Are you a wine lover? Become a wine guide
Are you a wine lover and do you know what to taste in a wine store? Are you a foodie and do you know all the ice cream shops? Here is how to transform a passion into a touristic profession
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
This is the new frontier in tourism: to visit places together with a resident who takes you somewhere special unknown to the majority. Obviously this is a passion that arrives from the States and circulates online. The two major portals –Vayable and Gidsy – have in their catalogue proposals which are mostly cultural and in some cases similar to those available for mass tourism. But there are also some tours which are really curious and some are dedicated to the discovery of wine and food, a segment with a great prospective.
Vayable has a nice range of proposals for gluttons: street food from New York, walks along the Rive Gauche in Paris looking for famous patisseurs, delicatessens and finish with a cup of hot chocolate … in Rome there is a wine and food tour of Testaccio with 8 stops among which the famous Volpetti and the wine tour in the area Campo dei Fiori….
In the other portal, Gidsy, there are 403 tours of Rome and here too there are routes for gluttons but unfortunately they are not greatly appreciated: the Coliseum has 998 reviews and the trek with tasting of white pizza, rice croquettes and food from the ghetto … only 8. One must notice that in all the tourism wine portals” with indigenous guides” the attention is all on Rome while it is still very little on the rest of Italy.
The real novelty is Lookals the portal created by Marco Vismara. He is 27 years old, has studied engineering, in Germany for the past 4 years he has been proof of how young people can invent for themselves a new itinerary for success. His story was liked also by the “Sole 24 ore”, who has dedicated an article to him, wonderful!
The portal invented by Vismara sells alternative tourism experiences proposed by residents who wish to share their passions and their “discoveries”. Here too Rome is in pole position, but the idea is to propose all of Italy. Everyone can be a guide for something unusual, be they real guides or the well informed fans. The portal keeps 10% of the price of tours and asks clients to vote their travel experience with an evaluation system similar to TripAdvisor.
To be based in Berlin, is for Lookals definitely a bonus. Every year in March the German capital welcomes the largest European tourism trade fair ITB. A showcase where new proposals, like this one, find space and markets.
Those who have a deep passion for cheese, spumante, spicy hot foods or passito wines … but also local history, archaeology… and even biking or cross country racing …. can use the places and the people they know, their small discoveries to create a business. All you need is communicativeness, creativity and … to speak an excellent English.