We are writing to let you know that a wonderful team of long-time fans will continue running Spotted by Locals.
We (Sanne & Bart) will leave, 13 years after founding Spotted by Locals. To say it wasn’t an easy decision is a huge understatement. But we feel it’s the best decision we can make for Spotted by Locals, and for the community that we love so much. We are leaving full of warm feelings about the amazing times we had with our Spotters, proud of what we achieved and full of confidence in the future of Spotted by Locals.
Why are we leaving?
It’s been a rough few years for the travel industry. We’ve survived the pandemic, but we think now Spotted by Locals needs fresh new energy, ideas and investments to thrive like we did before 2020. The time has come to conclude that the best thing for the future of Spotted by Locals would be for us to step aside.
What’s going to happen now?
We have truly found a “dream team” to take over from us. Marcel Beemsterboer is the new owner. He’s a (very) long-time fan of Spotted by Locals. Some of our Spotters know him already. He always loves reaching out to and meeting Spotters in person wherever he travels with the Spotted by Locals app.
Jorn van der Eng (email@example.com) will be running things on a daily basis as our new community manager. Jorn is an experienced entrepreneur, community manager, and big traveler. He’s tall and blonde like me, but much younger (35 – the average age of a Spotter & visitor)!
Spotted by Locals will have more impact than ever
When we started in 2008 we had not dared to dream that one day we’d be a lively community of 500+ locals in 81 cities, in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Spotters regularly meet all over the world, we had 4 Spotters Weekends, 3 weddings and 3 babies!
We are very proud that your amazing work is making a real social impact on tourism and local economies.
- We help reduce overtourism. In the last 5 years, we’ve expanded only to cities that are non-touristy, and where tourism has a positive impact on the economy and the life of locals. In quite a few cities, you run the only city guide with up-to-date tips.
- All of you have helped so many locally-owned spots thrive and protect themselves and cities from Starbucksification.
The new team will continue in the same spirit. They are working on very exciting new ideas to grow the impact of Spotted by Locals. A Spotters weekend is on the horizon again! And their absolute priority is getting to know all our Spotters as soon as possible. Jorn plans to organize a series of sessions to listen and learn about their ideas to move Spotted by Locals forward. We think that’s a brilliant idea.