The Next Generation of Tour Guides

(Photo credit: Eszter+David)

A few months back I received an email from Heath Ceramics announcing that tickets were on sale for their upcoming art and culture trip to Japan led by one of their US-based staff members. The tickets–at $11,000 per person–sold out immediately. I remembered getting a similar email the previous year and being very intrigued. I love Heath Ceramics, and I’ve purchased a couple of Japanese ceramic pieces from them. The thought of a full itinerary designed by the creative minds behind Heath and a tour guide who is not a tour guide at all felt quite different and special. Although it was the first time I’d ever heard of a brick and mortar store selling a trip like this, I think it makes a lot of sense. If you are a fan of how Heath curates their collections, and exhibits, and pop-ups, and talks, there is a good chance you’ll like how they curate nine days in Japan.

As traditional travel agencies become a thing of the past and companies like Viator and AirBnB Experiences replace printed travel guidebooks, is the next generation of tour guides also emerging? Rather than hiring a local with a megaphone, a minivan, and a script, hire your favorite ceramist or chef or winemaker or gallery owner. They may not know your destination inside and out, but they will certainly find the stuff that really matters to them and, in turn, to you.

As the abundance of choices for experiences feels more and more overwhelming, we are seeing the desire for quality curation continue to grow. Companies like Modern Adventure have built an entire platform around this concept as it applies to travel. In fact, the Heath trip was done in conjunction with Modern Adventure.

Noise 13 has significant experience in the travel space, particularly with brands trying to evolve travel offerings. We’ve added our names to Modern Adventure’s email list and plan to keep a keen eye on the future of curated globetrotting.

—Peter Judd


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