It didn’t start out this way, but now that I know about the Local Guides program I think everyone who’s in the travel and tourism industry or whose job represents their city should consider being a Local Guide. I was just reviewing Kansas City Barbecue when I learned that I’d written so many reviews on Google Maps I’d become a Level 5 Local Guide! Then I was invited to apply to a summit at Google headquarters. By then I’d learned how much I enjoyed writing reviews because it helps businesses increase their presence on Maps. I made a video submission, talking about how much I love writing about local businesses. The Googlers must have liked it, because I was one of 200 people from around the world chosen to attend Connect Live 2019! It was so great to meet others from around the world and to learn how and why they post to Google Maps. I learned how to fashion my reviews to really inform the masses. To address things people might be looking for: accessibility, gender-neutral restrooms, patio seating (important in a pandemic), etc. As I talk to small business owners, I learn about how important a presence on Google is to their business. It all started with admiration of Nicole at Clothz Minded and I began to talk as much as I could about small, locally-owned businesses. Now I’m a Level 8 Local Guide and I feel great about all of the businesses I’ve gotten to share on Maps. I know that this helps locals when choosing ‘where to go this weekend,’ but it also helps tourists who are looking to experience the local flair. I have even added some lists in Google Maps, such as itineraries for a day as a Kansas Citian and I suggest edits to the Map! If we in the travel and tourism do things like update closed/added roads, mark accessible routes and entries, and boost the local businesses that make our town unique and travel-worthy, this makes the tourists’ experience all the better. And along with that, their memories about their trip to our hometown. The power of their word of mouth is something we in the industry can only gain from. Want to learn more about being a Local Guide? You can join the community on Connect, or message me. I’d love to chat about what I’ve learned!
Local Guides is a global community of explorers who write reviews, share photos and videos, answer questions, add or edit places, and check facts on Google Maps. Millions of people rely on contributions like yours to decide where to go and what to do. They also hold Meet-Ups with other local guides, and engage in service projects like cleaning the world.