If you were asked to give somebody a tour of San Diego, where would you take them? The beach? Balboa Park? Some secret location?
That’s the idea behind a website that allows locals to act as tour guides in their cities. Tours By Locals is a Canadian-based business that connects travelers with private tour guides in more than 190 countries and around the world -- including in San Diego.
For the past four years, Marcus Peoples has been sharing his favorite San Diego spots with travelers.
“I take families around, I take individuals around,” Peoples said. “There’s something about being with a local person. They know all the ins and outs. They know where to eat. They’ve lived here. They know about secret spots.”
Sara Cooke with Tours By Locals said some people prefer to skip the large tour groups and personalize their travel experience.
“They love going at their own pace,” Cooke said. “They love being able to stay longer somewhere if they are enjoying it or leave someplace if it’s something they’re not interested in.”
Tourists are able to choose the tour guide they want to hire, and they can follow the guide’s suggestions or help create their own tour.
Interested in becoming a guide? Tours By Locals told us they’re picky about whom they select.
“They tell us a bit about themselves, their background, they share some references with us,” Cooke said. “They tell us what sorts of tours they would like to do. They then go through a video interview process.”
The company said it checks references and the guides go through a background check.
The tours can be a half or full day, and the guide often drives the visitors in the guide's vehicle. The price for a tour can range between $300 and $600.
For Peoples, it’s a fun way to make some money and celebrate the city he loves.
“You’re getting what San Diego really is like and now what it’s published to be,” Peoples said.