Site launch links travel, shopping

9th Jan 2006

A website has been launched that is one of the first travel Internet sites dedicated to shopping with feature articles from the world’s best shopping destinations.The site, iTravel iShop, breaks down each city in terms of the best shopping streets, outdoor markets, the top shops, and what to buy.

Destination shopping guides include tips on a city’s most stylish hotels, where to refuel, and where to go out at night. 

iTravel iShop also has interviews with trend setters and style makers, including hoteliers Grace Leo-Andrieu; designer Karim Rashid; and jewellery designer Barry Kieselstein-Cord, who have shared their tips and advice for the best shops, restaurants and hotels around the world.

The site also features a community forum that allows readers to share their shopping tips and advice, and put them in touch with other travellers who are passionate about shopping.

The site was founded by Christina Valhouli, a former staff travel writer at, and John Vipond, the former managing director of Kenisys Ltd.


BTN asked about the inspiration behind the Website…

“Travel and shopping go hand in hand, like eating and drinking,” says Valhouli.

“Every time I have travelled on assignment, I would always pack an extra foldable tote bag for my purchases, whether its jewellery and shawls from India or ceramics from Cape Town.” 

Valhouli figured that she wasn’t the only one who was passionate about shopping whilst travelling.

“Who hasn’t had a suit made in Bangkok, or picked up a great antique in the South of France and shipped it home during their travels?,” she explains.

According to the Washington, DC-based Travel Industry Association of America, the top activity for domestic travellers is shopping, followed by attending a social/family event.

Furthermore, shopping accounts for 1 in 4 of women’s trips, according to the US Department of Transport.

But when it came to her own shopping, Valhouli was frustrated by the lack of reliable information in guidebooks and magazines. The available shopping information was either out of date, irrelevant or sparse.

iTravel iShop looks to fill that gap, and will appeal to people who travel to see new countries and experience new cultures, but what they really love to do when travelling is shop. Part of the appeal is the hunt of the find—tracking down bargains as well as trying to find items that aren’t the typical high street goods.

To kick off the site, the iTravel iShop team has set off on a “Shop Around the World in 80 Days” trip, inspired by the famous journey taken by Phileas Fogg in the Jules Verne novel. Like Fogg, they have departed from London and are heading East.

The team’s blog can be found at

At press time they have travelled to India, Singapore, and Thailand, and are currently in Beijing, and are doing plenty of shopping.



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