The Short Story
Launched in 2003, Urban Expeditions began offering orientation activities for international students. Our aim was to help amateur travelers navigate the unique cultural elements of big cities with efficiency and confidence.
The company was founded by educator Peter Odle. His passion for exploration, hands-on learning and leadership development continue to influence our efforts to enhance urban health and wellness.
Creative direction flows from Joe Dunning whose artistic talents make Urban Expeditions and Unlockthecity exciting lifestyle brands. Our core team of seven facilitators travel far and wide creating the best local city tour and experiential games in the world.
In the beginning, we produced hand-drawn maps for a handful of customers. In time, the maps became easier to manufacture using the Google platform. Their mapping technology freed up time for us to create more culturally relevant content for our city tour and game experiences.
As society began to recover from the events of 9/11, the global travel industry suffered from three additional blows - mad cow disease, SARS and the near collapse of the U.S economy. At this point, it became clear that solely building a business model around international travelers was no longer sustainable and we pivoted on the local market for 'stay-cations'.
By 2010, our customer base grew to include colleges, universities and corporate groups. Fast-forward a decade of blending social innovation with urban adventure, and we've found our stride working with gamification experts to pivot on COVID-19. These are exciting times for us because the people we serve are the only humans on earth who haven't always been tethered to some type of device.