Buzzword Bingo: Local Travel

related: slow travel, local travel movement, local travel usa
flickr: local
flickrgroup: Hyperlocal
google+: Local Travel (50 members)
slideshare: All Travel is Local (50,000+ views), Responsible Local Travel USA
editing: Local tourism


Everywhere is local somewhere.

The problem thinking about travel and tourism is the focus on the traveler's experience. Imagine how travel could be interpreted if we valued not only the experience of the visitor but the local as well. We talk about travelling like a local instead of thinking of how we could travel with locals.

We are longtime fans of the movements toward local and hyperlocal (including local travel and local food).

Visitors are planning and dreaming and remembering the trips beyond the actual doing them. The social web connects locals and visitors in ways we didn't imagine 10 years ago.

We need to be looking at creating mutual beneficial relationships and that requires being social online and on the ground.

What's the future of travel? It's being happy for travelers AND locals.

On the global stage we are figuring out how to measure and rank the overall happiness within countries. (Thank you, Bhutan!) What if we started to come up with an estimation of the happiness of locals and visitors working in tourism? This is the future of travel: let's prove the value of tourism in terms of shared happiness.

Local travel is frequently eco travel. We'd place the relationship between the local travel movement and ecotourism as one of mutual camaraderie.

In Ron's vision of tourism -- see the not so crappy graph -- the local community is an integral component. Painting with a broad brush I'd say that if there is no community participation, engagement and profit, there's no ecotourism, nor responsible travel nor conscious travel, nor anything we should be promoting. Too often ecotourism has focused on environmental conservation, selling the ecotours that sweep in and out of a protected area. Visitors rush by in a mad dash, a quest for check-the-box, visited-that-park tourism. Locals are barely seen and mostly unheard.

In contrast, I think what the Local Travel Movement and conscious travel offer is a way to contextualize place in a way that deepens the meaning and engagement of locals and visitors.

The challenge was and is listening to locals and supporting the wishes from the community. At times there is conflict and visitors - nationals and foreigners - should be supporting consensus rather than taking sides and worsening the tensions.

Locals and Visitors


In a globalized world we are more hyperlocal than ever. Travelers are seeking out experiences in which they can meet others face to face. Quoting Chris Anderson: “Everyone’s taste departs from the mainstream somewhere. The more we explore alternatives the more we are drawn to them.”

We crave the carrotmobs and cater to a growing wave of couchsurfers and airbnbers. Locals are using Flickr to show off neighborhood events and visitors are seeking out what makes places unique -- the people.

As they say in South Africa, local is lekker!

Strong, local travel providers contribute to their localities as catalysts of creativity, innovation and employment. Strengthening - or at the very least not undermining these operators - will go a long way toward building the resilience of local economies in uncertain times. My personal 'reading' of local travel focuses more on developing the capacity of locals so that they can make the most of their visitors without treating them as walking wallets.

Local travel to me is a world beyond 'bums on seats' and delves into the face-to-face contact that many locals and travelers are seeking via the longtail. In this sense I see a clear path ahead in terms of bringing locals up to speed on what those of us with smartphones and Twitter and Flickr and the like are prattling on about. This is the movement in which we can nurture the nexus of local-visitor interaction simply by exploring this together.

Why travel? A beautiful view is no longer enough. Locals and visitors are more engaged when stories are shared. Locals provide context, they share the knowledge and experiences of what went before, of what is expected in the future, of how to appreciate the moment in the present. Locals can identify sounds, scents and help distinguish when the visual overlay becomes complex.

Tips for Locals

If you want visitors ...
• Introduce yourself
• Invite them to visit
• Be thankful and attentive to the visitors already present

Consejos para la gente local

Si deseas los visitantes ...
• Preséntese
• Invítelos a visitar
• Sé agradecido y atento a los visitantes ya presente

How to Travel like an Outsider


A lot of tourists have a consumer attitude -- what can I get, instead of what can I learn. We have to put aside our own cultural biases and learn as much as possible from the people we visit. I find that if you stay long enough, learn the language, you get a sense of who locals are as people.
- Clay Hubbs, publisher of Transitions Abroad, quoted in Rethinking Tourism

I’m betting the local is more powerful, that the healthy growth on the forest floor is more important than the rot in the canopy.
- David Brooks, Are we on the path to national ruin?

Developers on the whole tend to look at success modeled in other cities and then import them rather than trying to figure out something fresh that makes sense for their particular situation. You really have to look at the local conditions and ask what makes sense in terms of quality of life.
- John Meunier , Urban Planning and Climate Change

Discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
- Marcel Proust

Creating local ambassadors helps lure new residents and businesses to a city. For almost anyone assessing a place’s liveability, a place filled with people who are friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable gains an instant edge. Marketing a city in such a way that it stands out in the crowded market place always comes down to people – it is people that makes a city more liveable and ultimately more desirable to visit.
- Skye Grove, Destinate

New: Mapbox: Locals and Tourists

With the power of MapBox and Twitter data from Gnip, data artist Eric Fischer worked with the Gnip team to create a fully-browsable worldwide map of local allegiances.

Translating: Local Travel

Spanish: Viajes locales

Translating: All travel is local.

Spanish: Todos los viajes son locales.

Translating: I find that if you stay long enough, learn the language, you get a sense of who locals are as people.

Spanish: Me parece que si te quedas el tiempo suficiente, aprender el idioma, consigues una idea de lo quien son la gente local son como personas.


Locals and Tourists


local travel movement
slow travel

Buzzword Bingo

authenticity - biodiversity - children - city - climate - community - compassion - conversation - deep - dialogue - discovering - ecosystem - emboddied energy - empathy - expectations - explore - food- friend - global - geography - health - hyperlocal - hyperlocal journalist - inclusive - independent - indigenous - language - learning - local - local advocate - local travel movement - localvore - map - market - maximizing - meaningful - migration - mingling - movement - museum - music - nexus - nurture - park - partnerships - photosafari - play - postcards - relationships - responsibilities - roots - satisfaction - source - sports - transportation - travel - trees - visitor - walking - widen the circle - wildlife - wine

Travel needs Local Advocates as much as Advocates for Visitors

Practical Suggestions

Practical Suggestions for Visitors

Before your trip, visit the local newspaper(s) online and buy the dead tree version once you're there!
Connect with locals before, during and after your trip
Choose fresh, local food
Buy local postcards
Learn how to say 'good morning' and 'thank you' in the local language
Participate in photosafaris
Patronize local markets
Respect local culture and heritage
Ride a bike
Spend your money locally

Practical Suggestions for Locals

Promote your neighbours.
Connect with visitors before, during and after their trip
Provide fresh, local food
Offer local postcards
Teach visitors a few common phrases in your local language
Create photosafaris
Point visitors to the local markets
Explain the values of your local culture and heritage
Offer bike rides


comida ayuuk (mixe)
jarcieria el arte oaxaqueño
indigenous tourism award
easter market
chocolate treasure hunt
ayuuk store
Locals and Tourists

I find that if you stay long enough, learn the language, you get a sense of who locals are as people. - Clay Hubbs @TransAbroad @GregoryHubbs

How good is tourism marketing where you live? @thetravelword @WHLgroup @ronmader

local travel wordle

Aniversario #40 Mercado Sanchez Pascuas

If good food had a rock band in Oaxaca, these friends are the stars on stage
In a small town being neighborly is essential
Oaxaca, Mexico - Caldo de Piedra (Stone Soup), Markets

Flickr Groups which welcome images of local cuisine include Hyperlocal, World food, Sustainable tea, coffee and chocolate,Local is Beautiful
and I Ate This

Las Vegas - @7Vegas - Ask a native

Find Fun Local Activities With These 11 Apps - Mashable
How Do You Meet Locals While Travelling?

Facebook Question: When you are traveling, how willing are you to try local food and drink?

Articles on Local food and drink - &
Local Food: A Culinary World Tour
Zabíjačka! Braving a Pig-Killing Feast in Rural Czech Republic
The Undiscovered Festival of Europe: Wine in Moldova
A Taste of Fine Wine and Fresh Country near Chisinau, Moldova
Savour the Taste of Thailand with Bangkok Food Tours

More on local food and drink from The Travel Word and Local Travel Movement

Food - - -

Articles on local transportation

In Motion: Local Transport from Around the World - Travel Word

Web Searches

Report: 32 Percent Of Users Do 5+ LoMo Searches Per Month

Elsewhere on the Web - @Tours_By_Locals

Recommended Listening

The benefits of localisation - Helena Norberg-Hodge is one of the pioneers of the localisation movement who has been working for over thirty years promoting the renewal of local communities, economies and cultures. Manish Jain works to actively resist and dismantle what he describes as the global industrial education system and to regenerate local wisdom traditions by encouraging the teaching of local ways of knowing in India. Both are speakers at this year's Economics of Happiness conference.


Local Travel
Content from local
local food - Google News

In a small town being neighborly is essential and every local job is vital



Local Travel
Local Flavor





The Local Traveler NS


Local News

Elsewhere on the Web


Locals and visitors

In this Flickr set created by Eric Fischer, blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

Some history. has long touted visiting places instead of destinations and for that visitors need meaningful contact and play (!) with locals.

Live Local

Live Local

What would life be like if you could only stay within a small geographical area? At a time when we've never been more connected, by technology and fast transport, our communities and lives have also become more fragmented. As a reaction there's a rising push towards community engagement, sustainability and more work/life balance, with movements like Slow Food. Producer Anna Burns took the Live Local challenge. For a month she stayed within two kilometres of her inner-city home and got to know her community.

Live Local on Pool
Tell us your stories about how you live or don't live local and why.

Live Local
Tips and ideas about how to live local

Bicycle Heaven
A program about cycling in the city. If you liked Live Local you'll also like this.

Psychogeography: discovering the mental terrain of the city
Another program about cycling you might enjoy.

Local Business - @theAMIBA - @ASBCouncil

Articles from the web on Local Travel

The concept of Local Travel

Local Travel - major travel trend of 2010
San Francisco Detours Into Reality Tourism
Why Local Travel? Because We Can Make a Real Difference
‘The Lunatic Express’ by Carl Hoffman, An Encouraging Read for Local Travelites
Exploring Local Travel – An Online Interview with Ethan Gelber
The Local Travel Movement Gathers Momentum
The Local Travel Movement Picks Up Speed

Local Culture

Corfu Music: Philharmonics in the Streets of Greece
Football and Argentina – the Superclásico
Buzkashi: One Against All on Horseback in Uzbekistan
Of Chickens and Medicine Men: A Local Remedy in Cebu, Philippines
The Mexican Temazcal: An Experience in a Maya Sweat Lodge
The Laid-back Local Life of Curitiba, Brazil
Inside The Candelaria Festival of Puno, Peru
A Glimpse of the Colourful and Legendary Festivals of Bhutan
The Local Arts of Luang Prabang, Laos
Local problems in Sápmi

Local Natural Environment

Traveling Mexico’s Mountainside like a Local
An Alpine Melody in Slovenia: A Perfect Nature Tour
One of the World’s Most Important Coastal Ecosystems: Paraná, Brazil
Palawan: The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines
Cycling in the High Passes of Georgia
The Five Wonders of Albania’s Cave of Pellumbas
Understanding the Spinner Dolphins at Home in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Saving Sea Turtles in Los Roques, Venezuela
Whale Shark Encounters in the Maldives: Protecting a Gentle Giant

Local City Guides

The Inside Word on… Luang Prabang, Laos
The Inside Word on… Xieng Khouang, Laos
The Inside Word on… Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Inside Word on… Quito, Ecuador
The Inside Word on… Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Inside Word on… Santa Marta, Colombia
The Inside Word on… Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Inside Word on… Split, Croatia
The Inside Word on… Goa, India

Local Food

Thanks to the June 2011 events in Ireland -- Convergence: Green Jobs and Community Resilience -- we highlighted the importance of local food in the context of responsible tourism.

Cue Yourself

For travelers, vacation time is simultaneously all-important and irrelevant. We are dancing with contradictions.

As to who to trust: a local or a foreign guidebook writer ... I'd say both, depending our desire and openness for specific narrative.

Propose Alternatives

We need to be championing local initiatives using a lo-fi approach AND the social web.

Why another top-down endeavor when grassroots could really flourish. Is this all 'crowd-based?' No, it would have to share the spotlight with recommendations from those we trust. Examples: Flickr galleries, Foursquare maps and the 'I like' on Facebook.

"There used to be one way of doing things. Now there are many." - Clay Shirky on Open Journalism


Embedded Tweets


September 14-19, Oaxaca

Sept 14 Pochimilco
Sept 15 Pochimilco, MezcalWalk
Sep 16 Trinidad de las Huertas
Sep 19 Mercado Sánchez Pascuas

Contests and Games

mezcal walk


Choosing where to go and what to do once you get there
Local tourism

All travel is local

2010 Feria (Despacharte Color)

Taking Photos During Day of the Dead

local travel