Dig Deeper with your tourism marketing
There are tourists, and then there are travelers. Tourists visit the most popular sights in a city like the Roman Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower. Travelers seek unique cultural experiences like making pasta with a local Italian chef or grabbing a drink with a local Parisian artist. Tourists are becoming a thing of the past as more and more people are looking for cultural experiences over sightseeing and crowded tours. People want stories to tell and pictures to share. Making memories is a top priority for travelers, and guidebooks don’t cut it anymore. Instead, travelers need help from locals to have the most authentic experience of a destination. These are eight websites that your visitors are using to make the most of your destination.
Tours and Activities
Vayable brings users a wide array of tours, sightseeing opportunities, dining experiences, and cultural exchanges. Whether you want to go windsurfing in Malibu or take a tour around the White House with a White House correspondent, there are plenty of experiences available for you to choose from. Vayable’s mission is to bring you the richest travel experience possible through their approved Insiders.
Do you have a passion for your city and want to make money sharing it with visitors? Become an Insider with Vayable and show travelers your destination’s best features.
2. Cool Cousin
Like Vayable, Cool Cousin gives you a one-on-one experience with a knowledgeable local. However, instead of choosing from a list of activities, you choose from vetted tour guides and let them show you around the city. It’s almost like a dating app but instead of going out for an awkward dinner, you hang out and sightsee with someone who not only shares your interests, but also loves their city and knows the ins and outs of it. Cool Cousin saves you the trouble of doing endless research by putting all your decisions in the hands of an expert.
Think you have the expertise it takes to be a Cousin? Apply here and you could be the first Cousin in your city.
EatWith is like Vayable but for foodies. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, EatWith is the place to begin. Simply search for your destination city and the dates you’ll be visiting and then browse through the special dining events scheduled at that time. Have a wine tasting and tapas feast on a Barcelona rooftop or take a foodie tour through the Vegas hotspots. Hosts are handpicked by the EatWith team and range anywhere from home cooks to Michelin-starred chefs. Whatever the skill level, they all share a passion for food and bringing people together. It’s also great for local businesses that want to offer unique dining experiences of their own. Start sharing your food with travelers.
4. MEal Sharing
When you’re feeling a bit homesick or just want a healthier alternative, Meal Sharing offers home-cooked meals around the world. Instead of choosing from scheduled events, you choose a meal and reach out to the host to schedule your visit. Meal Sharing was started with a mission to bring people together that would otherwise never meet. It allows travelers to point to a map and be welcomed to a home-cooked meal wherever they go. Instead of overpriced entrees at a crowded restaurant or waiting in line for a table at a city hotspot, hosts welcome you into their homes like friends. Meal Sharing aims to bring a sense of community and the feeling of home to the modern traveler.
Localeur started as a way for a small business owner to attract more customers by giving visitors authentic recommendations. Now, Localeur has been named one of the “best travel apps” by TIME, The Today Show, The Guardian, and Forbes. The site brings a fresh, young voice to travelers wishing to experience a city like a local. Think of it as TripAdvisor’s younger, cooler, sibling. Localeur steers you away from tourist traps and towards the locals’ favorite spots. Businesses looking to attract more millennials should be using Localeur to their advantage.
6. Like a Local
Like A Local was created by travelers for travelers. After its founder tired of guidebooks, he set out to create a website where travelers could get the best information straight from a local’s mouth. Not only are there up-to-date recommendations, but travelers can also book tours and activities on the city pages. Recently, Like a Local added the “Ask a Local” feature, which gives travelers direct contact with city locals. Here, you can directly ask for advice, tips, and recommendations for specific needs. Like A Local gives smaller businesses a chance to be seen by a wider audience of people who genuinely love traveling and want the most authentic experience out of a destination.
You’ve probably heard of this site and know that Airbnb offers either a room or an entire space to travelers who want to live like a local. Travelers can browse through apartments, houses, or private rooms to call home during their stay. It doesn’t get any more authentic than that. What you might not know about Airbnb is that it offers much more than just lodging options. It’s a one-stop shop for guided tours, activities, dining experiences, and more. You could attend a concert in someone’s backyard or take an Instagram photography tour through an artsy neighborhood. Travelers can plan every detail of their itinerary on one website.
Whether you’re traveling on a budget or just interested in meeting new people, Couchsurfing gives travelers a warm welcome into someone’s home and a couch to crash on. The best part about this service is that it’s completely free. That means hosts genuinely want to share their homes with travelers and give them a great experience. Not only can you find a place to sleep, but you can also find hangouts and events for meeting new people or fellow travelers. This website is the ultimate example of what traveling is about.
What does this mean for you?
If you're wondering what these websites mean for your business, the answer is simple. Be authentic and unique. Yes, the usual tourist spots are great, but after a while, museums start to blend together. Travelers are looking for what makes your destination unlike any other, and it’s not the big sports arena or the fancy theater. What makes each place unique is the people who live there and the culture they create. The best memories are made through experiences with people. What or who makes your destination special? Let these websites help you showcase that.
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