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Leap Local originated from the nagging feeling that travel, especially in developing countries, didn’t always seem to benefit locals. This was evident from the way locals can aggressively tout tourists for business, something that seemed to come from desperation.
We decided to focus on empowering locals engaged in tourism in developing countries. In the same way that eBay gives sellers access to a global market in an instant, we wanted Leap Local to give local travel providers access to the global market. At the same time we understood that travellers often saved time and money for that once in a lifetime experience. It was not unreasonable for travellers to need some assurance before using a local guide/service. And so Leap Local was born.
Over time we have focused on building up relationships with local guides and services who have told us of their experiences in tourism. These have ranged from a shocking disregard of the local tourism economy by Western operators, and inspiring stories from individuals who have been guiding tourists for generations and offering travellers outreach to local communities. We very much focus on people, and are now in the fortunate position of having a fantastic group of guides and services on our system. As we move forward we hope to engage even more with our top guides and facilitate a trickle-down effect as they mentor and teach other less experienced guides.
None of this would have been possible without our own people, whether Leap’s core team, network of experts, or partners.