You might love the speed and comfort of a train or a car, but there is something about exploring a place on foot. You can discover the sights, smells, and sounds properly. Each moment with the tour group will be memorable as you will have enough time to explore nature and talk to your companions. This is why there is a high demand for walking tours. Let’s explore the needed steps to preparing for a walking tour.
If you have been considering starting your walking tour, this guide is for you. Here is how you can get started.
1. Pick a location
Since you are a resident, you can pick a location you have enough knowledge of. Travelers today want to explore an authentic local place and have hyper-local experiences. So, if you know the ins and outs of the street-shopping market or the traditional part of the city like the back of your hand, you can consider them for your walking tour. You can also give different walking tours, such as street market tours, culinary tours, old city and heritage tours, graffiti tours, a particular venue tour, and more.
2. Identify the target market
Before creating your walking tour, research your target audience and understand what they want. One way to do this is to explore the options you have been considering and observe the travelers who visit the area frequently. Through this, you will get a demographic insight, which can be later applied while designing your walking tour. Next, identify the type of travelers for a tour group looking for the walking tour you are creating.
3. Plan the route
You might already know the spot from where you will start and end your tour. The best place to begin your tour is a point that is easily located so your travelers can find their way to it easily. It would be best if you planned all the probable stops that you will be made to make the walking tour memorable. You should have a list of potential stops, along with a street map pinpointing their location.
4. Think about safety
Depending on the type of terrain, you might have to think about taking precautions and preparing for the unexpected in your walking tour. Safety requirements vary wildly from tour to tour. It can depend on the length of the walk, the weather, the terrain, and how many people are on the walking track. The most important requirement is research. Since you are just starting, talking to people who have given tours before would be better. This way, you will be able to understand the challenges of the walking tour before actually giving one.
Even if they are unlikely, you should always plan for contingencies. It would help if you discussed what your tour group should do, in case they are separated. It will be best to have a whistle, GPS, and a compass to deal with these situations. Ensure you test these items before every walk to ensure they are working properly. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you need your emergency gear, but it isn’t working properly.
5. Figure out your costs
Before you book tours and charge your costs, you must figure out the different costs you will be dealing with. First, you should know how much your walking tour will cost. Start by looking at potential expenses such as licensing, permits, restaurants, and other memorabilia you might give your tour guests. Next, you must determine how much compensation you want for your time. This should include the administrative work you will do to prepare for the tour.
Once you do the math, you will know which type of tour increases your profitability. Ensure you don’t undercut the competition to capture a large portion of the market. If you do that, it might result in burnout and a bad taste within the guiding community.
Once you are all prepared to host your walking tour, you need to get on choosing a date and time. Then, you can start to advertise your tour. Remember that marketing is just as important as planning. You can use a website or word-of-mouth for advertising and handing out flyers at locations travelers frequently visit, like hotels, restaurants, and others. You can also print badges, brochures, and cards for your guests to take home. This way, they will remember their experience and be encouraged to talk about their great time on your walking tour.
A walking tour is just what you need to enter the travel and tourism market. You can go outside, meet people, wow customers, and share local insights without taking on massive overhead, and it is perfect for the groupie, relaxer, or foodie travel persona. Over time, you can refine your walking tours to make you stand out from your competitors. Of course, you might encounter bumps along the way, but it will be worth seeing the joy your guests get from the experience. Don’t wait, and plan your trip to a great destination for a walking tour!