Travellers have changed a lot over the years. It is no longer just about visiting places that are famous and well-known. They want to visit new and offbeat destinations while understanding their culture. There is only so much that Google can help you with researching a particular place. If you wish to truly enjoy a holiday, you have to experience the local essence of your chosen destination and who can give you better information about the place than the local guides themselves.
In the travel space, while OTAs like MakeMyTrip have dominated the space, 2018 and 2019 have seen a surge in the number of companies that cater to only personalized holiday experiences. Tracxn reports that 137 companies, of which 50 are funded, are only into this. Some names include Journy based out of New York and ScoutMyTrip headquartered in Mumbai, India.
While the travel industry has traditionally seen it being driven by bookings first and planning at a later stage, startups such as these have been actively pursuing change in consumer behaviour where more time is spent on planning. A Google study showed that of the entire lifecycle for a vacation – 50 per cent is spent just on planning, 10 per cent on booking and finally the last 20 per cent is the trip itself followed by social sharing. A good 20 per cent of the time is also not surprisingly – dreaming!
Here are 4 reasons by ScoutMyTrip co-founder Vineet Rajan on why hiring a local guide is a good idea.
1. LOTS TO SEE IN A LIMITED TIME
Vacation time comes with an expiry. All trips will come to an end and one must completely utilize the days to see a particular place. When one is short on time, they tend to see places that are the most famous tourist attractions. But that may end up consuming their entire trip time. Consulting a local guide who knows the place well, could assist you in shortlisting places that match your interests and prioritise them accordingly to have a more fulfilling trip.
2. EXPERIENCE THE PLACE BETTER
Local guides help you experience the place better as they can provide information on what to do in a tourist destination apart from visiting the famous spots. These include the local markets, restaurants and other must-do things of that place. You get the satisfaction of visiting a place when you truly enjoy the place like a local.
3. ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THE PLACE BETTER
Having a local guide with you at the key spots may give more insights and history of the place than you can otherwise gather from the domain. They probably can provide fascinating anecdotes and historical insights into these spots. At historical monuments, museums, and places of worship, they can provide you with logical and faster access to all that these places have to offer.
4. CUSTOM-MADE ITINERARY
A local guide helps in creating a tailor-made itinerary that best fits your travel group and lets you create a trip that accommodates any constraints. A guide with local knowledge is in the know-how of arranging things and communicating the same wherever necessary. They will ensure that you are not missing out on the important locations while keeping in mind your choices.
While hiring a local guide is a good idea it is often difficult to find a person that completely understands you and doesn’t force his ideas on you. Someone that can make the travel experience better and not nightmarish.
LEVERAGING THE KNOW-HOW OF LOCAL GUIDES FOR CURATING VACATIONS
If local guides can provide so much when a traveller is exploring a place, don’t you think their know-how could be used for building and curating complete vacations? ScoutMyTrip helps one curate travel plans with the help of local experts called Scouts, who by creating personalised plans ensure one can explore the most offbeat places making the trip fun, unique and memorable. Hiring a Scout can help a traveller save time (which as per google is spread across 46 days and 17 touchpoints) by omitting any uncertainties about the trip. Scouts are experts in their area and readily provide one with all the advice one may need.