TRAVEL

'EatWith' Connects Tourists With Locals For Home-Cooked Meal

Jul 30, 2013 | Updated Sep 29, 2013

New person-to-person platforms are emerging that allow travelers to connect with locals in their destination.

One such platform is EatWith. EatWith CEO Guy Michlin joined HuffPost Live Tuesday to explain how his company matches tourists with locals residents for a home-cooked meal.

Michlin said he came up with the idea during a trip to Crete, where he and his wife fell into "every possible tourist trap" before a friend of a friend arranged for them to meet a local family for dinner.

"This dinner was so powerful and such an amazing experience, in terms of the food, but mostly in terms of sitting down with the locals and having for the first time a conversation with locals," Michlin said.

The businessman said when he returned home to Israel, he and his business partner set out to find a way to connect others to similar opportunities in a way that is accessible, safe and systematic.

Those who register as "hosts" on EatWith have to go through a vetting process. Michlin noted his group vets interested parties for their food offerings, their interpersonal skills and the general ambience and cleanliness of their homes.

Vayable is another new company connecting tourists with local residents, in this case for customized travel guides. Vayable CEO Jamie Wong also joined the HuffPost Live discussion.