Show cover of Tourpreneur Tour Business Podcast

Tourpreneur Tour Business Podcast

Travel industry veteran Shane Whaley talks with tour/activities business owners and managers. He uncovers their personal stories on how they got started, dealt with challenges and achieved success. Tourpreneurs open up and share their tips, insights, morning routines, resources, inspiration and success stories with you. We even talk about nightmare situations and how they were overcome. If you operate a tour business or plan on starting one, this podcast is for you.


Using Your Passion to Create a Music Tour Business in New Orleans
Renee Ventrice chats with Quay Frazier of Big Easy Walking Tours on growing his tour business in New Orleans. Quay has a passion for music and has played with some world famous artists so this allows for a unique take on his walking tours.
86:26 09/26/2022
All Things Legal!
In this episode Mitch Bach speaks with Jeff Ment of Ment Law Group, a firm specializing in working with travel companies. Jeff handles tour operator clients from around the world, and in this episode he shares his insights on a wide variety of topics important to tour operators: hiring employees vs. contractors what's most important for early stage businesses liability issues around accidents and guides best practices for incorporation how to protect assets intellectual property rights for your tour & photography disclaimers and waivers much more! Join Tourpreneur+ for even more content: Join our free tour operator community of over 4.5K members:
61:39 09/22/2022
Three Things Some Marketing Agencies Won’t Tell You
Just about every operator who I come across has a horror story about working with a marketing agency. This has left them with a bitter taste in their mouth and wary of trusting another to do the job they want them to do. Believe me, as an agency owner, this makes my job so much harder, but as an Agency owner, a lot of this ‘bad experience’ comes down to how an agency educates its customers and clearly manages expectations. In some instances, it also comes down to out-and-out lying on the part of the agency. So many agencies out there will offer guarantees and promises they simply can’t keep because it is simply impossible for them to do so. If agencies could guarantee number one on google rankings or x10 increase in bookings then we would all be doing it, but there are so many nuances that make these promises impossible. In this episode of Tourpreneur, I want to debunk three myths about working with a Marketing Agency and tell you some home truths, some of which you may find surprising. Join our Community: Join Tourpreneur+:  
09:34 09/15/2022
Always Be Pivoting!
In this second part of our interview with Akila McConnell of Unexpected Atlanta, Mitch Bach speaks with her on a wide range of topics, including: how virtual tours became 75% of her business, even after the pandemic how she's grown her experience box business to shipping 20,000+ units a year working with corporate clients doing a complete rebranding of a successful business finding your "zone of genius" understanding your business's end game, and crafting a business plan having difficult conversations with yourself and your team pricing and profit margins her top tip for conducting market research ...and much more! **Tourpreneur+ members also get an extra 40 minutes of our interview, in which she covers how she trains and maintains her guide staff, and her top software pics for running a business! More at
46:28 09/06/2022
Women in Travel: The Highs and Lows of Changing your Career into Tours & Activities
Amanda, Carol, Zakia, Caroline and Mary all moved from jobs outside of tourism to become tour operators. they share their stories to help those thinking the same. Join our community: Visit our website:
22:07 09/02/2022
AI in tourism is is here. You need to grasp the potential.
AI in toursim is already here but just like electricity it is in the background. The potential and threat to tour operators from this tech is high. Jonathan Elkoubi and Peter Syme discuss the threats and opportunities. Join our community: Join Tourpreneur+:  
65:48 08/30/2022
Facebook Ad Basics: 5 Top Tips
Chris provides some Facebook Ad Basics you must follow to make sure your ad campaigns are hitting all the right notes with your audience and your business. Join our community: Visit our website: Visit TMA:
09:03 08/25/2022
First Mover Advantage and Creative Tour Design
Akila McConnell of Unexpected Atlanta shares her journey from food blogger to tour operator. In this first of several episodes, Akila talks about the power of first mover advantage, finding market gaps you can creatively exploit, always iterating your tour design, why she's adopted Apple's philosophy of product lineup, plus how to use your team's strengths, how to balance the fun and difficult stories, and how to make your tour experience feel different than others. Tourpreneur+ members unlock premium podcast episodes and much more. For show notes and more information, visit
37:26 08/22/2022
Why We Need More Women Mentors in Travel
Amanda, Carol, Zakia, Caroline and Mary discuss those women who inspire them and why we need more female mentors in our industry. As always, we are looking for more women to share their voices. Please do email if you wish to be considered. Join our community: Visit our website:
18:51 08/18/2022
The Changing Face of Tour Operating and Tourism
A discussion on how a couple of old industry friends with over 40 years between them in tour operating see how the industry has changed. What is good , what is bad and what we did right and wrong. Join the community: Join Tourpreneur+
68:55 08/15/2022
Join Tourpreneur+: Less burnout, more profits
We are excited to announce the lunch Tourpreneur+ Less burnout. Fewer mistakes made. More profits. Shane Whaley had a vision for Tourpreneur, one that he entrusted Mitch Bach, Pete Syme and myself to take to the next level. Well today we are excited to share with our community the launch of Tourpreneur+. Up until now, we have offer hundreds of hours of podcast episodes and hundreds of articles and an in-depth newsletter every week, plus a thriving Facebook community of thousands. At zero cost to you. This will not change! But, that’s just the beginning... When you’re ready, we think our Tourpreneur+ membership is the easiest, lowest-cost way to truly transform how you run your business, and increase your profits. We have created an unbeatable amount of learning and support to grow your business. Being a tour operator is hard, overwhelming, and often lonely. TP+ Membership helps you grow your tour business with a community of likeminded professionals eager to share and connect and become more profitable together. Short, actionable Courses Weekly Livestreams with industry thought leaders Actionable Newsletter every day In-Depth, well-researched Pulse articles and videos covering a range of topics Private Mastermind Groups focused on your area of business Individual business coaching sessions Weekly Group Coaching Calls In-Person Meetups In-Person Business Development Retreats And so much more. We hope you join us on this journey. Find out more at:  
02:54 08/12/2022
What Makes Great Storytelling Content?
If you haven't listened to part one of this two part series, then I would recommend going back and listening first to episode 183. Mitch is back with two guests, which are two tour guides, Jazz Dottin and Leigh Jameson. Both of whom spent a lot of time thinking not only about the craft of storytelling, which we talked about in a great discussion last time. But also content. What kinds of information should you be looking for? How do you tell the whole story of a destination, the full, complete picture of the history of a place and how do you do it in a way that connects truly with your audience? Throughout this episode, you'll be hearing not only from our two guests, but also from your fellow Tourpreneur community members who have submitted recordings of their thoughts about storytelling. And you'll be hearing from them throughout the episode as well.
35:24 08/12/2022
Operator Story: Neil Lapping of Macs Adventure - 190
Neil will share his story on how he grew the business, adapting to changes in the industry, how Brexit has affected his business and providing advice for others in the sector. Join our community: Visit our website: Visit Macs Adventure:
40:55 08/09/2022
5 Social Media Marketing Tips
Chris is joined by Marica Brewster of the Von Mack Agency shares 5 top social media marketing tips on how to grow your social presence and staying true to your brand. Join our community: Visit our website: Visit Von Mack:
28:15 08/04/2022
Creating a Commission Free Travel Agent
Peter Syme sits down with Charles of Painted Circle to discuss the ideas behind Painted Circle, and how he will make it commission free and how it will benefit operators. Join our community: Visit our website: Visit Painted Circle:
49:28 08/01/2022
Innovation for Tour Operators
Innovation for Tour Operators In these challenging times for tour operators innovation is more important than it ever was. Marc and Peter discuss how tour operators can innovate and also some hints and hacks to help them. Join our community: Visit our website: Find out more about Marc:
64:43 07/28/2022
Operator Story: Zakia Moulaoui Guery of Invisible Cities
Operator Story: Zakia Moulaoui Guery of Invisible Cities We take a look back at an interview Chris conducted in 2019 that has been previously unavailable on Tourpreneur. Zakia discusses how she came up with the idea of this amazing global social enterprise, by helping homeless people become tour guides! Join our community: Visit our website:
31:19 07/25/2022
Chris' Five Quick SEO Dos and Don’ts
Chris offers 5 quick take-aways that you can implement, or not, to make sure your website is optimised correctly for your Google Rankings. We cover: Site Speed Why you should stay clear of link farms Content Optimisation Why you shoud ignore SEO scoring in Yoast Voice Search
14:13 07/21/2022
What Makes a Great Storyteller?
Mitch Bach is joined by Leigh Jameson and Jazz Dottin in a discussion focused on storytelling. This is the first in a two-part discussion with these guests.
40:49 07/18/2022
Women in Travel - How Women Can Be Better Represented in Travel
Tourpreneur believes our industry needs more diverse voices so welcome to the first of our Women in Travel series.   In this episode, the first 4 four recordings with Amanda Walkins, Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Caroline Conner and Carol El Hawary, they discuss how women can be represented in travel, from top level C-Suite positions to speaking at events.   As always, we are looking for more women to share their voices. Please do email if you wish to be considered.   Join our Facebook Group: Visit the website:
20:02 07/06/2022
The Experience Economy in Tours and Activities with Joe Pine
The Experience Economy in Tours and Activities with Joe Pine In this episode, Chris Torres, Mitch Bach and Pete Syme talk with author Joe Pine to discuss The Experience Economy and how this can help deliver transformational experiences in tours and activities. We discuss... - What the Experience Economy is - How to design an experience - How to deliver an experience at every stage - Delivering transformational experiences in day tours and multi-day tours - How the Experience Economy fits in with the digitisation of tours and activities Join the Tourpreneur community: Grab a copy of The Experience Economy:
58:06 06/16/2022
Launch of the New Look Tourpreneur and Tourpreneur+
At Tourpreneur, it is our mission to make sure every tour operator who is a member of our Facebook group or a listener to the podcast achieves one thing, and that is to grow their profit margins. Our aim is to build upon the incredible foundation and values that were created by Shane, while adding more ways for you to learn and grow your business. The core of Tourpreneur will never change. We will continue to grow our community, producing the valued content you have all become accustomed to. If anything, between myself, Mitch And Pete, you will see even more of this free content being produced in the coming weeks and months, including a fresh new look to Tourpreneur. This is just the start of what we are planning to bring to the Tourpreneur community and the start of a huge resource of courses and learning opportunities to help make your business more profitable. We can’t wait to show you these and more.  
05:50 05/18/2022
New Ownership Announced at Tourpreneur
'How lucky i am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.' After three years, Tourpreneur's Shane Whaley announces why he is leaving the show and revealed why he is thrilled to hand over the reins of the podcast and community to three industry veterans. Tourpreneur, the leading educational podcast and online community for tour operators around the world, will be under new ownership as of 11 May 2022, with big announcements to follow on 18 May regarding the new trajectory of the business. The new owners are travel industry veterans Mitch Bach, Co-Founder of TripSchool and Campfire; Peter Syme, founder of multiple tour operations; and Chris Torres, Founder and Director of Tourism Marketing Agency and the Digital Tourism Show.   “I’m thrilled to announce that I’m taking on a new role as Head of Community at FareHarbor,” said Shane Whaley, Founder and Publisher of Tourpreneur. “One of my concerns in accepting this role was leaving all of the Tourpreneur listeners and community members in the lurch. Over the pandemic especially, I’ve received so many messages from tour operators around the world saying that the Tourpreneur community has kept them going during these tough times. So I’m thrilled to hand over the reins of the Tourpreneur to these incredibly experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals. I know that Mitch, Peter, and Chris will take Tourpreneur forward and give our subscribers an even better chance of growing their profits from their business.”   Tourpreneur began in 2019  to connect tour operators in an otherwise often lonely professional journey. By sharing real stories and connecting through an engaged, supportive community, tourism entrepreneurs can build their businesses with the help of others, rather than in isolation.   “Taking over the Tourpreneur podcast and site is a fun challenge for all of us,” said Torres. “Tourpreneur has been such a big part of the industry that it’s an honor and a privilege to try to take this forward and keep it growing.”   The Tourpreneur podcast currently has over 250 episodes, offering a breadth and depth of helpful, actionable content for tour operators.   “It’s probably worth saying that Tourpreneur will be different going forward,” said Syme. “Shane is a media professional and, if you look at the numbers, there’s only one of Shane and there are three of us trying to take over and fill his shoes. The tone of the show will certainly be different going forward just based on our backgrounds and expertise. But the focus on community is still 100% there; it’s all about the operators.”   Going forward, tour operators around the world can look forward to more resources, more education, and more content coming from the new owners of Tourpreneur. For tour operators attending Arival in Berlin at the end of May, the new owners will be hosting Hot Seat sessions to tap into their depth of tourism industry insight and experience.    “I am very sad to be leaving because Tourpreneur is my baby,” Whaley said. “It’s definitely bittersweet but I am excited to see where Tourpreneur goes from here. The growth potential for all our subscribers who listen with these three industry veterans at the helm is massive.”
23:51 05/11/2022
How Shifting Your Focus From ‘Educator’ to ‘Entertainer’ Can Impact the Tour Experience
Today, Sita rejoins us  to share some of the major changes that are currently happening at She Shapes History. Sita explains  what it’s been like to transition from working as a duo-team tour operation to becoming a ‘team of one.’ We discuss the benefits of stepping back and taking breaks from your tour business and how it can leave you feeling recharged, renergized, and remotivated.. Sita shares her goals of expanding the She Shapes History team and how she builds her customer’s excitement and anticipation about upcoming tour events while growing her email list. We also discuss how she incorporates first-person stories in her walking tours without sacrificing ethics, the collaborations and partnerships she’s currently working on, and the value of connecting with other tour operators
43:03 04/27/2022
How TourOpp Helps Gray Line SF Increase Sales and Reviews
In this episode, we throw the spotlight on TourOpp in a brand new series where we learn more about tech, tools and apps for tour operators. Tourpreneur is a no sales pitch podcast so we invited a customer of TourOpp to join us and share why they chose TourOpp and how it is increasing their cross-selling, upselling, number of reviews and saving customer service hours. We are joined by TourOpp founder, Daniel Pino and Gray Line San Francisco's Xavier Valls Pinilla. Check out the TourOpp features to see if they are a tour operator tool that can help your tour business.
57:34 04/13/2022
How to Staff Up Your Tour Business
Today, we share tips and advice on staffing up your tour business and explain how to identify the right time to add employees to your tour company. Our guests, tour business owners Brian Cain (CRAWL New Orleans) and Jarrod Riddle (Spirit of Arizona Tours) share lessons from the trenches in this episode. Brian reveals how he staffed up his tour company from just himself to nine tour guides. We walk through determining where to place new hires in the company and delve into common concerns about adding new people to a solo business. We explore empowering employees to give an authentic experience to tour participants and detail incentives and payment packages for tour guides. Our guests provide tips on finding the best tour guides and suggest what to include in a job ad to attract the right people. We also share the pros and cons of hiring employees rather than independent contractors, the best ways to interview new tour guides, and how to get over the fear of handing responsibility to new hires.
55:35 04/06/2022
The Story Behind Taste of SLO Walking Food Tour
Angee joins us today to share how she built and grew Taste of SLO Walking Food Tour. She discusses how she researched the San Luis Obispo tourism market before starting her business and outlines how she networked and collaborated with bars and restaurants. She talks about the point in the journey she started investing in paid advertising and reveals her secret sauce to maximizing Facebook ads. Angee also underscores the value of maintaining a working relationship with bar and restaurant staff and highlights the importance of keeping your tours fresh.
51:41 03/29/2022
How Liselot Built A Beer and Brewery Tour, the Story Behind BeerSecret
Liselot Caura reveals how she took her brewery tour business BeerSecret from a side hustle to a full-time business and outlines some of the challenges she faced. Liselot joins us today to share the story behind BeerSecret. She describes her beginnings in the brewery industry and reveals what led her to switch from sales and promotion in breweries to leading beer tastings and tours. She discusses how long it took her to take BeerSecret from a side hustle to a full-time business and outlines the challenges and lessons she learned along the way. Liselot also provides advice on building relationships with bars and breweries as a food tour operator and underscores the value of knowing your customers.    
64:38 03/23/2022
Lessons Learned Starting a Tour Business in Paris During A Pandemic
The Tour Operator Start Up series is back, Simon Burke joins Nikki Padilla Rivera today to discuss starting a tour business, in fact, a sidecar motorcycle tour company during the COVID-19 pandemic. He explains the hoops, logistics, and licenses when starting a tour vehicle business in Paris. He describes how Brexit and the pandemic impacted his start-up and explains how he came up with the concept of Txango Tours. Simon also underscores the value of taking yourself out of your comfort zone and highlights the role of passion in running a tour company.
56:42 03/16/2022
How You Can Increase Tour Bookings and Reviews with Photos
Ryan O'Grady, the founder of Fotaflo joins us today to share how we can increase tour bookings and reviews with guest photos, which he calls 'memory marketing.' Ryan explains how tour businesses can leverage photo memories to market and create advocates for their business. He outlines the benefits of offering photo memories of the tour as a free value-add rather than a paid service. Ryan also underscores how strategically sending previous clients photos of their experiences can maintain a connection between the brand, its customers, and the wider market.  
46:37 03/09/2022