Barcelona Locals Take Charge of Destination Marketing

If there was any destination that didn’t need a whole lot of marketing for it, that is Barcelona, Spain.

It has been named #1 European destination and the 2nd best place to visit in the world, by US News Travel. Being also called the Gaudi City, the Mediterranean gem, or the Counts’ City, the entire travel sector here is without any doubt focused on maximizing from the Barcelona brand. The city truly lives off its touristic potential.

Destination Marketing BarcelonaBut all this fame and appeal come with a price. The services for tourists, as improved as they seem to be, year after year, are also quite generalized and systematized. All the offers for tourists, either by bus, or on foot with tourist guides, touch on the same landmarks. Gaudi is on the tongue-tip of everyone, whether they get his name right or not, while las ramblas is an overpopulated strip that is really stripped off of its beauty by the incessant hordes of tourists.

If you come to Catalonia’s capital with the plan to find unexplored, quiet, hideaway sights, you might have a hard time spotting such places. Unless you’ve heard of trip4real. The recently launched service is bringing a breeze of fresh air to the travel sector.

Another Take at Destination Marketing

The trip4real platform is gathering genuine experiences that locals can offer to travelers and making them available to the tourist who doesn’t want to use the mainstream guidebook.

trip4real platformHaving always relied on famous published guides and tourist-office information, the travelers now have an alternative: access to richer experiences, from living and eating like the locals, to going the tourist-unbeaten paths of the city.

They say the best way to experience a place is to connect with its locals, hear their untold stories and follow their habits for a day or two. You know, “when in Rome…”. Experiencing the real Barcelona is not making the unending line to enter Sagrada Familia or trying to mimic the anthem of the Barca team while visiting the empty stadium, although that is part of this city’s culture too.

But really enriching your travel means meeting a resident and letting them guide you, outside the mainstream roads. Go with a local to the fresh market, buy fresh ingredients and cook a homemade meal at their home. Or, if you’re a fan of inline skating, join a local group and see the city through their eyes and on their paths.

The possibilities are literally endless; it’s up to your imagination. And if you’ve got a special interest, like, say, sculpture from the early 20th Century, the guys at trip4real can also look for locals that have similar interests and knowledge and pair you up for a unique experience.

The Benefit for the Travel Sector

Creative visits and experiments, such as the ones offered by trip4real, are varying the touristic offer and are bringing out less known parts of the region. Travelers will start to look more and more for such unique services, other than regular sightseeing crowded spots. The locals will get enriched too, by meeting and connecting with people from all over the world. The travelers’ perspectives will increasingly get broader regarding other cultures and customs, fostering tolerance and understanding.

Overall, this shift will cultivate the collaborative economy, which is changing the travel sector as well as many others, benefiting both the traveler and the local.

Have you ever tried such an experience offered by a local? How do you think initiatives like trip4real will benefit the travel sector, in Barcelona and elsewhere?

Photos source: Ander Hernando Balsells and trip4real.
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