I was recently approached by a startup company asking me whether I would like to help them promote their new and unique travel concept bringing together locals and travelers. I, having a background in tourism, couldn’t resist not sharing this concept. It’s definitely different and interesting and possibly worth trying out. Read their story for yourself and see whether you’d like to try it out, either as a local offering the service, or a tourist receiving the aforementioned service.
Similar tourist traps and millions of other tourists on your journey, but no local to be found. Sounds familiar? Often when people are traveling abroad, they simply follow their tourism handbook or buy a standard tour at a big travel agency. But all this is so 2012! In the past, the holiday was intended to relax and get rest. In the upcoming years, we want to become global citizens. We want to experience the other cultures and develop ourselves during the trip. Only seeing the popular attractions like the Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu are not enough anymore. We are becoming more curious and want to meet the real locals on our trip. How cool would it be if we can just book our local tour guide directly?
Withlocals, a new organization, aims to connect travelers and locals directly. They want to facilitate people to be able to use their own knowledge and skills for building a better life. This is done by removing the intervention of big tourism agencies, and providing opportunities to the locals.
Now what does this all mean? Basically, the locals can offer tourists unique experiences, such as a wood carving class, a class on how to milk a cow, a food market tour or a visit to a local school. They can also invite travelers for a dinner at their family’s home and teach them how to prepare local dishes. It would be great if we can just knock on the door of a local to join his family for an authentic dinner. After all, the best cooks in the world are our moms, right? In this way, tourists get a chance to experience the culture of a city they are visiting from a local perspective. At the same time, the local population receives an honest price for something they do daily, since they can set their own prices for the various tours, activities and home-dinner experiences.
Got enthusiastic? In September, Withlocals will launch in Nepal for a small group of tourists and locals. Check out the website for more information and become part of this new exciting way of travelling.”
*Please be aware that I am in no way associated with this company or their concept. If you have any concerns or inquiries, refer to their website.