Photo by Son Mercadal Agroturismo
Photo on Inntravel

Karl Watson

Managing Director



Managing Director




United Kingdom








What makes Karl Watson a Global Shaker?

Karl Watson is Managing Director of Inntravel, a sustainable tour booker for the ‘slow holiday’. It books many of the Village Ways holidays (See Manisha Pande profile), as Inntravel founder, Richard Hearn, was a founding director of Village Ways.

Inntravel was launched in 1984, setting the standard for active rural tourism in Europe. It aims to help people “discover the lesser-taken path and take your time to enjoy the moment.” It offers walking, cycling and snow holidays, and as many staff as possible experience the holidays. In a report by Which? Magazine, from July 2019, Inntravel ranked top of the table of holiday companies. The organisation was also finalists in the Top Tour Operator category in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2018, with a satisfaction rating of 93%, and named the Best Tour Operator by the German National Tourist Office in 2018.



Carcassone in France, part of an Inntravel cycling holiday. Photo on Inntravel


The organisation almost exclusively uses local, family-run hotels and other suppliers to support the local economy. They use public transport wherever possible, and support a range of social and environmental projects.

Watson has been with Inntravel since 2001. His interest in travel was born when he cycled 3,000 miles around Western Europe in 1986, visiting Switzerland, West Germany, Austria and France from the immersive perspective of the cyclist.

When asked what one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience, for the website 101holidays, he said: “Going by train, if you have the time and are staying close enough to home. A slow transition into a destination is so much better than the traumatic chaos of airports.”

He holds a degree in History from Cambridge University.

Tags: Cycling, Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel, tourism, UK

Last updated: September 26, 2020