SINGAPORE, 17 May 2023: Travelport, a technology company that powers travel bookings for travel suppliers worldwide, and Jamie McDonald, a British adventurer better known as “Adventureman”, announced a new world record Wednesday – the fastest time to visit the new Seven Wonders of the World, achieved in less than seven days.
Confirmed by Guinness World Records, the journey was achieved in six days, 16 hours, and 14 minutes, using only public transportation.
The challenge was set to Adventureman by Travelport to put the company’s modern retail platform, Travelport+, to the test, proving that the company’s technology allows its travel agency partners to simply plan, book and manage even the world’s most complex trip.
“When we began upgrading our agency partners to Travelport+ in 2021, it was with the intent of making the complicated travel industry easier and faster to navigate,” said Travelport chief executive officer Greg Webb.
“This epic adventure was the ultimate test for our platform – could we take the world’s most complex trip and make it simple? Could we ensure it was easy to service? Would the platform be agile enough to accommodate whatever unforeseen bumps the trip encountered? Six days, sixteen hours and fourteen minutes later, we had our answer: yes, yes and yes. This trip also proves that, after a few challenging years for the industry, travel is back and better than ever.”
Travelbag, a travel agency that has been a longtime partner of Travelport, booked all aspects of Adventureman’s trip via Travelport+, and they were able to search, filter, find, compare and build the most complex itinerary with ease using Smartpoint Cloud.
Adventureman had round-the-clock access to a dedicated Travelbag Travel Specialist who, on his request, tracked evolving travel restrictions, identified schedule changes, and made necessary tweaks to his itinerary in real-time.
He also accessed the Travelport Trip Manager feature on the go to add ancillaries and extras (such as meals and seats) to his itinerary.
For travellers who want to visit one, or all, of the seven modern wonders themselves, Travelbag has a range of packages available, allowing travellers to visit all seven wonders of the world themselves (packages starting from UKP31,000) or visit an individual wonder (packages starting at UKP1,300 per person).
Adventureman began the trip at the Great Wall of China, the world’s longest human-made structure, and the world-record clock started ticking when he left the first wonder via toboggan. Second, he visited India’s Taj Mahal – the country’s top tourist destination, widely considered a symbol of eternal love. From there, he travelled to Jordan and then by bus to the ancient city of Petra, whose carved rose-red sandstone rock facades, tombs, and temples became even more famous from their role in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Departing Jordan, Adventureman flew to Rome to see its legendary Colosseum, envisioning ancient gladiator battles before he made time for a quick pizza pit stop (the only non-aeroplane food he consumed during the trip). Christ the Redeemer, the world’s largest art deco statue, brought Adventureman to Brazil, where he was equally in awe of the view from its platform as he was of the statue itself. The sixth wonder, Machu Pichu (an Incan citadel nearly 8,000 feet above sea level), was Adventureman’s favourite: he plans to go back one day and buy a stuffed llama toy there to bring back for his daughter. Finally, after only six days, 16 hours and 14 minutes, he reached Chichén Itzá, an archaeological site that was a hallowed place of ceremony in the Mayan culture.
For the trip to be endorsed by Guinness World Records, Adventureman had to abide by several rules:
- Use only scheduled public transportation, with licensed taxi rides unable to exceed 50 kilometres;
- Keep a logbook with clearly indexed evidence (receipts, tickets, etc.) supporting each step;
- Obtain receipts and/or tickets everywhere available;
- Use accurate professional equipment (i.e. GPS tracking equipment);
- Take videos and photos showing the applicant, the location and the date at each site visited;
- Get a written or recorded statement from an official member of staff, local dignitary and/or police officer at each site;
- Understand that the ‘clock’ starts the moment the challenger leaves the first wonder site, and it does not stop for any reason until the challenger sets foot in the final site.
For Adventureman, the main focus of the record-breaking trip was raising funds for his charity, the Superhero Foundation. As a child, Jamie was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia, and doctors warned his parents that he might lose the ability to walk. Through the help of many doctors, hospitals and his family, his health improved, starting him on his lifelong mission of giving back to sick kids around the world. To kick start fundraising efforts, Travelport has donated UKP22,856, a dollar for every mile that Jamie, a Pride of Britain winner, travelled for this challenge. The money will be utilised to continue the charity’s mission: helping families in need fund treatments, therapies and equipment that aren’t freely available to them through their traditional or local healthcare support system.
“In my previous adventures, I’ve run solo across America (the equivalent of 210 marathons) and have cycled 22,000 kilometres from Thailand to the UK, and yet, this was certainly my most complex, complicated trip yet,” said McDonald, better known as Adventureman. “With travel, there are just so many variables – weather, restrictions, delays, customs, traffic, cancellations, you name it. When you’re attempting to set a world record, speed and agility are key. There was no other partner besides Travelport that could’ve made this all possible.”
Travelport calculated the carbon emissions from Adventureman’s trip using the Travel Impact Model, a shared framework for calculating air travel emissions maintained by Google. It developed as part of Travalyst, an independent not-for-profit organisation of which Travelport is a member. Travalyst is working to unify industry tools and information to bring sustainable travel to the mainstream. As such, the total CO2 emissions of the world record trip was 2,523 kg. Travelport will remove these emissions with high-quality carbon dioxide removal services from Climeworks. To learn more about the Seven Wonders Challenge, to book a trip to the Seven Modern Wonders, or to make a donation to the Superhero Foundation, visit Travelport.com/7wonders