Local alike

Local alike: A community based tourism platform

AllAll, Tailandia
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

LocalAlike is a community based online tourism platform. Local Alike is harnessing the experiential travel market and channeling it into building sustainable livelihoods in rural communities. Our model seeks to reverse 3 problems common to Thai rural communities: cultural fading, traditional trade and skills loss, and migration out of villages. Our experienced staff will work closely with small villages to combine community based travel and community development programs. The LocalAlike model broadens perspectives for villagers and traveliers alike while also delivering long-lasting social impact. With a modest investment of 3 million Thai baht, LocalAlike will break even in 3 years but tranform lives for years to come.

โลโค่อไลค์สนับสนุนการท่องเที่ยวเชิงประสบการณ์และใช้การท่องเที่ยวเป็นเครื่องมือในการพัฒนาท้องถิ่นอย่างยั่งยืน โดยเราคาดหวังว่าจะสามารถเป็นส่วนหนึ่งที่จะช่วยอนุรักษ์วัฒนธรรมท้องถิ่น สร้างงานและรายได้ให้กับชุมชน

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we can utilise tourism as a development tool?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Tourism in Thailand is a huge industry, but it's very shallow and sometimes destructive. Visitors don't really experience the real culture.Numbers sustainable travellers who look for more authentic experience but really hard to find one as majority current tourism practices don't take sustainability seriously. Many local villagers in Thailand want to sell their products and promote their local businesses, but do not have the means to do so.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

. We are a reliable platform for marketing local tourisms to target customers: Our platform will share all services we offer to target customers in a unique and engaging way. . We build network with locals and work closely with them in setting standards and in developing their communities: the Local alike team prioritizes valuing and respecting the culture of each community above all else. . We generate attractive and unique content of each community: Local alike will use a video format to deliver content and communicate between the locals and tourists. . We raise awareness amongst customers: We support and promote educational tourism. This includes study tours for travelers, international and domestic university students.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Begining of 2013, we started working with 4 pilot communities in Chiangrai where we have been communitung ever since. We went in and set a development plan and marketing plan with each community. Once the development was done and the package tous were created, we produced contents (Videos, pictures, activities, development details) of these 4 (Suan Pa, 4000Rai, Mae Salong, and Ja Bu See homestay). In term of the community issue, we successfully implemented waste management at Suan Pa homestay. Lastly, we organized test trips to Chiangrai to provide direct feedbacks to locals. From the test trip, there were 100 visitors visiting and 53,490 THB income generated. Here are sample of our works: http://youtu.be/XOyseLAhVZE

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Begining of 2013, we started working with 4 pilot communities in Chiangrai where we have been communitung ever since. We went in and set a development plan and marketing plan with each community. Once the development was done and the package tous were created, we produced contents (Videos, pictures, activities, development details) of these 4 (Suan Pa, 4000Rai, Mae Salong, and Ja Bu See homestay). In term of the community issue, we successfully implemented waste management at Suan Pa homestay. Right now we are expanding to 13 communities and at the end of this 2014 we target to be able to have 15 communities on our platform. From the test trip, there were 400 visitors visiting and 2,380,000 THB income generated and 76% of it directly goes to 7 communities on our platform.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

1. We aim to increase annual income of Local tourism communities by 20 % of the previous year. 2. We will expand to at least 200 communities by year 5 both in Thailand and South East Asia. 3. We plan to utilise tourism as a community development tool by setting up CBT Fund for all communities that we work with. By the end of year 5, we will be able to tackle at least 111 issues by using the fund from tourism. 3. Reduce migration rate of local people moving to the city to find jobs. 4. We aim to preserve local culture and traditional by using tourism.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We estimate our start-up costs to be 3,142,000 THB ( 100,000 USD). 90% of start-up costs are operating costs and 10 % are marketing. The majority of operating costs, 90 % are attributed to building the database of homestays through connecting with villagers and building the relationships necessary to start operating successful community based tourism. Currently we already secured 25,000 USD from these business plan competitions in Asia,

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The problems we see from this existing service are as follows; no detailed homestay or activity profiles; no photos and limited variety no booking confirmation is provided. The major opportunity we see, is the need for one website to feature all affordable, authentic and reliable homestays in Thailand. There is one NGOs called CBT-I whose work is helping develop their hometsay business. Local alike approached this organisation and we will be working to develop and promote community-based tourism together where CBT-I provides us CBTs database and contents,
Team

Founding Story

In 2012, after completing his MBA at Presidio Graduate School, Pai Somsak Boonkam returned home to Thailand, where he began working with the hill tribe villagers at Baan Suan Par and 4000 Rai campsite in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. His goal was to assist the villagers in developing their homestay businesses. While doing this work, Pai met Noon Suratchana Pakavaleetorn who also shares the same idea In late 2012 Local alike entered and won funding from the BanPu Champions for Change competition, a competition designed to encourage and support social enterprises developed to solve social and environmental problems in Thailand. With this funding, we were able to move forward and began piloting homestays in Saun Pa Villiage and 4000 Rai.

Team

Somsak Boonkam, MBA in Sustainable Management, Presidio Graduate School, USA Suratchana Pakavaleetorn. Bachelor Degree in Decorative Arts, Silpakorn University, Thailand Patomporn Pongnin, Bachelor of Arts in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management, International College for Sustainability Studies, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand Arnon Suprasri, Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management, University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, Germany
About You
Organization:
Local alike
About You
First Name

Somsak

Last Name

Boonkam

About Your Project
Organization Name

Local alike

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, 10, All

Country where this project is creating social impact

, 10, All

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Businesses, Other.

Supplemental
Sector

Opportunities for Women, Inclusive Business, Smallholder Farmers.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Our promise is to provide the meaningful experience for travellers and locals alike so,we see both spectrum as our recipient groups.

For local communities,we identified that there are more than 100 established CBT in Thailand that face the same problems of lacking channel to connect.

For travellers,The number of sustainable tourist is growing fast.Last year,there were 22 million tourists visited and TAT identified that 20% of them are looking for more authentic and sustainable experience.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

Our project has been going on for than a year now and we already started to worked with 13 communities in Thailand and bring in travellers to these communities for more than 400 ppl. which has proved the scalable potential of our model and we think that this program will be a big part to take this project to the next step.

We are looking to work with more communities to reach out more opportunities and also provide more choices for travellers with the contribution of this prize money.

As we are trying to connect global travellers with local communities, the decent publicity from the competition will help raising awareness of sustainable community-based tourism among international and Thai travellers and partners in a wider circle.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

My background is in design.I experienced in working on design projects from the beginning to the end.I found one main factor design and build up SE have in common is to understand and serve the real needs of others.Local Alike started in 2012 with this mission,I joined my partner and we started it all from a small village in Chiangrai.Right now,it has expanded and this year there will more than 1,700 ppl. impact from our work from both sides.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

randomness