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How do free walking tours make money

how do free walking tours make money

The Free Tour concept has been around for quite a while but is a relatively new way to discover cities compared to the traditional tour concept, which of course has a much longer legacy. But free doesn’t mean worthless when it comes to free tours. Quite the contrary. Wlaking is by no means the reserve of a strapped backpacker or miserly tourist. It’s a concept which actually can be obliged to deliver more than the traditional paid tour hos something which can be truly valuable, worthwhile, hiw rewarding to all jake of travellers. The tours are ‘free’, because unlike regular tour providers’ services, there is no set price for taking a tour, no prescribed fee to pay regardless of the tour experience. Instead, you are free to ‘tip’ your guide as you see fit after your tour. This is perhaps a ‘strange’ idea to get used to initially, but there are a number of reasons why this style of touring has taken off as a valid, popular way of mqke cities. As the tour guides don’t receive any other income for giving these tours from any organizations or local bodiesthis means they must really earn their tips. The tour itself must be great for the concept to work. Furthermore, tipping your guide at the end of the tour means the power is yours. Although not obligatory, you decide what the tour was worth or what you can afford, if .

Free Walking Tour Business Model

I’m hoping to take a couple of free walking tours in Copenhagen and Stockholm. First time doing this. Any guidance on how much to tip? I’m clueless. That’s certainly up to you. I have taken a ‘free’ tour that did not take us to all the places on it’s stated itinerary, with a guide that was abysmally uninformed about the area we were touring I knew more from my advance research than he did , and did not care at all that some of those on the tour were having trouble hearing him or keeping up with his fast pace. In that case I would and did walk away without tipping him anything. If a ‘free’ tour expects to make their money with tips they had better put out some effort to earn that tip. They are just a way to gain unfair competitive advantages over legitimate Tour guides.

What Is A Free Walking Tour?

Podcast: Play in new window Download. So we tracked it down and I added it here because John talks us through how tour guides of free walking tours traditionally get paid and how he is trying to pay his tour guides a full-time salary. Shane Whaley So how are you compensating your tourguides? How does that all work? However, the company is actually a marketing agency, and they charge for every lead, they charge for every person who showed up on that tour. And the charge will vary. So you can convert that to whatever currency you like. Shane Whaley So if I understand that correctly, so you charge the guide a fee for everyone who shows up.

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This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. The guides are typically knowledgeable, energetic and speak excellent English.

How the business model works

W hen is a free tour not a free tour? When it is, more accurately speaking, a pay-what-you-want tour. The concept of a city tour where there is no set charge and tourists show their appreciation by leaving a tip is becoming increasingly popular across Europe and beyond. An increase in budget-conscious travel, a growth of savvy operators, and the ease of word-of-mouth internet marketing is helping drive the trend. For the tourist, the approach is simple: you check the tour’s website to find the daily meeting place; take the tour alongside anyone else who happens to turn up; and then leave a tip at the end knowing full well that «free» is loosely employed as a marketing tactic and you are expected to part company with more than a handshake. For the operator, it can be surprisingly lucrative on a good day and favourable reviews are pushing the best ones up the ranks on peer-to-peer review sites. On Tripadvisor, Bowl of Chalk’s pay-what-you-like tours of London are currently rated number 15 out of the activities listed in the capital. Europe is firmly at the centre of this growing trend, with research by Bulgaria’s Association which runs free tours in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna showing that there are now 67 «free» tours across the continent , with the largest number in recession-hit Spain. The tours are akin to Berlin’s long-established «honesty» bars and restaurants , where patrons pay what they think the meal is worth. Many of the new tours are set up by lone entrepreneurs, but a handful have found success as multi-city businesses. Sandemans New Europe tours , which pioneered the idea back in , now runs its «famous free tours» in 18 cities — although it has come under scrutiny for its approach , which requires self-employed guides to pay a set fee per tourist, regardless of how much, or little, people tip.

How to Ask for Tips as a Tour Guide


By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. For instance, Sandeman’s runs free walking tours all walkin Europe. One or two every day of the year, good local guides, and the only payment is tips at the end. I’m sure the tip money is good since they get good crowds, but that seems like it would support one or two guides at a living wage, not a seemingly professional multi-national organization. I’m asking because I’ve found it’s always walkimg to know what is motivating people who are giving away things for free in order to avoid getting scammed. There are a number of different types of these «Free» walking tours, with the business models varying dramatically. In some countries you can expect to end ,oney at the guides «cousins» carpet shop, where the guide will take a kick-back for any sales. The tour guides would then push the guests for «tips», often including repeated comparisons to similar «commercial» tours, and the prices that the guests would be paying if they had taken one of those tours rather than fours «free» tour.

How Free Tour Guides Usually Get Paid.

And when you hit a slump, you ftee even end up owing the company more money than you earned that day. This unique structure helped the company grow from a no-name start up in to a major player in the tourism industry today. Sandemans has expanded to 18 cities across Europe, the Middle East and the U. The guides keep all the tips and Sandemans makes money by promoting its paid tours along the way. But what makes this model really interesting is that the guides must pay a per-person fee regardless of how wakking tips they collect.

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