It’s common knowledge that the most authentic way to immerse yourself in a town or a city is to experience it by foot—take Venice for example, as tourists are often encouraged to get lost walking around the vast maze of stunning alleys and footpaths. And although this isn’t a new tourist trend, these endeavors are on the rise: A survey by Arival found that between 2019 and 2022, tourists’ intent to book walking tours jumped by 24%.
However, while walking tours are drawing tourists in, you’ll need some innovative ideas for marketing walking tours and original stories and routes to have a successful tour business.
So, how can you begin selling walking tours like nobody’s business, walk circles around the rest, and maximize your full potential? Let’s jump in.
It’s time to weave an interesting tale
While the history of a city is always interesting and should definitely be part of a walking tour, humans are social creatures, and everyone loves a bit of mystery, scandal, and gossip. Does any famous folklore originate in your city? Where their any famous people from history who lived in a specific neighbourhood. Weaving intriguing people and stories into your tour is a great way to enthrall guests and leave them wanting more.
A unique tale can entice customers, but so will an off-beat walking route. The classic city-center loop has been done time and time before. Instead, think about what hidden gems tourists would love to see. Why not offer a tour around a nearby nature spot or show them the local street art? Or even create a nighttime tour? (Ghost walk anyone?)
When telling a captivating story, you need to ensure you’re putting on a performance. Whether it's a romantic display of heartbreak or a spooky ghost imitation, get into character and help your guests feel in the moment!
Interested in selling walking tours? Collaboration is key
When any tourist visits a new place, there’s one thing they are always hunting for—recommendations. So, instead of just selling walking tours, why not sell experiences?
Through various partnerships and alliances, your tour could include strategic stops at bars, cafes, and shops for guests to sample a local delicacy, rest their feet, and even do a little shopping once their energy levels have recovered. These types of business relationships are particularly vital when looking into how to start a walking food tour business.
And here’s where collaboration can really shine: Does your walking tour include a visit to a local architectural building that requires paid entry? Or perhaps a famous bar that’s usually packed in the evenings? See if you can make agreements with the staff or management at these sites—they might even let you bring your guests in before they open to paying customers!
But be prepared with something to offer them in return. For instance, the tourist sites could offer walking tour guests a discount off their bill if you agree to provide them with weekly business. Maximizing potential and selling walking tours is a breeze when you collaborate!
Leverage clever marketing
When it comes to ideas for marketing walking tours, there are many options out there. So if you don’t have a big budget, knowing how to effectively spend your money can be daunting.
While social media like TikTok, email, and local flyers are all good reliable marketing options, it pays to think outside the box.
At Fotaflo, we have an innovative photo and video marketing platform that enhances customer experience, encourages repeat customers, and increases online referrals. Here’s how it works: Walking guides take fun and candid shots of guests throughout the tour and upload these photos and videos directly to Fotaflo’s platform. Then, your tour business can send each customer a secure email or text, allowing them to view their photos on your company website for free.
Customers can even easily share these memories on their social media through call-to-actions (CTAs), like ‘share these fun photos’ built into the photo landing page, allowing their friends, family, and acquaintances to see the fantastic time they had.
Providing free photos is an opportunity that should not be missed. That's because you increase customer satisfaction and allow them to market your service for you. Potential new customers can also visit your website directly through the guests’ shared photos, providing an opportunity to increase bookings.
With a positive attitude, Fotaflo’s ingenious platform and some smart business planning and collaborations, you’ll know exactly how to start a walking tour business.
Discover how Fotaflo can help sell more walking tours today. What are you waiting for?