Who are we?
Jim Louth – Director and founder of Undiscovered Destinations
Jim developed his passion for travel from a young age. Firstly, thanks to his father’s employment with British Rail and the concessions on offer, he explored Europe by train. After leaving school Jim began to travel further afield; Greyhound bus across America, an independent overland trip through Africa and the Trans-Siberian railway all by the time he was 20. A couple of years living and working in New York were followed by a two year stint teaching English in Brazil, plus plenty of travel in between. It was then time to settle down. Jim was delighted when his application to work for the UK’s leading independent travel agency Trailfinders was accepted. This meant a move to the north east of England, which he now considers to be very much home. After five years with Trailfinders it was time to take the plunge and to set up Undiscovered Destinations. Since then there’s been no looking back as Jim has developed his love for travel into a highly successful business. When asked what motivates him, Jim always gives the same answer ‘That’s easy. It’s the fact that I know we’re making a real difference, opening up countries to the potential of responsible tourism and the benefits that this can bring.’ When not travelling, Jim can be found with friends tucked away in one of Newcastle’s legendary pubs.
Favourite country/destination – Bangladesh
Best travel experience – Cruising down the Ganges Delta onboard a 100 year old ‘Rocket’ paddle steamer
Describe yourself in 3 words – Adventurous, Considerate, Curious
If I had a superpower it would be – Bring more equality to the world
Mark's love of geography and the natural environment stems from an early age. After leaving school Mark embarked on a round the world trip that embedded a passion for experiencing new countries and cultures. Mark has over 10 years of experience in the travel industry and recent travel highlights include scaling the limestone peaks of the Tsingy in Madagascar, feeling very small at the vast canyon of Jebel Shams in Oman, and getting up close and personal with elephants at a conservation project in Myanmar. All-time travel highlight? Tough one but it has to be scaling the awesome tepui mountain of Roraima in Venezuela. Mark is a passionate environmentalist and has also worked with communities and the third sector across the North East of England promoting renewable energy and resource efficiency, raising awareness of the local and regional impact of Climate Change and raising the profile of fuel poverty. In his spare time Mark is a sports and outdoor enthusiast with a particular love of cycling and recently completed the 1000 mile ride from Lands End to John O'Groats.
Favourite country/destination – Tough question but if you’re gonna push me then I’ll go for Italy
Best travel experience – Climbing Mt Roraima in Venezuela inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Lost World
Describe yourself in 3 words – Totally sport mad (to the annoyance of my wife!)
If I had a superpower it would be – To fly (without being in a plane)
Linda joins Undiscovered Destinations having relished the thrill of travel for many years during a career in Hospitality Management and, for the past 14 years, in the travel industry. She has been fortunate enough to visit a number of destinations worldwide but has a particular love for Africa, admiring the beauty and history of the continent, its magnificent wildlife and wonderful, proud and resilient people who exhibit a real joy for life in often trying conditions. She shares our keen interest in emerging destinations and is looking forward to the day to day involvement with them. When not travelling Linda has a love of nature and wildlife, in particular England's Lake District and is an avid reader.
Favourite country/destination - Ethiopia
Best travel experience - Waking up on the first morning in a new country
Describe yourself in 3 words - optimistic, empathetic, engaged
If I had a superpower it would be - To possess a cloak of invisibility
A tourism graduate, Anna joined UD in January 2012. She has previous experience in travel sales, marketing and transport. Her interest in travel began as a youngster and she travelled extensively with her family. In later years she travelled, worked and lived overseas in Europe and North America. Her favourite holidays have included an almond farm in Portugal, a private tour of Southern California and Mexico; and life as an ex-pat in a Spanish village. Anna combines UD life with postgraduate psychology study and is also an associate lecturer at Northumbria University.
Favourite country/destination - Tobago
Best travel experience - Heading off to work in the USA at the tender age of 20
Describe yourself in 3 words - Foot stomping princess
If I had a superpower it would be - I’d be Ms Claire Voyance
With over twenty years experience in the travel and tourism sector, ranging from airlines to travel agents and tour operators, Aled still maintains a passion for travel. A qualified diver and keen motorcyclist, any destination with good diving is a favourite and he has still not ruled out his ambition of riding from Cairo to Cape Town on a motorbike, despite what his wife may say! Aled deals with the marketing and business development aspects of Undiscovered Destinations but will often be found with his head down working on a new tour or a private itinerary for our clients.
Favourite country/destination – Borneo
Best travel experience – Finding a caracal having a snooze in our room while on safari in Africa.
Describe yourself in 3 words – Concise
If I had a superpower it would be – to be able to ignore a message for more than 1 minute when it arrives on my phone