Meet The Tour Operator
Organization Name: Natural Habitat Adventures
Individualâ€™s Name: Ben Bressler
Position: NatHab Founder & President
Exito: What is your personal background?
Ben: Born and raised in Jersey.Â Boulder, CO is home now, where I live with my wife Laura and my two boys Cole and Finley.Â
Exito: Do you travel abroad often?
Ben: All the time!Â Running a travel company keeps me on the road a lot, both domestically and internationally.Â Iâ€™m able to visit our various operations globally maybe 3-5 times/year.Â But I prefer to have Nat Hab staff out there doing the site inspections of our operations â€“ itâ€™s important for them to experience the great products they design/sell/manage!
Exito: What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Ben: My favorite experience in the world is tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda.Â My wife and I went there on our honeymoon, and just a few years back I was able to return, this time with my sons.Â There is nothing on earth like trekking through the jungle with the best trackers on earth, and then coming upon a family of gorillas in the forest.Â They are incredible creatures, and we are so fortunate to have had the chance to sit with them in their natural environment!
Exito: Which languages do you speak?
Ben: I barely speak English, let alone a foreign language!Â But you should hear me try to speak Spanish when I travel to Latin America.Â Our guides think itâ€™s pretty funny (how terrible my pronunciation isâ€¦)
Exito: When did you start your organization?
Ben: I started Nat Hab back in 1985 because I couldn’t find a job! I was teaching at a prep school back in New Hampshire and took a group of students skiing in Colorado one year. I earned a little cash from that trip and came up with the wild idea to start an adventure travel business. I quit my teaching job that summer and got a job driving a garbage truck so I could save $600 to publish (aka photocopy) a brochure I made on a typewriter.Â Needless to say, it was many years before I really got the company off the ground.
Exito: What was your inspiration to start Natural Habitat?
Ben: There was nothing I loved more than being out in nature, and I wanted to share that passion with others. Plus I had a hunch I wasnâ€™t exactly qualified to do much else.
Exito: What do you do in your organization?
Ben: They tell me Iâ€™m in charge of things, but really I just found great people that are phenomenal at creating and selling the worldâ€™s greatest nature adventures.
Exito: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Ben: I love my job because all of our staff love their jobs.Â Seriously, seeing the smiling faces of our staff is the best part of my day.Â I love seeing the staff in our Boulder office and our guides out in the field fully embrace our conservation philosophy and even take it up a notch.Â Iâ€™m incredibly proud that Iâ€™ve been able to provide meaningful jobs to the most passionate group of people Iâ€™ve ever met.
Exito: What was one of your biggest challenges in starting Natural Habitat?
Ben: Truth be told, my biggest challenges were that I knew absolutely nothing about business when I started Nat Hab.Â I was a 21 year old with $600 and a passion for adventure travel, but did that mean I was qualified to run a business?Â No way.Â If I could give advice to my 21 year old self, Iâ€™d say use some of that $600 to take an accounting class at least!
Exito: What is one of your biggest mistakes?
Ben: Iâ€™ve made so many mistakes itâ€™s hard to just choose one!Â The best mistake Iâ€™ve made was when we tried to deviate from what we do best â€“ which is nature expeditions.Â We tried to run a line of yoga tours and walking tours.Â It ended up being an epic failure because yoga and walking tours arenâ€™t our forte.Â We call ourselves â€œThe Nature Peopleâ€ for a reasonâ€¦nature travel is what we do best!Â Iâ€™ve learned that itâ€™s best to stick to what you know and what youâ€™re passionate about.
Exito: What is NatHab’s specialty and what do you think make’s it so special?
Ben: Our specialty is bringing wildlife and nature-lovers on the best nature expeditions on the planet.Â While our trips may be in the luxury price range, we spend guestsâ€™ precious money on unique nature experiences staying at remote lodges where the wildlife is abundant rather than luxurious hotels where all the people are.Â If travelers are more concerned about a high thread count over a high animal county, they probably shouldnâ€™t travel with us.Â In addition to the remote nature setting, itâ€™s our Expedition Leaders that truly set us apart.Â One of our goals is to infect each and every guest with the same passion for nature and wildlife that our staff has, and we do that by putting a huge emphasis on the services our Expedition leaders provide.
We’d like to thank Ben Bressler very much for taking the time to interview with us. We recommend that everyone check out Ben Bressler’s great organization, Natural Habitat Adventures!