The Winter 2022/23 travel season is hurdling towards us with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Years plans on the horizon. With the “Summer of Revenge Travel” and a lackluster Fall, here’s what tour operators can expect this winter travel season. Online Bookings Drop For The Fall Season A new report by Similarweb used data from Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com to assess global web traffic and U.S. travel conversions and it seems like it’s in line with historical travel trends. Despite a murky economy and high inflation, summer saw the “revenge travelers” who spent their extra cash on travel. This...

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Starting a guiding business doesn’t stop when you print your business cards. You need to consistently market your guiding company to travelers so you can sell your tours and continue to grow. There are a lot of aspects to marketing and we’ve written about a lot of them.  Peruse the following articles based on your interests or start at the top and move through them all in order. Most blogs have additional resources for a deeper understanding of a topic. Intro To Digital Marketing For Professional Adventure Guides Digital marketing strategy is meeting your client at the right place at...

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There’s a saying that’s along the lines of, “If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with people.” When starting your outdoor guiding business, you’ll have to network with other people and businesses to help your company grow. Because it’s true: no one is an island. This just means that you can’t build your business alone. Sure, you might be able to build it fast, but you won’t get very far by yourself. The biggest challenges with networking are knowing your partnership goals, who’s best to partner with, what you can offer...

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Tour pricing can make or break your outdoor guiding business. Price your services too high and you won’t get enough customers to cover your costs or make a profit. Price your services too low and your costs will overtake your profits. Maybe you want to start an outdoor guiding business because that’s your passion, your hobby, and your lifestyle. Sure, it could be cool to make money on the side guiding, but if you really want to start a full-fledged tour operation, you need to make a profit, not just break even, but to make money so your business stays,...

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Registering your tour company and getting the right licenses and permits to legitimately operate is actually a really big pain. Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post wrote an article in 2021 detailing just how messy the permitting process is. Wingerter said, “Due to understaffing at the U.S. Forest Service and a cumbersome process, it can take several years and hundreds of work hours before Colorado guides receive a permit to take small groups fishing, hiking or do other recreational activities on federal lands.” We all know how dangerous it can be climbing up a mountain. And it’s especially dangerous when...

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So, you’ve decided you want to start an outdoor guiding business. You’ve chosen your guiding business niche and you’re ready for the next step: creating a business plan. But how do you even start creating one? What kind of information do you need? Why can’t you just text friends and family, asking them to send rock climbers your way? Because if you want to start a guiding business, you need a plan, otherwise, this idea may stay just that: an idea. Traditional Business Plan Vs. Lean Startup Plan A quick Google search will likely show you how to create a...

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Airbnb’s service fees can make a cool one-bedroom in the heart of the mountains go from cheap to shockingly expensive. Rarely do we go from “Kickass mountain cabin” to “guess we’ll stay at the motel on the outskirts of town because we can afford that.” Travelers are savvy. They know when they’re getting toyed and they know they can expect higher prices—especially now. It’s why Airbnb can charge extraneous service fees and people will pay them. Higher costs aren’t deterring travelers any time soon. Travelers are too excited to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to let Airbnb’s 20% service fees stop...

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Adventures in Arkansas are easy to find because there are loads of them. With 52 State Parks seven national parks (home of the first national park), nine Arkansas Game and Fish Nature and Education centers, mountains, caves, rivers, and hot springs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find yourself bored when you visit this state. They seriously have it all—two mountain ranges, limestone caves, craters full of diamonds, and roughly three million acres of protected forest. After adventuring with all these operators and you’re ready to soak your bones, visit both the smallest and oldest national park in the United States, Hot...

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Alaska has an unlimited number of things you can do, places to discover, and limits to reach. It was hard to narrow our list down to eight guiding companies in Alaska that hit all our interests. Below, you’ll find mountain guiding companies, anglers, ATV’ers, snowmobilers, rafters, and everything in between. Credit: Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours About them:  The owners of Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours, Matti and Dan, have a common passion for sharing the beauty and wonder of Alaska’s wild frontier with others. A born-and-raised Alaskan, Matti has snowmobiled for the better part of her life...

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Rock climbing in Arizona means you have more exposed rocks than any other state in the US. While it isn’t all climbable, Arizona has the best year-round climbing with crags at nearly every elevation. From The Pit and Paradise Forks in the north, to the crags of the Watson Lake Dells in Prescott and Queen Creek Canyon just outside of Phoenix in the center, and then Mount Lemmon and Cochise Stronghold to the south near Tucson. Arizona has a ton of climbing to choose from without the crowds. We found eight rock climbing guiding companies you should check out the...

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Finding guiding companies in Alabama is pretty easy when you know what to look for. In fact, we found nine guiding companies who will introduce you to an Alabama you’ve never known before. We found everything from kayaking under a full moon to climbing deep below the Earth’s surface. What You’ll Find In Alabama Alabama is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Considering that it’s actually 70% covered in forest, time to rethink this isn’t an outdoor lover’s paradise.  And while mistletoe might not be the first thing you think of when you consider what grows in...

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We’ve all abandoned a booking for one reason or another. But when your guiding company depends on as many reservations as you can handle, it’s important to know why your website visitors may be leaving before paying for an adventure with you. What are abandoned bookings? Abandoned bookings are when a customer doesn’t complete the trip reservation process. They may have started selecting a date for their adventure or entered in their details, but they left your website at some point. There could be a number of reasons why too. Why is it important to lower them? The more booking...

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A website design can make or break your chance of getting more online tour bookings. With a strong website, your customers can go through the booking process quickly and with ease. Everything on the website fulfills a need, it’s all easy to find, and navigable. While your customer browses your site, it should cause some sort of emotion in them and they should feel like they can trust you. Further, your site should help customers along their path to book a trip with you. By clearly showing steps, making the interaction seamless and efficient, and having the system perform when...

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An online booking process needs to be quick and simple or your customers will go somewhere else. We’ve seen too many sites with clunky booking steps either using online booking software or a manual process like calling to book a trip. Neither is good for your customers and prevents you from making sales. The current problem with websites we’ve seen is too many clicks to book. Step after step after step of entering information, confirming that information, and entering more details. Or, alternatively, making website visitors call or email you to book a trip. Both methods deter guests, especially Gen...

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