March 14, 2005

Getting In Touch

After a nine-month gestattion, the much-awaited In Touch Travel has come into the world. Developed by my former colleague Andrea Nims, it's a program designed for experienced travelers who want to meet "real people" on their vacations.

Cultural tourism isn't a new phenomenon, though it gets much less attention than it deserves from local tourist boards [funded by suppliers of commercial services]. Non-profit organizations like People-to-People and Servas International have been around for decades, but In Touch may be the first to offer an upscale version of "cultural immersion" to the general public.

Andrea is starting with a roster of about 30 hosts, most in France, many of them experts in gastronomy, wine, art or history. You can book a day of a host's "in depth" expertise, or spend a couple of days "up close," just hanging out with your host. Either way, you'll get to know a real person living a real life in another culture ... someone who doesn't carry your bags or have his hand out ... and that's priceless.

Posted by Ronald Holden at March 14, 2005 8:10 AM | TrackBack