Top 4 “Zero-Cost” Tour Biz Growth Strategies For 2016

In Resources
Based on our experiences with thousands of guides and tour operators, and countless travel segment marketing experts this year – we’ve established the top 4 zero-cost strategies to grow your tour business in 2016.

The best news is – you can take action on every single one of them today.

Number 4. Offer At Least One Customizable / Traveler-Tailored Tour

Research and visitor behaviour onsite is telling us that cookie-cutter tours developed for “the masses” are not what is catching the eye of the modern traveler. Often, experienced travelers with larger budgets (and many outbound tour organizers) want to work with a local guide at their intended destination to create a custom tour. One that fits their specific schedule and desired itinerary with room for guide recommendations. So, listing a “customizable” tour that gives a framework of possible itinerary stops and quotes a starting price, but leaves room for a traveler’s imagination is a great addition to every guide’s more established offerings.

You can set one up in a couple of minutes when you are listed with us.  Here are a couple of examples; one in Turkey and one in  French Polynesia.

Number 3. Be Seen Everywhere!

The more visibility and brand recognition you have as a guide or tour operator – the higher the credibility of your offerings in a traveler’s mind. Being able to increase a customer’s confidence is key when they are researching and planning their travels all the way across the globe from you. We talked about this in an earlier post – The BillBoard Effect - and one of our guest experts from TourismTiger talked about several quick and easy strategies to get to work on right away in their guest post The Octopus Method – Part 1.

If you haven’t done so already, taking advantage of our 90-day free Business Trial can give you a good head-start on this one.

Number 2. Get Reviews.... And Respond To Every One Of Them Personally

According to about 20 metric tonnes of recent research (we’re sure it will come as no surprise to you) – nearly 9 in 10 consumers (8.8 to be exact) read online reviews to determine the quality of a business, and 39% do so on a very regular basis. The “trend line” over the last four years demonstrates how people are increasingly reading reviews to support decision making. This makes it critical for businesses to attract more reviews and actively manage their online reputation. Here’s some great info on how to do just that… and it’s especially helpful when the review is not a positive one.

By the way, if you decide to list with us we provide a tool you can use for free to automatically request reviews from your tour customers. Then we take them right where they need to go to leave your 5 star review with just a single click.

Number 1. Give Amazing & Memorable Tours - Every Time!

This one’s a no-brainer right? But we’ve all been on bad tours. Thank goodness they’re pretty few and far between. But even great guides (like old dogs :)) can learn new tricks, pick up fresh ideas and get sound advice from other experts in the field. That’s where we think the free daily info coming out of the Be a Better Guide project – whether on the website, the videos or on just about every social media platform you can think of, can turn already great tours into unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
So that wraps our Top 4 list. We can give you a big head-start on the first 3. Try us out for a no-risk, no-cost 90-day free Business Listing trial and see just what we mean. #4 is all up to you.

What zero-cost cost strategies did we miss that you see as potential front-runners in 2016?


  • chris Dube

    that sounds great .will give it a try

    • Pamela Denis

      Let us know if we can help Chris. All the best in 2016!

  • WhiteDotDigital

    In 2016 for any travel company , It is also essential to manager your reputation in TripAdvisor and respond to reviews on time

  • Thong Do Van

    Hi !
    Im happy to do the best , And the best experience , for the Traveller
    commend and rebutation the best to do and passioner
    Thankyou & all the best
    Mr Thong

  • Jeremy Walsh

    Good tips – thank you! I will browse the other articles too. Seriously though… that opening bulls-eye image with 4 darts? 4? I’m sorry – you must not play darts because it’s just wrong! :)

    • Pamela Denis

      Oh believe me – I heard all about how wrong that image is from my colleague Sheila who many of you know as our Community Manager and who is entirely on your side! I decided to go with it anyway, asserting all the while that no one would notice. My bad. :)

  • Oahu-Cruise

    We put a couple of the “be everywhere” strategies in place this year and saw results, but we’ve never thought about listing a customizable tour, though we are definitely open to any customer who wants something different than what we list (if we can accommodate it of course). Challenge accepted! I’m putting one up today!

    • Pamela Denis

      Good for you! Let us know if you need any help or have any questions at

Join GuideAdvisor Now.
3 great reasons!

I'm a traveler I'm a Guide