Agencies – work with us!

On this page we’d like to introduce Spotted by Locals, and explain why we love working with advertising / media agencies!

Our story

As two travel addicts frequently frustrated by the obvious, touristy, impersonal, and out-of-date tips they found in their travel guides and on travel websites, Sanne & Bart van Poll launched Spotted by Locals in 2008.

Starting as an experiment blog with insider tips for Amsterdam, there are now 260 locals (“Spotters”) in 67 cities in Europe & North America writing about their favorite spots always keeping their tips up-to-date.

We publish city blogs and mobile (Android / iPhone) apps.

Sanne & Bart handpick Spotters and meet all Spotters in person in their city (check the “on the road” blog articles).

Our Spotters

Spotted by Locals is run by our passionate Spotters. These lovely locals live in the city they write about, speak the local language, and write about their favorite spots only.

Spotters weekend 2012 (by Maarten van Poll)

Spotters weekend 2012 (by Maarten van Poll)

In November 2012, we organized a meeting for all our Spotters (read more).

What makes us different from other city guides?

  • Real locals: our locals live in the city and speak the language;
  • Quality selection: Locals are selected, and only write about their favorite spots;
  • Up-to-date: All our articles are always up-to-date and up-to-season;
  • Unbiased: Locals don’t accept any form of compensation

What (some) other say about us

“…tips rarely found in the guidebook. […] My first port of call”
The Times, 2013 | Read article

“…authentically local, on-the-ground advice…”
The Guardian, 2009 | Read article

“…a useful series of blogs and iPhone app with locally written travel guides and reviews of hangouts and events.”
The New York Times, 2012 | Read article

More “in the media’ here

Our audience

Our readers are young (mostly 20-40), experienced travelers, earn more than average, and have an extensive knowledge of the internet. They are curious and open – they like to try new things, and stay away from the “obvious”. More than the average internet population our visitors are affluent, highly educated, and have no kids (source: Quantcast analysis).

In March 2013 we had 806,433 pageviews (135,540 unique visitors) and 157.000 unique visitors on our blogs.

How we add value for clients

Spotted by Locals can add value to brands & campaigns in the two following broad categories

  • Content licensing: adding our locals’ tips to apps, websites or products
  • Branded content: engage our readers by telling a great story around your brand

Content licensing

Our tips by handpicked locals in cities are unique. We are one of the very few publishers who can supply always up-to-date travel tips, as our locals check and update all their articles on a regular basis.

We created an API to easily share our content with selected 3rd parties, and integrate them into their apps, websites, products, etc.

So far, we’ve worked with a variety of selected clients like newspapers (The Guardian, Sueddeutsche Zeitung), travel guides (Lonely Planet, MyCityWay) and manufacturers (Volkswagen). We think our locals’ content could be a good match with clients in all types of industries.

Branded content

Engage our niche audience of young, affluent and social city travelers and locals by telling a great story around your (client’s) brand.


Below we highlight some of the partnerships we’ve worked on, to give you a rough idea about what’s possible. The sky is the limit of course!

Volkswagen content licensing

Volkwagen has licensed Spotted by Locals’ tips in 44 European cities, to add high quality always up-to-date insider tips to the Small Great Places online community and an innovative in-car navigation system. We deliver these tips via our API.

Volkswagen up! – Small Great Places from Steven Koenig on Vimeo.

This campaign was created by DDB Tribal, and has been awarded a DMMA OnlineStar award in 2012.

Google Field Trip content licensing

In 2013, Google launched its Field Trip app for iOS & Android. Google works with publishers that provide interesting location content. Spotted by Locals and TimeOut are the only city guide publishers chosen by Google to partner in this project.

Director of Google Niantic Labs John Hanke: “Spotted by Locals is a fantastic addition to Field Trip, because it offers unique, local perspectives on what’s worth doing, finding & exploring.”

Field Trip screenshot

Read more about our partnership with Google.

City of Ghent advertising & branded content

The Ghent (Belgium) tourist office asked Spotted by Locals to promote the city of Gent to visitors of the Spotted by Locals city blogs with:

  • Display advertising (special header banner, see below)
  • Social media promotion
  • Branded content (blog posts)
  • Ghent city blogs & guides

Ghent ad

The campaign was successful – we recently received a follow-up order for an almost identical campaign.

What can we do for your clients?

We’d love to talk about how we can add value to your client’s campaigns or products in a personal meeting, brainstorm session or telephone call.

Please e-mail Bart van Poll for an appointment.

More in the media

“…authentically local, on-the ground advice…”

The Guardian

More in the media

Get in touch

Question about our app? Want to become a Spotter? Have an idea?
Whatever it is: we’d love to hear from you!

Click here
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)