Recently I’ve come across a number of variations on the concept of peer to peer activity guides. The traditional (if something this new can be called traditional) model is a website that allows individuals to create a listing for their services, common options include teaching how to cook a special cuisine, a tour of local street art, or a bike ride on a favorite route. Travelers can book these tours and activities through the website. For instance, my recent food tour in Bangkok was through one such website. These peer to peer businesses focus on what used to be the domain of tour companies: delivering tours and experiences to travelers. And they are enabling tourists to experience their destination a bit differently by interacting with locals and getting off the beaten tourist path.
Some of the newer companies are getting back to tour guide services a bit more, combining peer to peer with more traditional tour company services. Perhaps this reflects demand in the market, but it will take some time to see which models win out with the most users. For now, travelers win with lots of different options for varying travel styles and desires.
New additions to my spreadsheet of peer to peer travel services in the Activities category include:
ToursByLocals – This one isn’t new, they’ve been around since 2008. They appear to be one of the forerunners in this peer to peer travel experience space. The website is a bit dated but they have offerings all around the world.
Adventure Local – Founded in 2014 this site combines peer to peer activity guides and tour companies offering services on their site.
Lovlilocals – Peer to peer local guides in various cities in Europe, launched in 2014.
Adventure.com – Winners of the best domain name for a new company, adventure.com arranges peer to peer and tour company tours and activities. A bit different from others in this space, you don’t just select an activity on this website but instead either choose from existing adventures or let them build you a custom adventure with their local vetted guides. This is a new spin on the traditional travel agent/tour company.
Ventoura – Launching soon, this company founded in Finland offers an app that will connect travelers with peer to peer activity guides and also with other travelers.
Triprapp – Find people traveling to the same place as you, or connect with locals, through this new mobile app.
Voomago – This website offers facilitated custom vacations with local guides. It’s not exactly peer to peer – you can’t just go on the website and select an experience from a local, but VoomaGo really is connecting travelers with locals who are not tour professionals. You sign up for a local guide in a specific location and then you can add experiences on to your trip. These experiences look just like offerings on other peer to peer activity sites (food tours, town tours, hiking, etc.), except that you can’t book them without first booking your experiential ticket with a local.
GuideMeRight – Founded in 2014 this company is currently operating in Italy connecting travelers with “local friends” (for a fee) who will take you out for a specific activity, meal or drink.
MeetJune – Launching later this year in Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Amsterdam, this site will be offering peer to peer guides, meals and homestays.
Don’t see your company in my spreadsheet? All you have to do is write to me and let me know!