The Manchester Homeless Guided Tour that's made it onto Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel' 2021

The prestigious award celebrates people and places shaping the future of travel.

By Manchester's Finest | 17 November 2020

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This wee saw global travel experts Lonely Planet unveil their much-awaited ‘Best in Travel’ picks for 2021, and it features Invisible Cities UK – the exciting social enterprise that offers people affected by homelessness the oppotunity to become a tour guide in their own city.

The Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2021 list has selected 30 inspirational people, destinations and tourism projects that shine a light on pioneering sustainable practices, regenerating local communities and promoting representation in all aspects of travel.

“Travel in 2021 and beyond will be a much more considerate exercise than it has been ever before,” Lonely Planet CEO Luis Cabrera said. “With travellers cautiously re-engaging with the world and focusing on ensuring their impact is safe and positive for host communities, we have decided to highlight destinations and individuals that truly enable visitors to make genuine contributions through regenerative travel.”

Invisible Cities was selected primarily because they provides and engaging alternative walks, bringing city stories to life with unique local perspectives for both tourists and locals Manchester, as well as in in Edinburgh, Glasgow and York.

The scheme is a social enterprise that doesn’t believe in labels or stereotypes, looking to show that everyone has great potential.

They train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals. Their training focuses on confidence building, public speaking and customer service. They partner with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice their routes.

Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities CIC comments, “Our social enterprise doesn’t believe in labels or stereotypes and we want to help as many people as possible to realise their true potential.

“Through supporting those who have experienced homelessness and training them to become tour guides in their own city, we can help them to change the direction of their lives whilst also offering these one of a kind tours to both locals and tourists alike.

Danny from Manchester // An ex-veteran who spent years on the streets.

“It means the world to us that we have been awarded the Best in Travel 2021 award by Lonely Planet and it’s given use a well needed boost in what has otherwise been a somewhat challenging year.”

“We are taking the chance to re-emphasise what we are here for and why: our mission remains to be a trusted travel companion. One that inspires, informs, and guides, while being in sync with travel wants and needs,” said Cabrera.

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