These quick tips are designed to help you get through these hard times. If you have any tips that you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org(opens in a new tab)
Walking tours represent another great opportunity to get back into tourism. While virtual tours have been a great tool during our time indoors, just about everyone is ready to step out of their four walls and do a bit of exploring. However, even as tourism begins its gradual resume, hesitation remains. The old parameters of conventional walking tours are now being reconsidered, and offer room for improvement as we look towards the other side of this pandemic. A walking tour is also a great way to visit a variety of stops during a condensed period, a great point to remind people as a way of maximizing their time.
Open, Local Space
Take advantage of the open space! In general, because walking tours take place outdoors, this will help minimize concerns over shared indoor or vehicle spaces. Again, even on medium-sized groups, because you are in an open space, be prepared and be vocal(opens in a new tab) about your guests wearing masks if you deem it necessary and respecting distancing between each other and your guides. Take it a step further and switch up your routes, opting for hidden gems or open spaces(opens in a new tab) while making it a point to avoid areas that you know are normally busy. It’s also another fun interactive way to tell stories and show someone hidden locations in their own neighborhood that they may have previously unknowingly walked by hundreds of times. Start with local promotions as a way of encouraging people to spend a bit more time out of their houses and engage in an activity.
Promotions & Private
A great option is to offer a re-opening promotion. Use this as a way of metaphorically dusting yourself off after this extended time off. It’ll also be a way to test out your new or adjusted routes on a select few guests. You could use it as a great opportunity to ask for additional feedback about both the tour experience itself, and how they generally felt regarding your reopening hygiene protocols(opens in a new tab). Part-way between a regularly priced and completely free tour, it is a pay-what-you-can model. Here the tour itself doesn’t have a fixed cost, but rather guests are asked to make a contribution or tip accordingly.
As we’ve mentioned before, promoting private tours(opens in a new tab) are yet another great option to consider if you do not already offer them. Again, it’s essential to remind people that private tours don’t have to be out of reach. Be sure to be particularly conscious of your pricing during this time, and check out what other local businesses are doing for comparison.
Make Your Own Self-Guided Walking Tour
Another new option gaining popularity is the self-guided walking tour. While not contributing directly to tourism revenue, here we can see the benefit as a reduction in fear of being out and about, and potentially around other people. Not so much tourism itself, but rather a return to some sort of pre-pandemic normality. These tours range from downloadable audio guides, or read-along pages which provide detailed descriptions. Consider creating your own route as a promotional element, a way of connecting, or reconnecting with people. This is something which you could either distribute through your site or social media, or even provide to guests as a thank you who have taken a tour with you.
Get Out There!
Walking tours are nothing new, but they are undeniably a great way to help kickstart tourism’s return. Taking into consideration social hesitancies, your goal should still be to offer an informative, fun, and ultimately memorable tour experience. As business picks up, you’ll not only be prepared, you’ll also have both the community and visitors who can vouch for you.
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