In the tourism industry (and many others, of course), focusing on what makes you special and different from other businesses is the name of the game. That being said, as a tour operator yourself, you’d probably be the first to argue that it’s not all about sales. Tourism businesses tend to sprout from personal passion, that interest that comes to mind first thing when you get up in the morning or when you think about what you do (or would like to do) in your “free” time. Whether that’s hiking a new trail, enjoying various dishes at local restaurants, or something else entirely, it’s likely you can turn that into a tour business. The logical next step is to ask yourself, “what tours do I want to offer?”
Now, that’s a loaded question if I’ve ever heard one! How do you go about getting ideas? Where do you even begin? The answer is: it’s really up to you. It may feel overwhelming at first, but think about it for a minute. Maybe you already know in your heart what sort of tours you’re looking to offer based on what’s most important to you about your tour business. Here at Tourism Tiger, we know several tour businesses intimately, so we’re aware of how some of our customers came to design their tours. Hint: it all started with a seed, and that seed was the most important aspect of their tourism business.
CHICAGO TRAVEL & TOURS
As a Brazilian transplant living in Chicago, Illinois in the USA, Ediana originally began her foray into the tourism industry as a blogger. She wrote in Portuguese about a variety of events, monuments, and more in the lively city of Chicago. She quickly established herself as one of the city’s tourism authorities, especially for guests traveling from Brazil. From there, Chicago Travel & Tours(opens in a new tab) was born.
Ediana’s main focus when designing her tours was her target audience: her fellow Brazilians! She has since expanded her market to include English- and Spanish-speakers, but her offerings haven’t changed—and she only offers completely personalized experiences for her guests. Her private vehicle tours allow tourists to feel comfortable moving throughout an unknown city and, in the case of Portuguese- and Spanish-speakers, in their own language.
Ediana designed one tour in particular with her Brazilian clientele in mind: the Mafia and Blues Night Tour(opens in a new tab). On this tour, Ediana and her guests travel through Chicago’s history and experience Chicago’s mafia from the perspective of a native Brazilian. To make this unique tour all that more exclusive, she only offers it in Portuguese.
So what was the seed that her tours sprouted from? Their unique target audience: Brazilians that don’t speak English.
Lesley and Jesica, two friends living in Mexico City, couldn’t believe how lucky they were to live in such a street food paradise. After shaking their heads in disbelief at the numerous guide books that recommended against eating street food in Mexico City, they realized it was time to change that misconception. After all, the street food scene is absolutely essential to Mexico City’s identity! That’s how Eat Mexico(opens in a new tab) began.
When designing their tours, Lesley and Jesica focused on properly showcasing the amazing flavors of Mexican food. They wanted to show off the best variety that they could, which inspired them to design a nighttime tour that features a mezcal tasting(opens in a new tab), a family-friendly tour(opens in a new tab), and of course a taco tour(opens in a new tab), among many more. In the spirit of variety and authenticity, they try out new tours(opens in a new tab) designed by their very own guides, giving their tours that true Mexican perspective and an authentic local touch.
So what was the seed that their tours sprouted from? Mexican street food. For the Eat Mexico team, it was time tourists stopped being afraid and started appreciating true Mexican flavors.
Giuseppe, a radiologist by trade, decided it was time to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit and strike out on his own in the business world. And what place did he know better than the back of his hand? His hometown of Cefalù, Italy! Madonie Holidays(opens in a new tab) is a relatively new business that offers a combination of exclusive experiences(opens in a new tab) and quality accommodation. When asked about how he came up with the ideas for his tours, Giuseppe happily responded:
“From our personal experience, I realize that it is better to offer our own experiences, rather than be an agent selling another company’s products. […] When it comes to coming up with the ideas, I believe that ideas come from everyday life and from the requests we receive. We’ve enjoyed successful outings with our sailboat excursions and cooking classes, and that is mainly due to the fact that we have complete control over the whole process. Our clients are more than happy, so managing the experiences ourselves would have to be our secret to success.”
So what was the seed that his tours sprouted from? Half from requests from potential customers, half from considering what local experiences they could manage themselves. Being a reseller was not something Giuseppe was interested in!
Your tour ideas can come from anywhere: you just need to decide what you’re most passionate about and go from there. If you already own a tour business, let us know how you got the ideas for your tours! And if you’re interested in getting a website that can help showcase your passion in the best way possible, don’t hesitate to book a call with Tourism Tiger today.
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