New Blog Network Gives Travelers the Chance to Experience Cities Like a Local

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Paperback travel guides and websites often fail to offer the "local" perspective travelers these days are increasingly looking for. A young married couple addicted to traveling, have quit their jobs to fulfill a new mission in life: To offer modern travelers the opportunity to experience cities just like a local, by offering local tips through a new network of blogs on European cities. Spotted by Locals believes that the key to high quality and reliable travel information is their personal handpicking of bloggers, through a strict selection procedure. Only "real" locals are chosen to write about their favorite spots in the city they love.

During my city trips, that `cute local spot' frequently turned out to be infested with tourists carrying the exact same city guide

City travelers are progressively looking to learn more about the local culture of their chosen destinations. They do not only want to "do a city" by visiting standard highlights.

An excellent example of this shift in travel attitude can be seen in the hugely successful Couchsurfing project (where visitors can stay with locals instead of in hotels). The project has risen from 6,000 members in 2004 to a significant 750,000 in 2008.

Travel guide authors are often enough travelers themselves, and as such cannot necessarily offer the local perspective readers are looking for. Also a lot of the time the information in paperback travel guides quickly becomes inaccurate or no longer current.

"During my city trips, that `cute local spot' frequently turned out to be infested with tourists carrying the exact same city guide," states Spotted by Locals founder Sanne van Poll.

Travelers are increasingly turning to the Internet to source a wealth of travel tips. However, it is often difficult or plain impossible to see who is behind the "local" travel tips. Is it really a bona fide local or actually a traveler who has only visited the spot once? Perhaps it is even the proprietor of the spot with motivations of self-interest?

On the 15 cityblogs (for example Spotted by Locals Amsterdam) residents write about the places they regularly frequent. All Spotters are presented prominently on the site with their real names, a picture and a detailed personal profile.

Spotted by Locals sees that the key to creating high quality, up-to-date and authentic content is a face-to-face interview with the "Local". After establishing if they meet the required criteria and really love their city, they are selected to write for the website.

For more information, French / German / Spanish / Italian versions, or to schedule an interview, please contact Bart van Poll, or see our press kit.

About Spotted by Locals:
Spotted by Locals was started in 2008 by avid travelers (and married couple) Sanne & Bart van Poll. It is the first cityblog-network with handpicked bloggers who write about spots and pass on local tips from a personal and local perspective. It has recently launched 15 European cityblogs, and will be launching a further 10 in the coming months.


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Bart van Poll
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