In episode 11 of the Global Travel Planning Podcast, Tracy is joined by Gevorg Babayan, the founder of LikeLocal, a cultural immersion platform that connects travellers with authentic local experiences.
Gevorg shares his background growing up in Armenia, his work in tourism, and the inspiration behind LikeLocal. Tracy also shares her own experiences of living and working in multiple countries.
Together, they discuss the importance of cultural immersion and the value of authentic interactions for both travellers and local communities.
Get ready to be inspired to explore the world in a whole new way with Gevorg and Tracy!
Key topics in episode 11
Introduction and Background
- Tracy introduces Gevorg Babyan
- Gevorg talks about his background, growing up in Armenia, working in tourism, and travelling to different countries
- Tracy shares her experience of living and working in 7 different countries
LikeLocal and its mission
- Gevorg describes LikeLocal as a cultural immersion experience platform
- Gevorg discusses the types of experiences offered by LikeLocal
- Gevorg discusses the current operating countries and plans for expansion
- The process of booking experiences through the Like Local website is explained
Experiencing Local Cultures
- Gevorg talks about communication challenges with locals who don’t speak English
- Discussion on visitors taking photos and videos in Asian countries and the locals’ enthusiasm
- Tracy shares experiences in Vietnam and Cambodia, emphasizing the benefits for both visitors and local communities
- Gevorg discusses the value of engaging with local artists and craftsmen to understand the country’s development and challenges
- Tracy and Gevorg emphasize the importance of experiencing everyday life in addition to historical and tourist sites
Interaction and Engagement
- Gevorg discusses the opportunity to visit other countries through activities related to one’s profession
- Tracy expresses excitement about the potential for growth in opening up the world for visitors and locals
- Gevorg expresses gratitude for the opportunity to interact and discusses the value of such interactions
- Gevorg discusses three aspects of local life: bread-making, group celebrations, and interactions with artists and craftsmen
- Tracy discusses the importance of experiencing everyday life and local traditions
Overcoming Language Barriers
- Gevorg mentions a story about overcoming language barriers while working with his uncle in Cambodia
Links to relevant articles, websites & podcasts
- Episode 4 – Tips for first-time visitors to Vietnam
Guest Bio – Gevorg Babayan
Gevorg Babayan is the co-founder and CEO at LikeLocal.io, with his activities extending beyond
being an International Tourism Expert, a Trainer, and a Consultant for touristic businesses. His experience in tourism began in 2005 in Armenia, and since then, he has assumed various roles in the industry.
Starting as a guard, he managed to initiate a spin-off tour project for the company he worked for in 2007. This project grew into a larger tour company, and with Gevorg’s initiative, they expanded into Georgia (the country) within a couple of years. In 2016, he relocated to Cambodia to run a hostel and set up tours there. Additionally, he had a side business—a small Armenian (of course) restaurant in Phnom Penh.
Gevorg has been establishing his own projects, organizing unique travel experiences for travelers in Armenia and Russia since 2018. He conducted numerous trainings for touristic business owners and managers in Armenia and provided consultancy services to various companies.
In the last few years, he conceived the idea of LikeLocal.io, and it has been the major focus of his efforts. Gathering like-minded people, he successfully launched and promoted LikeLocal.io post-COVID period.
Currently, his primary focus is on LikeLocal.io.
Meanwhile, he organizes small-scale touristic experiences in Armenia, develops new concepts in the travel industry such as “Intangible Souvenirs,” “Sense-based Feedback” Systems, and explores urban development for more engaging and immersive activities.