Travellers are increasingly craving a more meaningful experience when they go abroad. During the pandemic, tourists have lost trust in the intermediary companies and more of them are now seeking to put their money directly into the communities that accommodate them.
There’s a growing demand for authentic experiences. Adventurers want to learn about the places they’re visiting from the people who grew up there, who can take them off the beaten-track to locally owned restaurants and secret places they can flood their Instagram accounts with.
A new website which connects travellers to locals helps to do just this.
“Everyone acts as a traveller and a local in turn.” Says CEO of MakeYourTripBetter, Olivier Gibouin. The platform, which was launched in the summer of 2020, uses technology to connect people and facilitate more meaningful exchanges between tourist and host. Locals who want to offer tours, travel tips or simply make a friend can do so through the site.
He explains: “As a local, you will be able to get involved in the promotion of your territory and to guide travellers towards tourism that respects the territories and local populations. As a traveller, you will be able to benefit from highly personalised advice on the activities you like, as well as on the practical aspects of your trips."
Gibouin hopes the platform will act as a springboard for real human connections and not, he says, “just to create a network of virtual friends”.
The French-owned website has been designed with all travellers in mind and it’s currently available in 6 languages: French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese. Whether you’re a trail runner, surfer, foodie or a culture-vulture, you can get in touch with somebody who can give you their insider knowledge.
“For us, the richness of experience broadens through the exchange with locals because what better way to discover their cultures and their ways of life, or to learn how to respect their territories?” Gibouin told Euronews. “Travel opens the mind, makes us more tolerant, helps us feel better, makes us happier, etc." He hopes the website will eventually spring to mind for anybody planning their next trip.
Gibouin plans on launching an app in 2021, so you can connect with locals on the go.
Do you think the app will help to enrich travel experiences for tourists and locals alike?
Keep an eye on Euronews Travel for your 2021 travel trends forecast...