We feel that SideStory represents an important evolution in travel. Discerning travellers are becoming ever-more demanding in what they want to experience on a trip. What better way to uncover a destination and enrich a journey than by spending a few hours with people at the heart of a city’s creative community?’
Rachael Moloney, SideStory Co-founder & Advisor

In recent months, SideStory has partnered with a number of significant travel industry companies, including Mr & Mrs Smith, Hyatt and Andaz. With many more in the pipeline, and with SideStory teams forming in Brazil, Japan and Netherlands, we’re delighted to be taking immersive travel to the world at large.

SideStory background, in short:

Launched in July 2015, SideStory was co-founded by Giovanni Donaldson (former Corporate Development Director for Virgin Group), Rachael Moloney (former Executive Editor of Wallpaper* City Guides) and Gord Ray (former Publishing Director of Wallpaper*, now Brand Development Lead at Instagram).

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