More and more tourists are searching for experiences that connect them to diverse cultures in an unplanned spontaneous way that seems authentic and genuine. Traditional travel adventures such as mass market bus tours, the all-inclusive resorts, and jam packed travel itineraries are becoming a thing of the past. People are looking for something more different… more authentic.
To encourage more authentic cultural tourism products CES first developed the Spontaneous Tourism Model™. This model represents a managed version of the type of tourism activities that are taking place in many indigenous communities throughout the world already – a visitor calls the Community Tourism Office, expresses an interest in various activities in the community, and the Tourism Officer recruits Guides/Tour Delivery Agents to facilitate the request - or sometimes lead the activity themselves. These activities are considered ‘static’, meaning that the opportunity to deliver them exists regardless of whether or not an entrepreneur chooses to build a business around one of them.
Using the community’s resources, infrastructure and technology, this model becomes an incubator for new products, entrepreneurs and new and existing businesses. This approach allows local individuals to offer unique tourism experiences without the need to quit their job, develop a business plan or take the risk of opening a new venture.
Since the development of this concept, another model was discovered referred to as the Vayable Tourism Model. Vayable is an organization dedicated to enabling entrepreneurship, cultural exchange, community-building and exploration worldwide by empowering people to share experiences with others. Vayable’s model is built upon the following principles:
1. Improve people’s lives through cultural exchange
2. New way to experience local culture – provides a service that connects individuals looking to experience honest, local culture through experiences created and hosted by passionate local Insiders
3. Experiences are created by ‘Independent Insiders’ – artists, designers, foodies, teachers, photographers, guides, Elders and everyone else can create and operate their own experiences. Each Independent Insider creates, curates, and takes on full responsibility for the experiences they offer. Vayable is the platform and a resource – they do not run or host the experiences. Anyone can create an experience on Vayable as long as it meets their guidelines.
4. People have been travelling this way for generations – provide opportunities for individuals who aspire to enrich their understanding of the world and themselves.
5. Providing long lasting meaning and fulfillment from experiences – the survival of the tourism industry relies heavily on the communities that sustain it. For many countries, tourism presents the greatest promise of prosperity and economic mobility. Vayable provides these communities with a new, safe and fun way to accomplish this.
6. Participants help individuals support their passion while sustaining a culture and building a community – visitors have an opportunity to help empower local entrepreneurs to earn a living from their passions, knowledge and skills. This results in creating a positive impact on the community by helping to keep culture alive and bringing local commerce to neighbourhoods and towns that may otherwise not have access to capital and traditional tourist centres.
The ‘local insider’ is responsible for designing the experience and personalized profile that is shared on the website. This personalized approach begins to create a connection between the visitor and their guide before they even go on the tour. As far as standards and guidelines go, it is kept pretty simple. Anyone with unique knowledge, skills or access can earn money offering an experience as a Vayable Insider. The only thing that Vayable enforces is that all Insiders offer quality well fleshed-out experiences and have safety precautions for visitors.
The ‘local insider’ is responsible for designing the experience and personalized profile that is shared on the website. This personalized approach begins to create a connection between the visitor and their guide before they even go on the tour. As far as standards and guidelines go, it is kept pretty simple. Anyone with unique knowledge, skills or access can earn money offering an experience as a Vayable Insider. The only thing that Vayable enforces is that all Insiders offer quality well-fleshed out experiences and have safety precautions for visitors.
It’s models like this that are celebrating authentic experiences and something different from the norm. These models focus more on creating a genuine relationship with the visitor and the host.
CES is currently working on developing a strategy for Aboriginal Tourism Ontario that strongly recommends pursuing an approach like this to develop authentic indigenous tourism products throughout the province. This innovative model will change the future of indigenous tourism development and focus on empowering local community members to share their culture and do what they are passionate about, whether it is guided experiences on the land to learn traditional survival skills, how to make the best bannock, or sitting around a fire telling stories and legends of the past.
CES looks forward to seeing what the future holds for innovative tourism ideas!
For more information on this concept contact firstname.lastname@example.org.