I love to interact with residents: to speak about their points of views, ideas, customs and culture – to see the neighborhood culture because it is and never how mass tourism companies masquerade it. The best choice to get this done for me personally would be to employ a local private guide who’s knowledgeable, laid back and likable. Private tours last a minimum of a few hrs and when the neighborhood tour guide is not likable and knowledgeable within my fields of interests, the encounter would not be of great importance and value for the two of us.
So how to locate a local tour guide and make contact with her or him before travelling?
Obviously you can see your travel agent nearby and employ a private tour guide. But that is not satisfying:
Initially you will not become familiar with much more about the guide than his name. And also you most likely will not have the ability to contact the guide straight to inform her or him regarding your travel interests and desires. Therefore the local guide can’t custom the tour for the special interests while he does not know them. The encounter in the meeting point will be just like a blind date. Both don’t know everything from one another: What sort of individual is he, do you know the expectations, etc.
But because of the new options from the internet there emerged good quality websites helping vacationers and locals for connecting with one another. There tour guides have an own profile with details about themselves (as well as on some sites also about guiding encounters, guiding education, unique tours offered, etc.). Reading user reviews also show the service excellence of the local tour guides.
These web sites help local tour guides to create their and themselves unique adventures public to some broader audience and also to get direct market access. And so the local guides get greater wages than typically compensated by mass tourism companies. Because there are no middlemen the costs are anyhow less than what vacationers normally pay in their travel agent. Other industries (such as the coffee or chocolate industry) are calling this method fair trade. The travel market is calling this method local travel. Their key values of local travel are:
– respect the neighborhood culture, local heritage and native people
– make unique encounters along with residents and cut costs by spending it in your area
– be responsive to the neighborhood atmosphere.