Rumors are swirling that Google will be launching a new travel assistant app within the coming weeks, following an email that went out to individuals involved in its Local Guides program. Local Guides is an initiative created by Google to give travelers insight into where to find the best local activities and entertainment.
Individuals can sign up to become a Local Guide for Google. By doing so, they can persuade visiting travelers to try out new restaurants or venues through photos and reviews. Over time, Local Guides rack up points, which ranks them on a scale ranging from Level 1 to Level 5. As Local Guides stock up on points, they can earn freebies, such as early access to Google products and Google Drive storage.
The rumors of a new travel assistant app grew following an email that was sent out to Level 2 Local Guides. Individuals were given the opportunity to participate in a survey that eventually allowed them to use a demo version of the iPhone or Android app.
The goal of Local Guides is to provide travelers with the chance to "live like a local," wherever they may be visiting. Local Guide participants are encouraged to create communities, meet-ups and events as well. Google's Local Guide website even has an online calendar where individuals can browse what's going on around the globe.
In addition to being able to write reviews and post photos, Local Guides are encouraged to add new, noteworthy places on Google Maps for visitors to check out. Google also suggests fixing any incorrect information they come across (such as an inaccurate restaurant address) and answering online questions from travelers.
Anyone with a valid Google account who is 18 years of age or older can sign up to be a Local Guide. Organizations, brands and businesses may not work as Local Guides under the program.
At the moment, Google already has several travel features in play, including Google Destinations and Google Flights. Google Destinations is designed to help individuals plan their vacations via Google Search, while Google Flights provides information on flight deals. Flights has been around since 2015, but Destinations just launched in 2016.