On this page we’d like to introduce Spotted by Locals, and explain why we love working with tourist offices
As two travel addicts frequently frustrated by the obvious, touristy, impersonal, and out-of-date tips they found in their travel guides and on travel websites, Sanne & Bart van Poll launched Spotted by Locals in 2008.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 in 2008, Spotted by Locals is now a series of apps and blogs with up-to-date tips by locals (or “Spotters”) in 71 cities in Europe & North America.
Sanne & Bart handpick Spotters and meet all Spotters in person in their city.
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.
In 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 we organized Spotters Weekends for our community bloggers (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 | Read article
“…authentically local, on-the-ground advice…”
The Guardian | 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 | Read article
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 2016 we welcomed 2.4 million unique visitors on our blogs.
Why we love working with tourist boards
Promoting great cities is what Spotted by Locals is about. By starting a Spotted by Locals city blog, we help raise awareness for your city as a tourist destination or place to live. City life is in our blood, and for us cities are the coolest “brands” there are.
How we can add value for tourist boards
Spotted by Locals can add value to tourist boards in the following ways:
- Launching a city guide for your city
- Promoting your destination on our blogs
- Content licensing: adding our locals’ tips to your apps, websites or products
- Content creation for social media
1. Launching a city guide for your city
We’ve worked with various tourist boards to launch a city guide for their city, which has attracted many new visitors – curious travelers who are not just interested in the tourist highlights. The content on this blog is editorially independent and will be created by locals in your city, who Spotted by Locals will meet in person. This doesn’t require any time or input from a tourist board.
Check out our current 71 city blogs
2. Promote your destination on our blogs
Engage our niche audience of young, affluent and social city travelers and locals by telling a great story around your city. With display advertising, or branded content.
Some campaigns we did with Tourist boards:
- In 2015 the Vienna tourist board promoted and distributed their RemembeRing quiz via our website
- In 2016 / 2017 the Ghent Tourist Board promoted their city on network of blogs and social media channels with lots of content and visuals.
- In 2018 we promoted the city of Antwerp with a campaign on social media and our network of blogs (case study available on request!)
3. 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 tourist office websites, mobile apps and other channels.
Visit Helsinki for example integrated our Spotted by Locals Helsinki locals’ tips on their website website, using our API. All tips are kept up-to-date automatically. This saves them a lot of content management / creation time.
4. Content creation for social media
The social media teams of Tourist boards like Belgrade, Geneva, Paris and Tallinn have started sharing insider tips prepared by us. They get content their fans love and save content management & creation time & money because we do all the work. For free. Find some examples here.
The process is super simple:
1) Every week/month we select a very current “local tip of the week/month” for your city
2) We send this “copy and paste-able” tip by email, including picture & proposed share text
What can we do for your organization?
We’d love to talk about how we can add value to your organization in a personal meeting, or a telephone / Skype call.
Please e-mail Bart van Poll (bart at spottedbylocals dot_com) with your ideas!