Ever overheard the average conversation between tourists? Well, it immediately becomes clear that tourists are on the look-out for authentic travel experiences. Still, they always seem to flock together in exactly the same places and see more other tourists on their journey than locals!
Big tourism agencies in Vietnam like to sell the idea of being authentic but most of the time, they are all providing travelers with the same experiences all over again. Now, it is time for a change. In order to show tourists the real Vietnam, a new platform called Withlocals.com connects travelers with the local population directly. The locals can become guides who offer various activities, tours, and even home dinner experiences to tourists. Because there is no intervention of big tourism agencies, the local population can get a good price for something they do daily, by setting their own prices.
"The idea is to let people use their own skills and strengths. No one knows more about his or her community than a local! They are the experts of their area. Think about it, how amazing would it be to eat together with tourists your favorite homemade Banh Xeo and earn money at the same time?"
Ronald Crooy, CTO of Withlocals
There are various activities, tours and home dinner experiences you can think of. For instance, take tourists to the local market to buy the best ingredients for a real home-made Pho or Canh Chua, show them the finest places to shop in Ho Chi Minh City or the most beautiful viewpoints in Ha Long Bay.
If you are a local of Vietnam and if you want to participate in changing the travel landscape, check out the website of Withlocals. By becoming a guide, you can show tourists the culture and habits of the Vietnamese people, and make friends from all over the world. By simply exploring and cooking together, tourism becomes more personal and authentic.
Withlocals will kick off in Vietnam. After this, the organization will expand to other countries in Asia. Got excited? If you want to become a host, visit the website of Withlocals and subscribe for the first launch in September.