4 Resources for Local Guides Looking to Connect with Tourists
The travel and tourism industry is in the midst of a revolution. Companies like Uber and AirBnB have made it possible to live like a local in foreign places. Likewise, this trend has extended to other aspects of tourism. Tour guides are no longer chained to tour companies and can thrive on their own passion. As travelers look to shed packaged experiences, local guides are in a powerful position to attract and maintain business through reputation and merit, as opposed to the traditional business structure.
If you’re an enthusiastic tour guide looking to reach out to travelers from all over the world, there are numerous resources to help you get in connect with people looking for an outside the box experience. Using these websites, you can be your own boss, and put more money in your pocket. It’s easier than ever to connect with tourists and show them the city you love. Here are 4 resources that will help you find people who are already looking for you:
Viator is perhaps the granddaddy of them all. Viator was founded way back in 1995, but its tour guiding arm grew substantially 2010 through the acquisition of OurExplorer. Since then it has ballooned into an industry giant and laid its claim to the market. Recently acquired by travel behemoth TripAdvisor for $200 Million, Viator is poised to continue its rapid growth. Viator and it’s 6500 private tour guides are slowly being transitioned onto the TripAdvisor platform. Many industry professionals are in a holding pattern though, as the neutrality of TripAdvisor reviews for Viator based tours come into question. Ethical questions aside, for tour guides, this remains an excellent platform to reach out to travelers visiting their country.
ToursByLocals has been a steady performer since their inception in 2008. They have built a formidable presence in the tour guide market due to a focus on search visibility. Their tour guides and tours are some of the industry’s best. They also provide comprehensive trip planning assistance, meaning, an end to end focus on all aspects of the tour. On the downside, their presence is limited to 159 countries, with a smaller guide base of around 2000 guides. They thrive by keeping service personal and professional even though other companies, like TourHQ, offer more options.
TourHQ is the young site on the block. Tourists post their travel requirements on TourHQ, and they are then matched with the perfect guide for the situation. The system matches you with customers, and if you think you are a good fit, you can place a bid. This ensures that travelers can connect easily with guides who meet their needs. As your reputation for guiding and customer service grows, potential clients can contact you with proposals based on your profile. TourHQ’s network is its biggest asset. With over 25,000 local guides, in 4000+ destinations, their reach is nearly unmatched. TourHQ provides travelers with a varied service, even in the most remote destinations.
GetYourGuide is a young but bright, rising star. Venture capitalists have invested around $100 million to this upstart, with eyes on revolutionizing the market. GetYourGuide started as a tour guiding marketplace; however, over time, they have changed their business model. Their focus has shifted towards selling pre-packaged tours and attraction tickets. GetYourGuide offer hundreds of different tours within each city itself, meaning you’ll never get bored doing the same old thing. With over 30,000 total activities on offer, chances are, you’ll find something that interests you, wherever you are.
There are many other regional sites that can help you get into the field, but none offer the international reach of these 4 guide marketplaces. They ensure you’re in contact with customers who are ready to feel your city, not just see the sites.
By ensuring you meet and exceed the client’s needs you have the opportunity to build a reputation for yourself online. Furthermore, once your services been booked, these portals offer you support and resources often hard to come by as an independent guide. Spread your wings, break the tedious corporate monopoly on tours, and show your city off in the way only you can!
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