Every year, we usually plan a big trip during the holidays. It’s always to somewhere exotic, different and fun. It’s the same with many people. The wanderlust in our population is strong, and travel numbers prove that every year.

Yet, trends like staycations and local tourism are on the rise. They caught my eye as I was Googling for things to do in and around town, since we are staying home with our new puppy.

So, there will be no exciting holiday travels for us this year. But why should a staycation be boring? Many people have had the same thoughts, and there are companies and websites dedicated to making local tourism a great experience.

One company in this space is TravelLocal. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to promoting the idea of local tourism in different parts of the country.

The company believes that local tourism is an integral part of responsible tourism, a concept that resonates with the new generation of travelers. The strategy is to help the traveler engage with a destination, its people, culture, food, history, and economy.

A 2017 ABTA travel trend survey revealed that most travelers, about 70 percent, want to contribute to the local economy. This has propelled the ethical and local tourism movements. It has also made it easier for smaller, local companies to compete with the big guns, something that was tough to do for decades prior.

Now, local businesses have the chance to use online and social advertising platforms to showcase their businesses. It is easier to search and find them than before, and they offer a plethora of information for those planning to do staycations.

A big differentiator here is the emphasis on experience rather than selling features. The latter is something that travel and hospitality businesses have been doing for ages. Brands are offering creative descriptions that appeal to their audience’s inner wanderlust and the need to explore something new.

In this case, they can do so without traveling for thousands of miles. The magic of the internet reaches the global and local audience at the same time. Global tourists looking for immersive experience in a destination can learn how to do so online. They get to be creative with their itinerary rather than following the same old.

Travel websites are reaping the benefits of this up and coming trend. Hotels are not too far behind either.

A case in this example are hotels that advertise themselves as being perfect for local tourism. The target audience includes locals who are planning staycations for the holidays and want to engage in tourism activities close to home.

Two North Texas hotels, the Hilton Fort Worth and the Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown are perfect examples. Their convenient locations provide access to popular tourist spots in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The former is a grand old hotel, while the latter is a newly built millennial-oriented hotel. What makes them stand apart is the brilliant way they weave local history and culture into their decor and architecture.

They use locally sourced ingredients for their meals and use local artists for decor and entertainment. For guests who don't want to travel, these hotels offer an incredible holiday experience right in their backyards.

The term local tourism first meant looking beyond the set tourist elements of any place. A tourist would eat, drink and buy local. It was all about experiencing what is real and authentic.

With the growing popularity of staycations, the concept of local tourism has evolved. Now, one can feel like a tourist in his or her hometown without traveling.