www.leaplocal.org is described by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as ‘a smaller, more socially conscious alternative to TripAdvisor, with a focus on the developing world’. Leap Local facilitates the connections between travellers and local tourism professionals who offer adventure travel, eco trips, and cultural experiences in the exotic destinations that they call home.
The $1000 Splits Award: $500 is awarded to the traveller who makes the best NEW recommendation of a ‘local’ in tourism on Leap Local’s website, and $500 is awarded to the local who they recommend (a local is an individual who lives and works at the point of destination).
The Travel Story Competition: There is a $500 first prize and two $150 runners-up prizes for the best 500-650 word travel stories.
Tour Guides & Services Competition: A top ten list of tour guides, local tour operators, drivers, and guesthouse owners is awarded international PR, press attention, website features and mailings to thousands of travellers around the word, a continued profile on Leap Local and in social media, support from Leap’s team and more.
The deadline for all three competitions is September 30th 2012. For details and full guidelines see: http://www.leaplocal.org/aboutus/competitions/)
Leap Local’s competitions are judged by a panel of journalists, travel writers, authors, and academics, who work for internationally renowned publications such as the Guardian, National Geographic, TIME, Travelers’ Tales, Washington Post, Lonely Planet, and Archaeology Magazine.
Past winners from Central Asia: Sergey Gluhoverov and Cholpon Soodaeva from Kyrgyzstan were winners of the Tour Guides & Services Competition in 2010. And in 2011, chauffeur Alexey Drozdov, also from Kyrgyzstan, was a winner.