I love to talk with local residents: to talk about their points of views, thoughts, customs and culture – to see the local culture which is without how mass tourism companies masquerade it. A good choice to get this done for me is always to hire a local private guide who will be knowledgeable, laid back and likable. Private tours last at the least several hours and when any local tour guide isn’t likable and knowledgeable at my fields of interests, the encounter would not be a vast amount of value for each of us.
Now how to see a local tour guide and find in contact with him or her before travelling?
Of course you can go to your travel agency nearby and hire a private tour guide. But that’s not satisfying:
Initially you won’t get acquainted with more info on the guide than his first name. And you probably won’t be able to contact the guide instantly to inform them regarding travel interests and wishes. Therefore, the local guide can’t custom the tour on your special interests while he doesn’t know them. The encounter within the meeting point might be just like a blind date. Both do not know anything from each other: What kind of person is he, what are the expectations, etc.
But with thanks to the new probability of the internet there showed up some really good websites helping travelers and locals in order to connect with each other. There tour guides receive an own profile with details about themselves (and on some sites also about guiding experiences, guiding education, unique tours offered, etc.). Reading user reviews also show the service excellence of the local guides.
Websites like these help local tour guides in making themselves as well as their unique adventures public to a broader audience and to get direct market access. Hence the local guides get higher wages than typically paid by mass tourism companies. Because there are no middlemen the values are anyhow a lesser amount than what travelers normally pay at their travel agent. Other industries (for example the coffee or chocolate industry) are calling this strategy fair trade. The travel industry is calling this approach local travel.
Their key values of local travel are:
1. respect your local culture, local heritage and local people
2. make unique experiences with local people and make big savings by spending it locally
3. be sensitive to your neighborhood environment.
Interact with local, independent guides within a new more personal way on Local Guiding. You’ll find personal tours globally and find to recognize the area guides behind each tour! Tours are linked to the guides’ personal profiles. There you can find reliable information about someone guiding the tour.