Tom Merchant Black Tomato

Tom Marchant

Black Tomato

Tom Marchant is co-founder of the award-winning, tailor-made luxury travel company Black Tomato. Described by Harper’s Bazaar as “having a finger on the pulse of travel that is incomparable,” his experience shaping the business in the US and the UK has enabled a deep understanding of different markets. His innovative approach has been lauded across the luxury sector, notably as a Game Changer in the 2021 Walpole Power List and as a Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist for the past four years.

Recognized as a leading authority in the travel industry, Black Tomato’s pioneering travel products, such “Get Lost” and “Blink,” and “Bring it Back” reflect the company’s unique ability to uncover rare ways in which to experience destinations. Black Tomato’s discerning clientele are inspired by handcrafted experiences designed to reflect every passion, obsession, and desire, reflected in the brand’s many awards, including Best in Class by Conde Nast Travelers Readers’ Choice Awards 2021; Travel + Leisure World’s Best Tour Operator 2022; and 2022 Travel Brand of the Year as the Challenger in the industry at the Travel Marketing Awards.

It was while working as a Business Analyst at Ernst & Young that a young Tom noticed a gap in the travel market for trips that were centered around experiences, rather than destinations. With this in mind, Tom founded Black Tomato in 2005 with two of his close friends, their aim being to create a business that reflected the needs and personalities of clients for whom the existing travel market had become moribund.

Tom spearheaded the launch of innovative travel products and services, such as “Take Me on a Story,” bringing story books to life, and “Field Trip,” an inventive series of inspirational, hands-on, a-la-carte classes around the world, designed to fuel purpose-driven passion through experiential programming. These experiences earned Extraordinary Award at the 2022 Travel Marketing Awards recognizing exceptional performance during the pandemic.

Previously named “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame, Tom has lead Black Tomato to rapid growth in his prioritization of strategic partnerships, innovation, and client retention, while encouraging employees’ curiosity.  Tom regularly writes and speaks on trends and the future of travel, with keynotes given at the likes of Google Firestarters and Bloomberg’s Future of Luxury.