Challenges arise when travelers find tours that are too authentic


The guided tour in Vietnam was billed “Off the Beaten Track” and promised an “authentic” experience in Hanoi, including a visit to a local food market.

Yet the day proved too authentic for one traveler, who complained after seeing a “whole fried dog,” according to Matthijs Keij, CEO of the tour company Withlocals.

“This situation triggered a healthy discussion in our team about the balance between offering authentic experiences and being mindful of our guests’ diverse sensibilities,” Keij wrote on LinkedIn. “‘Off the beaten track’ tours are designed to show the unfiltered realities of local life, which can sometimes include aspects that are surprising or challenging for travelers.”

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