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Even the best number-one tour companies have their fair share of negative reviews on TripAdvisor. Even though you might be one of the best tour businesses or tour guides, there will always be people who disagree with the way you conduct your tours.

And after reading 500 reviews of about 150 tour operators all over the world, I started to notice the mistakes that these tour operators make during their tours and found out the six things which people who go on tours give negative reviews for the most:

1. People want to connect with their tour guides.

I’m sure there are many tour guides out there who are praised for their tours but then are left dumbfounded by poor reviews. You might just be the best tour guide out there, but if people on your tours don’t feel that you are trying to connect with them and engage them in the tour, you will instantly get poor reviews.

2. There should be just the right amount of jokes.

People who go on tours want a guide who knows about what he is talking about and who is funny at the same time. Tour guides who crack a few jokes make the atmosphere of the tour much more pleasant, but having said that, they need to be very careful with their jokes.

While jokes are welcome in tours, guests don’t like it when their guide tells too many jokes or even worse – the wrong kind of jokes. In many cases those tour guides are perceived as not focused on the tour, not in the mood for the tour, arrogant and sarcastic.

3. First impressions start from the moment people try to contact you for a tour.

Most of the reviews showed that some of the people who wanted to take tours decided against it because of the way they were treated by the staff over email or phone. Most of the reviewers complained about never getting emails back or very rude staff when asking about the tours over the phone.

4. Nobody wants to be in tours where there are loads of people.

People generally like smaller tours where they can interact with each other and the tour guide more. Most of the bad reviews said that when in large groups, people on the tour could not hear the tour guide, did not have the time to ask questions in the end, and in some cases didn’t even have anywhere to sit.

5. What you promise is what you have to deliver.

If your marketing material says that your tour will last 4 hours, then make sure it lasts no less and no more. If you say that you will visit 3 different restaurants, you should visit those 3 restaurants. People on tours do not like it when they’re rushed on tours or when their tours are dragged for hours. Even if you finish your tour only 10 minutes early, people on your tours will feel cheated.

6. Don’t pressure for tips.

Most people who go on tours already know they will tip the tour guides at the end of the tour, but that does not mean that they want to be reminded of that. By reminding your customers that they have to tip or in some cases, pass around jars for them to put the tips in, only irritates your customers and makes them want to tip you even less than they had intended.

Wrapping Up

You might wonder — was reading 500 negative reviews tough? Yes, it was. But in the process of doing so, I was able to learn more than you can imagine about how actual travellers think. Some of the above points may have come across as a surprise — they definitely did to me. The key, at the core of it, is to make sure you look for a direct connection with your audience, keeping your promises and catering to their needs.

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