Husband and wife team serve up perfect business for the internet age

PUBLISHED: 16:44 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 08 August 2018

Andrew May and Jessica McDonald of Voyage Travel Marketing. Ref shs 30 18TI 8873. Picture: Terry Ife

Andrew May and Jessica McDonald of Voyage Travel Marketing. Ref shs 30 18TI 8873. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

He was the hapless Brit straight off the plane, she the sassy American who worked for the tourist board. They bumped into each other – quite literally – on a night out in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Andrew May and Jessica McDonald of Voyage Travel Marketing. Ref shs 30 18TI 8873. Picture: Terry IfeAndrew May and Jessica McDonald of Voyage Travel Marketing. Ref shs 30 18TI 8873. Picture: Terry Ife

In a further twist to the story, he is six foot seven to her diminutive five foot one. It sounds like the start of a quirky Hollywood rom com.

But 12 years later, Andrew May and his wife Jessica McDonald have a flourishing internet travel marketing company off the High Street in Sidmouth and a baby son, Arlo.

Voyage Travel Marketing runs Facebook, Twitter and Instagram campaigns for 27 hotels across the United States, anything from encouraging reporters to review a hotel reopening after hurricane damage to dealing with room service requests for towels.

Because it is an internet company it could be run quite literally from anywhere and the couple chose Sidmouth because it’s their ‘favourite place’.

Recalling their chance meeting in 2006, Jessica said: “I was out with friends and ran into him and had to apologise and he made a funny British comment and he mentioned he had just got off the plane and was looking for places to visit and I told him I worked for the tourism board.”

Andrew, who provides the business brain to Jessica’s creative talents, recalled his first impressions: “Obviously, she was beautiful but the thing that stood out was when I said I came from Exeter in Devon, Jessica knew that area.”

Jessica added: “I would probably have two clients still if it wasn’t for him. We have opposite skills that mesh together to create the perfect business model.”

They now have four full-time and two part-time staff and would love to do more with Sidmouth businesses.

“People in our demographic often don’t come to Sidmouth but social media is a way of selling it to them,” Andrew said.

They have produced a promotional video for the town using drone footage. The video on Facebook draws people to a website and allows them to be targeted with advertising based on their data.

And what about a holiday for them this summer? Polzeath in Cornwall. But they will be taking their computers with them. Of course.

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