From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeTour Operator
Founded2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
HeadquartersVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Lisa Chen, CEO and President, Paul Melhus and Dave Vincent, Co-Founders
ProductsPrivate tours, local travel experiences
Number of employees
ToursByLocals office headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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 4400 private tour guides in 188 countries and 1,500 locations.[1]

The company is a member of the Local Travel Movement,[2] which aims to connect independent and mindful travellers with local people and local experiences.[3][failed verification]


Founded in 2008 by Paul Melhus[4] 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.[5] One of the originators of the "peer to peer" travel model[6][7][8] the company has since shifted to offering more closely managed, curated tour content and shore excursions for cruise ships.

The company actively recruits independent local guides in new locations globally, and currently accepts roughly 1 in 9 applications after a multi-stage screening and interview process.

In January 2020, ToursByLocals announced $33 million in series A funding with Austin, Texas-based growth capital fund Tritium Partners. Funds from the round will be used for enhancements in user experience, technology, marketing and recruiting more talent.[9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ "ToursByLocals - Private Tours By Local Guides". Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  2. ^ "Local TravelLocal Guides & Tours | Local Travel". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  3. ^ "Gaucho For A Day, Argentina - Rough Guides".
  4. ^ "Canada's biggest entrepreneurial demographic sport a few grey hairs". Financial Post. 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  5. ^ "Private guide the cheapest way to see the sites" – via The Globe and Mail.
  6. ^ "Peer to Peer Activities: So Many New Options - Travel Adventures in the Sharing Economy". 2 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Touring With A Local In Budapest". 11 January 2015.
  8. ^ Levine, Irene S. "From homes to meals to cars, 'sharing' has changed the face of travel".
  9. ^ "Vancouver couple's online travel venture hits $100-million valuation with private equity financing". Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  10. ^ "ToursByLocals snaps up its first funding, C$33M, to link sightseers with guides globally". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  11. ^ "Vancouver's ToursByLocals lands $33m investment". Business in Vancouver. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  12. ^ "ToursByLocals survives decade of bootstrapping, raises $33M to accelerate growth | PhocusWire". Retrieved 2020-02-06.