Ever listened to a conversation among tourists? Well, it soon becomes clear that the one with the ‘most local experience’ has the upper hand. Seemingly, in an age of many-to-many connections, booking a mass-organized tour is not ranking top of a traveller’s bucket list anymore. It appears that people worldwide are looking for one-to-one connections, in which aspects such as authenticity and global friendship are trending.
For us, I can say we like to meet locals on our travel trails. After all, locals can give a far more intense impression of a country than any guidebook or big tour operator!
Nowadays, there are more and more companies which are started in this spirit of ‘social sharing’. There are already organizations such as Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Now recently, we came across this new platform, called Withlocals.
This Dutch start-up really seems to be the new kid in town and is created based on the idea of connecting locals and tourists worldwide. Already over more than 10.000 Asian hosts are registered and launching countries include Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand. The website offers three separate categories – Eat, Tours, and Activities. Whether you are a local or a host, advantages seem to go both ways.
For the locals, it is a creative and fun way to earn some extra money by simply taking tourists along on their daily routine. The idea is that locals in Southeast Asia can invite the tourists into their home for a tasty home dinner or introduce them to their local market where they buy their weekly veggies! Also, hosts can invite travellers to join nice tours and activities. For instance, a host named Jeffrey aims to indulge tourists into the real Singaporean culture and thought of a creative 2 day trail through the city, discovering the best hawker stalls, vibrant shopping streets and night markets.
For the tourists, it is an ideal way to explore a culture up-close, and to visit areas that are off the beaten track. For instance, find out what a day as a local in Bangkok would be like. Join Hoang for a day trip to the Thanh Tien paper flowers village in Vietnam, or visit Conrad to taste the flavours of Western and Eastern cuisine in Sri Lanka.
All in all, this platform could really be the next best thing to join the league of companies created out of the social sharing spirit. Seems like a cool project to try out ourselves sometime! Definitely worth to check out the site and see what kind of options there are to become a host or tourist (or even book an experience).
Find the ultimate experience by going to their site > Withlocals
Note: All the Photos on this post are taken from Withlocals with their permission.
Sky and Summer