• Declan Trifunovic

The Travel Industry Hub

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For the first in the Survive and Revive series, the tables are turned as The Travel Industry Hub’s Co-Founders, Luke Crawford and Richard Taylor, were interviewed by returning guest from Destination Webinars, Charlie Trevena. In this session, Richard and Luke delivered an all encompassing digital tour of the hub, discussing along the way its origins, plans, and the core reason why flexible working and meeting spaces are the future for individuals, companies and startups as the recovery begins.


Luke’s career began at United Airlines, before leading to Scenic Tours and Travelport. Leaving the corporate world in 2014 to create a travel technology startup, Luke then launched The Visa Machine, which he continues to run today as a global operation with offices in Sydney, Wellington, Washington DC and London. Today, the Visa Machine holds its Sydney office within the Travel Industry Hub itself!

Richard joined Galileo UK in 1999, later moving to Sydney and was with the company (by then Travelport) until 2015 in technology and sales roles, where he first met Luke. He then moved into inbound tourism as Chief Operating Officer at Equity Travel Group before co-founding TTIH with Luke. Since then, TTIH has been Richard’s passion and primary focus.

TTIH Industry Survive and Revive Initiative

To call 2020 an unfortunate year is the epitome of understatement. How then, should TTIH feel as it planned its official launch party in the first week of the countrywide lockdown? Ironic doesn’t even begin to describe it. However, Co-Founders Richard and Luke didn’t miss a beat in developing an initiative that could assist the entire industry and provide a bastion for every member hit hard with 2020’s rolling wave of uncertainty. That initiative, fittingly dubbed Survive and Revive, consisted of a series of webinars designed to keep people aware of what TTIH was doing during the lockdown, while also providing useful information and emotional support to all industry members in need. In this way, TTIH was able to encapsulate its core values of community and collaboration, and adapt them to an online format for the sole purpose of lifting up the currently struggling industry.

These sessions have not only helped many community members, but Richard and Luke themselves who have learnt many valuable lessons from the various guests they have interviewed. It is their philosophy that now is the important time to build up and come back stronger before everything reopens, and thus be ready for the inevitable resurgence of travel business.

The Hub's Origins

As with most entrepreneurial ideas, TTIH began with a need. Luke’s Visa Machine needed a secure and affordable office located near embassies, but was out of luck on tight budget. A windowless ‘cell’ of an office was only endurable for so long, before Luke and his team needed an alternative. After speaking to various other small business owners in the same predicament, Luke realised he was onto something. Eventually, he reached out to Richard, who was highly attracted by the community they could bring together, more than the physical office they could offer. As Richard put it, it needed to be better than any office that anyone’s ever had before. After many months researching coworking, and tirelessly working to getting everything up and running, The Travel Industry Hub was officially introduced to the world.

About The Hub

Whereas most coworking spaces around the world are content simply providing affordable, fun, and top-notch physical environments from which companies and professionals can work, TTIH was more ambitious. By creating an industry-specific hub, TTIH had the potential to develop a valuable network of complimentary skills all within a single space. Ofcourse, being industry specific meant that competitors would never be far from one another, and so privacy was always a paramount concern when designing the space. This is one consideration that definitely shines through in the office’s layout – with elegant dividers preventing any peeping at screens, and sound proof walls and phone booths ensuring all conversations are only heard by those in the room at the time. TTIH is also a very pleasant space to be in, with wraparound windows ensuring Luke’s nightmare of a windowless office could never be repeated.

TTIH also represents more than mere office space, with an assortment of meeting and boardrooms, a fully furnished kitchen and café-style breakout space, and even an event space complete with stage, capable of catering to up to 100 guests. The idea here is that there will always be something going on in the Hub, and therefore always another reason to check in, mingle, and network, all the while enjoying yourself with people you have something in common with. Therefore, by having office at TTIH, you’ll not only gain a professional and affordable North Sydney business address, but also access to an unparalleled network that will no doubt prove invaluable for any business or individual wishing to enhance their own skills and grow.