by Super G
Queer travelers will have an easier way to meet locals through the newly launched Local Hero Guides project on the Wimbify app.
The new project connecting queer locals and travelers is searching for 300 guides to accommodate the estimated 3,000 LGBTQI travelers projected to visit the Milan, the program’s test city, this year.
Launched in 2015, Wimbify, which stands for “Welcome to my back yard,” has been touted as the “Airbnb” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex travelers, according to media reports.
However, unlike Airbnb, local queers host guests for free and earn points for future travel for hosting LGBTQI travelers from around the world.
Hosts can earn points to use for travel by offering their services from picking up and dropping off people at the airport, acting as a tour guide, teaching travelers how to cook local dishes, to hosting travelers in their home.
In the future, people who are unable or unwilling to host will also be able to purchase credits at affordable rates, according to the release.
However, the points system appears to be changing soon as hosts-turned-city guides will be able to earn some cash for being a member of the rainbow welcoming committee for their city.
The app also helps connect solo queer travelers with fellow gallivanting queers.
“The company’s market research suggested that 53 percent of LGBT people travel alone at least once a year,” according to the release.
However, despite the app being inspired by a traveling lesbian couple’s disappointing hosted experience finding themselves staying with a homophobic host during a vacation, Wimbify’s co-founder and CEO Alessio Virgili previously told MTV News, the app is clearly created by-and-for gay boys.
“Sometimes, unfortunately, it is not easy to find information about the local gay scene, especially in destinations where the gay life is more underground,” Virgili told MTV News. That’s why with Wimbify, you’re able to find more than just a safe place to stay — you’ll also be connected with a friendly-LGBT host who’s eager to show you around.”
A Roam native, Alessio frequently stays in Milan and San Francisco, and is the Italian ambassador for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
Alessio co-founded Wimbify with his long-time partner who prefers to be a silent partner.
The app only recently brought on Kati Schmidt, strategic partnership manager, global policy and public affairs at Airbnb, as the company’s lone-woman advisor on the seven-member team.
The team also gained Andrew Beckmann, senior manager, strategy and business development at Expedia as an advisor, reports Travel Daily News.
Wondering how to become a local guide? Potential guides can upload their proposals through the app, which is available in iOS and Android.
Book your next romantic getaway to the Caribbean with Girls That Roam Travel. Contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel at 415-517-7239 or at .
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