If you are a company in the travel or hospitality industry, you will want to pay attention to this new trend for 2013; ‘Friends’ as travel agent
People desire more meaningful experiences and a host of new online services enable travelers to go “off the beaten path” and discover the hidden secrets of their destination, offered by trusted, local experts whom consumers see as friends. Some websites are even giving options for people to overnight at the homes of their local tour guides, dine with locals, and take tours with a city resident.
One site that has really been gaining an extensive following is Vayable. Their mission is to
“… enable entrepreneurship, cultural exchange, community-building and exploration worldwide by empowering people to share experiences with others.” You can discover, book, and offer tours and activities almost anywhere in the world. Vayable hand picks experiences submitted by users. Travelers really appreciate the high quality and ‘realness’ of the site.
As much as the travel industry relies on travelers, it also relies on destinations. Survival of the tourism industry translates into the survival of the communities that sustain it. Vayable provides these smaller — almost forgotten gems of communities — with a new safe and fun way to accomplish sustainability. Small towns can post getaways and invite friends to come join them.
With travel being so inherently social, it is important that the tourism industry becomes just as social. If you are in the business of travel or tourism, check out these sites as well: Trippy, Airbnb, and Trip Birds.