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Tour Operator
Founded2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
HeadquartersVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Paul Melhus, Founder and CEO. Luciano Bullorsky, President. David Vincent, Founder and Chief Technical Officer.
ProductsPrivate tours, local travel experiences
RevenueUSD 45 million
Number of employees

ToursByLocals is a Canadian-based, international private tour provider. Headquartered in Vancouver, with offices in Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur and Glasgow, the company serves upwards of 400,000 clients a year, connecting them with over 4190 private tour guides in 159 countries.[citation needed]

Founded in 2008 by Paul Melhus[1] and Dave Vincent, the company initially focused on the basic function of connecting travellers with local guides via an online platform, relying on peer reviews to establish quality control measures.[2] One of the originators of the "peer to peer" travel model[3][4][5] the company has since shifted to offering more closely managed, curated tour content and shore excursions for cruise ships.

The company is a member of the Local Travel Movement,[6] which aims to connect independent and mindful travellers with local people and local experiences.[7][failed verification]

The company experienced some controversy in 2016, when local media in Vancouver criticized its practice of offering tours of the city's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, contending that these tours were insensitive to the local homeless population.[8]


  1. ^ "Canada's biggest entrepreneurial demographic sport a few grey hairs". Financial Post. 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  2. ^ "Private guide the cheapest way to see the sites" – via The Globe and Mail.
  3. ^ "Peer to Peer Activities: So Many New Options - Travel Adventures in the Sharing Economy". 2 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Touring With A Local In Budapest". 11 January 2015.
  5. ^ Levine, Irene S. "From homes to meals to cars, 'sharing' has changed the face of travel".
  6. ^ "Local TravelLocal Guides & Tours | Local Travel". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  7. ^ "Gaucho For A Day, Argentina - Rough Guides".
  8. ^ Sheppard, Jenni (2016-08-12). "'I would never want to reduce people's dignity,' says DTES tour guide accused of poverty tourism". Daily Hive. Retrieved 2017-08-22.