VisitBritain website to offer human TripBod welcome
The idea is actually quite simple. TripBod has an army of experts – or Bods – dotted around the UK who can be bought by prospective tourists to either give them a brief welcome and overview to a city or carry out full tours of a destination.
The scheme is being piloted in five areas around the UK, following a successful test in Germany over the summer.
Visitors to the VB Shopping website can buy the time of a Bod for the two different programmes: Meet and Greet (60-minute welcome and intro) or Explore (90 minute guided tour), starting at £35 a session.
TripBod says the experiences offered by the Bods in-resort will be tailored to the requirements of the paying customer, a extension of its existing scheme which is to provide information and tips to destinations around the world via the web before the customer arrives.
TripBod and VisitBritain have a revenue-share agreement in place.
The one-year old startup has spent the past few months recruiting people around the UK to act as Bods for visitors, making sure there are enough in place to handle bookings seven days a week.
The booking system will be available on the global site and also on specific national VB shops in Australia, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands and the USA.
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.