From Tourists to Temporary Locals: How to Embrace the “Localhood” Trend

Think about the top five cities you’d like to visit in 2018. Now think about the reasons why. What’s on your travel itinerary? I’d be willing to bet you’ve got two or three major sights to see. Beyond that you’re interested in getting a general sense of the city. You want to avoid tourist traps. You’re looking to “do what the locals do.” You want authenticity. You want culture. You want the souvenirs you bring home to be handcrafted locally, and to have significance beyond your stereotypical “…And All I Got Is This…” t-shirt. Today’s tourist wants to experience a destination as a temporary local.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Today’s tourist wants to experience a destination as a temporary local.” quote=”Today’s tourist wants to experience a destination as a temporary local.”]

How can I be so sure? Well, firstly, I’m with you. When I’m in a new place, I want to blend in. I want to understand what it’d be like to live there. When I get home, I want to be able to speak to the city’s “vibe.” And, secondly, I took a tip from Wonderful Copenhagen, which opened my eyes to this more formal idea of “localhood.” This is the basis for their newly updated marketing platform. They have a strong point – try Googling “Hidden Gems of X City” or “Tour Y City Like a Local,” and you’ll be provided with an astounding number of search results. Clearly there’s a demand for this type of content.

So, what’s next? Well, it’s time to give the people what they want! DMOs and CVBs, hoteliers and restaurateurs, here are two opportunities for you to capitalize on this localhood trend today:

Give your locals a mouthpiece. If you’re able to find folks with a strong passion for your city, they’ll serve as natural, authentic spokespeople. Here’s how:

Show off even the seemingly boring features. The reasons a person might choose to visit a city are melding with the reasons a person might choose to live in a city. For example:

I want to leave you with one additional *bonus* tip: the localhood trend actually goes both ways. As much as tourists are looking to experience your city like locals, your locals are also interested in having the occasional tourist experience. Make sure they know about “must-see” traveling exhibits, exciting events and critically acclaimed restaurant openings. Unearth some hidden gems that even the locals haven’t found.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Make your locals feel like tourists and your tourists feel like locals.” quote=”As much as tourists are looking to experience your city like locals, your locals are also interested in having the occasional tourist experience.”]

Have fun with this ultimate travel identity swap challenge. Go forth and make your locals feel like tourists and your tourists feel like locals.

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