Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tourism Paradigm Shift
The main idea I wanted to convey back in 2008 wast hat tourists usually have a shallow experience of countries they visit. They see sites and take pictures, but don't get to know locals, talking only to receptionists, waiters and other service providers. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the norm.
Vacation home exchange sites were the first step into a deeper experience, with the movie The Holiday suggesting this is a way of finding romance. Couchsurfing.org soon followed opening up two-way communications. Tripadvisor.com and Booking.com give useful comments and rankings, making them invaluable for planning and booking vacations. Eatwith.com is the latest I heard of, helping you dine in private homes or host travelers for a meal in yours.
So yes, tourism becomes more personal, a positive shift for people who like to know others from around the world. But with all this globalization going on, we are still looking for and value the authentic and uncharted.