Inspiring Stories: Amar Latif, Traveleyes
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Event format: Presentation/ Q&A
Maximum no. of attendees: 100
Tuesday 16th March | 13:00-13:30
Throughout the week the LEP is hosting a series of events from forward-thinking innovators and innovative businesses in the Leeds City Region.
It’s an opportunity to hear about their innovation journey, learnings and advice to offer insight and expertise to businesses who may be looking to innovate. Followed by a Q&A.
Speaker: Amar Latif, Entrepreneur, Traveleyes
Amar lost his sight when he was 18 years old, but still wanted to explore the world. However, when he approached mainstream travel companies as a solo blind traveler, he faced rejection.
In the wake of this, and after a successful career as the head of finance at one of the UK’s largest international telecommunications firms, Amar decided to create Traveleyes.
His aim was to empower thousands of blind individuals all over the world to explore the planet as independently as their sighted counterparts, and, since the company was founded in 2004, it has gone from strength to strength as the world’s leading commercial tour operator offering independent group travel for both blind and sighted travelers. Lately, Amar has also been taking Traveleyes in a new direction by designing an all-new product to facilitate socially-distanced sighted guiding. The device – which is called the Companion Cane - will allow blind and vision impaired individuals to return to public spaces without having to rely on physical contact, and represents Traveleyes’ first venture into the physical products market.
The success of Traveleyes has seen Amar become a widely sought-after media personality and motivational speaker. His first television appearance in 2004’s Beyond Boundaries (BBC Two) saw Amar pushing the limits of human endurance as he and a team of other disabled adventurers trekked 220 miles across the entire width of Nicaragua, navigating active volcanoes and shark-infested lakes along the way. Since then, he’s explored the world of personal health for How to Get Fit Fast (Channel 4), guided a comedian through the hidden delights of Turkey for Travelling Blind (BBC One), and delved to the depths of ancient canyons for River Walks (BBC One).
More recently, he’s been exploring the spiritual world as well as the physical one on Pilgrimage: The Road to Istanbul (BBC One), a three part series in which he and six other well-known personalities trekked the Sultans Trail pilgrimage route as part of a quest to understand their own faiths. As well as this, Amar has been cooking up a storm on Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One), becoming the UK series’ first ever blind contestant as part of his quest to show the world exactly how far you can get by refusing negativity and embracing opportunities to do something new.