Modern tourism has evolved very little, especially since destination marketing and tour operators have decided to force-feed a standard form of tourism that has now grown very predictable… and boring.
The advent of no-frill transportation, peer-to-peer accommodation and direct travel bookings has in recent years offered an alternative way for travellers to enjoy beyond the mere “touristic” experience and craft their own travel experience.
This move is having a positive impact not only on emerging sectors within the travel industry, but also to local industries that were sometimes at the risk of being abandoned and forgotten.
A few days ago Airbnb has announced it will be spearheading a project towards this very same problem. Airbnb will be “launching its largest brand campaign to date called ‘Live There,’ designed in response to the growing dissatisfaction and disappointment with standardised tourist offerings that have become the hallmark of modern tourism.”
Amongst the innovative features, an app with a neighborhood matching system that will find the right neighborhood to make any traveler feel like they are living like a local.
But perhaps the most important move is that of delegating the role of destination marketing back to the locals where travellers will get travel tips from the people experiencing the neighbourhood, the island, the city or whatever destination one wishes to visit.
It is high-time we eliminate “templates” in “tourism”