We are celebrating 11 years of Peatix this May!
This joyous milestone is made possible by the continuous efforts of our homegrown organizers in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. Their initiatives to unite the world inspire us at Peatix and we believe it may spark new ideas for you too!
In conjunction with our 11th anniversary, we would like to turn the spotlight on our organizers and the incredible experiences they create, both online and offline.
Here is our little interview with Japan’s Virtual Tours By Locals Project:
What inspired you to start Virtual Tours?
I was inspired to start Virtual Tours during the time I was unable to travel, in the spring of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, I was running a tourism service in Tokyo to connect international tourists with the local community. Preparations for the Tokyo Olympics were underway, but the pandemic put an end to all that.
In the midst of all this, my friends and I, who also operated tourism and lodging businesses in Japan and abroad, asked ourselves, “Isn’t there something we can do now? We began to discuss the possibility of using the power of online travel. This is how the “World Virtual Travel Agency” project was launched. Now, we have more than 25,000 people from Japan and abroad who have participated in the project.
What motivates you to keep running it?
What motivates us to keep going is the direct feedback we receive from our participants.
We have received many words of support such as, “It was hard for me not to travel, but on the contrary, I have found people I want to meet all over the world,” “How encouraging it is to be connected now,” “Online tours are a window to the world,” and “I am glad to have friends who like to travel as well.
Another thing that motivated me was the new meaning of online tours. Our participants have told us that despite the difficulty of physical travel, being able to connect with the world and talk to each other online brings them great pleasure. I will never forget when one of our participants said, “I was so happy to see the city of Paris again with my husband, which we walked on our honeymoon 35 years ago.
Do you remember the first event you created? What was one memorable moment from running it?
Our first online event was an online tour of Egypt in May 2020.
We were nervous about whether people would actually come to see the event. In no time at all, over 70 people signed up for the event, much to our surprise. During the event, we received so many warm words via Zoom chat that even we, the moderators, were almost in tears. We were also very encouraged by the many comments we received via the Peatix pre-event survey form, such as “I am glad to have such an opportunity!”
Another memorable moment is the realization of what online tours mean to the tour guides. While the tourism industry across the globe has been hit hard, we are able to sustain the local guides’ jobs by introducing the beauty of the city through online events and generating revenue.
The enjoyment of our local folks has become a source of their livelihood and through this connection, a new community is born. I was deeply moved by this meaningful reality, one which I had not even imagined when I started this event.
Using the power of this online event, we started helping domestic tourist attractions and local governments, and each time we did so, the people in charge of the event were delighted to hear, “We have so many customers who are interested in our city!” It is also a great pleasure for me to see the people in charge of the event happy each time.
One piece of advice you’d offer to new event organizers who are eager but a little nervous about running an online/offline event?
Above all, try opening your event to the public! The direct response from our customers will give power to you. This is the way we can reach a wide range of customers and have them participate in our events. Once they participate in an event, they may even become followers, which is a big help in increasing the number of fans.
How has Peatix benefited you the most in your event and/or community management process?
Originally, we operated a tourism service for inbound tourists from overseas, so we did not have much contact with Japanese customers, but thanks to Peatix, we have been able to meet many customers we had not reached before the COVID-19. Peatix is also helpful in that we can easily publicize events and obtain data on participating guests in advance using a survey form. The survey form also allows us to collect questions from customers, which is indispensable for making events more enjoyable for our customers.
Follow the Virtual Tours by Locals Project Peatix Group and discover a unique online experience.
Looking for comprehensive solutions to support your community building journey, visit Peatix.com today!