Lonely Planet and Withlocals have joined forces to offer experiences with locals for travellers looking for community-driven tours, following a global trend for a hyper-personalised and more authentic travel.

Well-known travel publisher and digital travel media company, Lonely Planet, joined forces with Withlocals, a leader in community-driven tours guided by locals, to expand its catalogue of Lonely Planet Experiences into 23 new cities while adding more private tours to existing programme cities. The new additions will bring Lonely Planet Experiences to well beyond 300 carbon-neutral tours worldwide.

Since its inception in 2017, Withlocals has developed a travel market place that connects travellers to local hosts all over the world through unique experiences, both online and offline. From cooking classes to virtual city tours, to online workshops such as a yoga session or an origami workshop, all of the 2,000 experiences across 90 cities are crafted by local experts driven by their passion, bringing knowledge and fun to participants. Withlocals’ platform help people to learn from each other, by breaking down barriers between travellers and locals.

Lonely Planet Experiences have been designed to have a low environmental footprint while having a positive impact on local communities. True to Withlocals style, all tours are small, private and led by local experts.

The tours support locally owned-businesses while being 100% carbon-neutral – reflective of Lonely Planet’s commitment to responsible travel as part of this partnership. In addition, all tours include exclusive discounts on Lonely Planet’s guidebooks, free access to Lonely Planet’s flagship Guides app, plus additional Lonely Planet insight throughout the tours.

“For over four decades, travellers have looked to the Lonely Planet for trusted travel advice,” said Luis Cabrera, CEO of Lonely Planet. “With travel behaviours changing due to the pandemic, we see this as an opportunity to provide new Experiences tailored for communities in smaller, private settings. This allows travelers to go deeper into the local culture and see more than the typical city centre highlights.”

Matthijs Keij, CEO of Withlocals added, “I am thrilled Withlocals is part of the next phase of Lonely Planet’s growth by connecting passionate local experts with travelers from around the world through private experiences that embrace the local history, food, culture, and people.”

For travellers, the tours offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience to truly get to know a destination, through explorations of local food and drink, behind-the-scenes access to hidden gems, interactions with locals and insights from trusted travel experts. Travellers will gain a deeper understanding of, and connection to, culture and individuals who make up a community. They will be able to delight in the sights, smells and tastes of some of the world’s most exciting and original experiences that exist outside the well-known tourist areas.

Cabrera adds: “I am most excited about the new markets that we have been added with this expansion through Withlocals. Not just in new cities, such as Milan, Dublin, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, and Sydney, but new experiences that venture from the city, such as the Cliffs of Moher, Atlas Mountains, Lake Como and more.”

The partnership translates into 40 new Lonely Planet Experiences varying from nearly 2 hours to all day. Some examples include:

– The Alternative Side of Melbourne – Fitzroy Neighbourhood Tour, three hours, starting at €19 pp.

– Atlas Mountains Day Trip, nine hours, starting at €31 pp.

– Bruges Unveiled – Kickstart Walk, 1.5 hours, starting at €5 pp.

The launch of Lonely Planet Experiences was announced in January 2020 and is the latest in a series of new ventures by Lonely Planet as the company seeks to maximise adjacent business opportunities under the new strategic direction of recently appointed CEO, Luis Cabrera.

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