The "International Greeter Association“Offers travelers free city tours in more than 130 cities and regions around the world. The so-called "greeters" welcome guests to their city and take them on an extensive and personal walk.
Beyond the beaten tourist path in a relaxed atmosphere
During the two to three-hour tours, sometimes on foot, sometimes by public transport, the volunteer greeters show travelers their very own city. It is not uncommon to visit places that are off the beaten track and recommended by travel guides. In a relaxed atmosphere, you often hear about the latest gossip in the city and listen to stories about what it is like to live there.
The Greeter idea was born in New York in 1992 when Lynn Brooks founded the "Big Apple Greeters". As a real New Yorker, she wanted to introduce travelers to her very personal favorite corners of the city during the tours:
“I want other people to understand New York the way I do. I want them to experience the city the way I do. All I have to do is invite the visitors to spend time with me or a New York resident - to show them the hidden and beautiful life in this city. We'll show them the deli, where we get our candy, tell them about the great music events in smaller theaters, explain how to get around, tell them about our lives. ”- Lynn Brooks
Today the idea has established itself around the world. From Argentina to Vietnam - all destinations share the same basic values. In small groups of no more than six people, the volunteer greeters take guests on a free tour of their city. The tours are also offered in many European cities and regions. Here you can see if greets are available in your next travel destination.
A participatory form of tourism that promotes multicultural exchange
The aim of the organization is to enable encounters between people, to get to know other people and to show the city. This form of tourism is also called participatory tourism: Here tourism sees itself as a source of multicultural exchange and enrichment for guests and locals alike. This automatically ensures more acceptance on both sides and can therefore be used as a good means against today's overtourism problem be considered.
More information about the International Greeter Association