5 Tips for Creating A Walking Tour People Recommend
Today we will cover walking tours by sharing 5 tips that will help you create an unforgettable and exhilarating walking tour that your customers will love.
1 - Tell a story.
Your tour-takers want to go beyond just walking through your stops; they want to experience them. Share local lore and legends, rumors or anecdotes, and fun facts. It’s these small details that transform a stop from a location into a destination.
Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the famed Loch Ness in the Scottish highlands. Sure, it is a breathtaking body of water set upon a marvelous mountainous backdrop spotted with forests, wildlife, and even a historic burial cairn…but there’s a whole other element--the story--that draws in the crowds.
It’s one thing to draft up a list of must-see places and sights with a brief overview of each. It’s another thing entirely to dig up the intriguing stories and fascinating details of a locale. It draws your customers in.
This is where your expertise comes in and the value of your tour is reflected. What can your specific tour offer that a quick Google or Yelp search cannot?
And so, while tour creators should include noteworthy or intriguing destinations that stand all on their own as attractions, there is always something magical that happens when you weave a story into a place.
Aside from telling a good story, your tour should offer value to tour-takers. This value can come in the form of insider tips and suggestions, interesting shortcuts or alternative routes that offer more depth to your tour, or interesting insights and fun facts.
2 - Be mindful of the distance and walking conditions.
Consider the Climate
Is your tour based in sunny South Florida, where temperatures can skyrocket into the 90s in the summer months? Or is your backdrop Louisiana, where tour-takers face a near 60-inches of average annual rainfall? Perhaps your tour is in Nevada, where the fluctuating weather can crack 100 degrees during the day, only to plummet into the 60s in the evenings?
… And the Walkability
Now consider the walkability of your destinations. Are the walking conditions safe with ample sidewalks and little construction? Are there plenty of opportunities and attractions for a quick stop or detour? Is the neighborhood intriguing? Is there enough to captivate your audience’s attention?
These are all elements that should be considered when building your tour. Perhaps recommend an umbrella and rain boots for the rainier seasons, and be sure to provide routes with plenty of overhead coverage or opportunities to dip into a quick coffee shop to wait out a passing storm. You’ll also want to suggest these sheltered routes, perhaps with pit stops into refreshing air-conditioned stores and restaurants, for the hotter destinations.
Consider your audience. Your tour takers may include people with limited mobility. Keep in mind how long your customers will need to walk between each stop.
If there are motorized scooter rentals available near your tour start, you may want to suggest that!
3 - Keep distances short between stops.
A general rule of thumb is to keep stops separated by no more than one or two blocks.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to select intriguing and captivating stops, it's the journey, not the destination, right?
But just as important as the quality of your stops is the quantity of them.
To create a meaningful tour experience (and get great reviews and repeat customers!), we recommend including at least 10 solid, well-thought-out stops. You’ll also probably want to cap your stops at a maximum of 20.
4 - Add engaging content.
A great story has great storytelling, and this is where the right type of supportive content comes in to play. From a proper description filled with engaging details to photos and videos that paint a picture, and even audio clips, each of your stops should include its own complete set of supportive content.
Tell a Complete Story
When creating the description of each stop on your tour, you'll probably want to write somewhere around 100 words per stop (but don't let us stop you from writing more!). Additionally, you may choose to add high-quality video at some of your stops offering a deeper look into these points of interest.
Another great option for walking tours is offering an audio narration so that tour-takers can put away their phones and take in the full experience of their destination while never missing a beat on the story you’ve created for them.
Include Helpful Suggestions
Another way to kick up your content is to sprinkle in cool insider tips that your tour-taker may enjoy. A note about a bakery that makes melt-in-your-mouth croissants, a local shop that sells unique artisanal goods sourced from local artists, a local pub or restaurant with a great live band all make for unforgettable tour experiences.
Naturally, these tips should be catered to the type of tour you are creating and its respective demographic. After all, a family taking a walking tour of children’s activities may not care to know where to score the best bottomless mimosa specials, but they may want to know of a restaurant where kids under 10 eat free.
5 - Test out your tour.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Trace the steps of your tour to ensure the routes make sense. Is there construction? Are the distances between stops too long? Too short? Is the walk visually engaging?
Enter into each one of your stops and experience it as your tour-takers will. Is the information you provided still relevant? Are the costs associated with your tour locations, if any, up to date and accurate? Are the businesses still in business? Did you recommend any products or services? If so, are they still available?
Review, Revise, Refresh
Along your path, take photos. Take notes. Take feedback--be sure to seek it out from your customers. Tour-takers have the ability to share their images and Journal Entry posts on social media! Encourage them to do so by being open about welcoming feedback on their experiences.
Not often, but occasionally, a business may close down. A road may be blocked for construction. A destination may close for the season. Be mindful of these things, along with the feedback you receive, to refresh your tour as needed.