A key societal trend we’ve been experiencing in the past few years is the idea of localization. Buy local, see local, be local. As a society, we seem to be ever-more interested in finding ways to support our local economy…and in finding ways to feel at home, even when we’re not. It’s a big trend that presents itself in all sorts of different ways, but we found ourselves wondering how the idea of ‘local’ comes into play when local is not home? When local is unfamiliar? When the local experience may only last a day or a week? In a nutshell, we wondered how the societal trend of localization dovetails with travel and tourism.
So, we did one of the things we like to do for anything we’re working on and that’s research. It didn’t take us long to find examples of new businesses being formed by grabbing hold of the idea and the possibilities.
If you want to go mountain climbing in a location you’re visiting, there are apps that help you meet up with potential hiking partners; it’s a bit like mountain climbing meets match making—your profiles have to line up or you won’t get that first wink. The added benefit? You’ve got someone from the area with familiarity and knowledge to share that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
If you’d prefer a more leisurely localized experience and you happen to be in Barcelona, sign up with Gourmet Bus and enjoy a local homemade meal while traveling through the countryside. You’ll get to experience food you may never have had before and you’ll feel right at home doing it.
And you’ll never get lost or make a bad sightseeing decision if you take advantage of ‘soul mate’ services such as Nectar & Pulse or Scouted. These services offer tips from locals to help you find your way around an unfamiliar city…they’ll even personally guide you. What better way to experience an unfamiliar town than by having those who know it best show you the ropes.
And I really love this one—if you happen to be going to Vienna, you can stay in a street loft hotel room with none of the usual amenities you generally find in hotels. That’s right. No amenities. The idea is to encourage tourists to get out and experience local businesses—to engage with the city they’re visiting and help out local businesses at the same time.
So there you have it…local doesn’t have to be close to home.