I like locals is an online app where you can meet locals and get inspired to explore or rediscover cities.
Winner of Creative Business Cup and mentioned by
Why I like locals?
- We want to rethink how to discover cities
- We want locals to tell their own story about their city
- We want to inspire locals to rediscover their own city
- We want locals to share their experience with visitors
- We want to show you why locals love their city, instead of glossy tourist campaigns
- We want to connect you with locals
Our solution is a simple, visual and easy-to-use website and app, supported with a sustainable business model. To make all of the above come true we need your funding!
I like locals operates as a franchise model, where countrywide tourist organisations and cities purchase the license to operate the platform in the given country or city. 3 countries are projected to purchase the franchise license in year two producing a net income of about € 4,000 and grow to 25 countries in year four producing a net income of about € 2.7 million.
The local travel revolution
I like locals is an app and an online platform, where you can meet locals in the real world and get inspired to explore and rediscover cities through a visual storytelling, where locals present their favourite spots.
Our vision is to make it easier for you to find & meet locals, who share your interests and discover the spots they like. We want to make exploring cities easier and more fun, whether you are travelling or using I like locals in your own city.
The beta platform was launched in May 2013 in Copenhagen as a pilot, where we are now starting to build the community. Next steps are an expansion to other Scandinavian and European cities, customer acquisitions, further technical development of the product and a mobile app.
I like locals wants to provide an easy-to-use, but very innovative way to build bridges for people to share, inspire and meet in real life. It goes beyond the Internet and extends into real communities to make people more connected to each other.
Visiting a city or living in your city should be about people, community and experiences together. Many visitors want to discover the local side of the city, but they often end up on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours and other tourists’ traps, because the local side is hard to find. Locals have knowledge and would actually like to share and rediscover their city and connect with like-minded people. But instead locals are going to the same places with the same people over and over again and visitors just get standard experiences provided by tour guides, tourist information, guidebooks and general tourist websites. The increasing existence of “insider-tips” into guidebooks, local places recommendations on web platforms and Couchsurfing with local hosts show a big need for local experiences and connections between locals and visitors in a global community. Besides, cities search for new ways to involve the locals to attract more people to their cities, local businesses that are off the mainstream attractions need awareness and travel services seek new ways to target travelling users for their online marketing.
For all of them, we built I like locals!
I like locals goes beyond guidebooks and travel websites - it makes people connect online and in the real world. The website makes it easy to share visual stories about the users’ city by uploading favourite spots and create individual spot lists for any topic. This shows the local side of the city online and makes it easy to connect with someone who shares the same interests for both locals and visitors. Therefore, besides getting inspired online, we invented the “meet local” feature to bring the people together in real life to explore and rediscover cities together.
By being free, easy-to-use and without a focus on special services like tours or overnight stays, every open-minded city enthusiast can join the I like locals community and use it for his needs.
With a strong community online-and offline, I like locals solves the pain for cities to serve the citizens and visitors with unique experiences. Additionally, local business can attract people with their interest by creating spot lists and get followers. And as visitors check the city before going there, they are the perfect target group for complementary travel services like Airbnb or Trivago. The first contacts with cities in Sweden and the travel service (Airbnb) have already been established, so that partnerships can be agreed once the pilot shows success.
How it works
“Consumers will demand more individual and authentic travel experiences in future and will rely more than ever on technology to plan and enjoy their trips. People will rely more on personal information and recommendations available on commercial and social websites to seek new and more authentic experiences."
ITB World Travel Report 2012
I like locals acts in the tourism market and competes on marketing budgets from cities, local businesses and travel websites. Cities are currently shifting the marketing budgets from offline to online marketing. In the next year, I like locals plans to cover capital cities in Europe, around 30 cities with a total online destination marketing budget of € 75+ million. Hereby the size of the user base is crucial to sell marketing opportunities and analytics to the cities as well as for affiliate and lead-generation as additional revenue sources from local businesses and travel partners.
Users & customers
The primary target group and early-adopters of I like locals is the modern 20 - 35 year old that live in urban cities and prioritize money to travel and experience the world. They are open-minded, social, culturally interested and love to travel. They want to experience life; they love their own city and are passionate about sharing stories and ideas. When they go out, they network eagerly across borders and use this network both personally and professionally. They are familiar with current technology, such as using facebook to be social, smartphones for just-in-time information and a wide range of online services to get relevant information to fit their exact wants and needs. They want adventure and relevant experiences that are tailored to their personal needs. This search for authentic experiences makes I like locals attractive to them.
First paying customers are cities with a premium package for priority open-up, analytics and marketing opportunities. I like locals plans to open for free in selected cities, starting in Copenhagen and expanding in the next months to other Scandinavian capitals (Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki) and then to the rest of Europe. The most attractive cities in Europe will be targeted first to guarantee high awareness and the innovative factor.
Additional revenues sources are from complementary travel services for affiliate marketing, as described below.
What we have done so far
BETA version in Copenhagen: We have developed our early beta site and tested the platform with lots of feedback from Copenhagen locals.
Team: We have established an international team with complementary skills to build and scale the platform globally.
Customer validation: We have shaped and tested our business model in close collaboration with our future customers and industry experts.
Partnerships: We have established connections and partnerships with several national and international public and industry organizations, including several cities, Placebrander, Generator Hostels and AirBNB.
Won the Creative Business Cup: And received the title of Denmark's best creative entrepreneur.
Use of Investment
- App development and continued improvements of our web platform
- Expansion to new cities
- Growing the team to handle demand
- Community development in cities
- Online marketing investments