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 an amateur...

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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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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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Marketing for guiding companies doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can keep it super basic if you want. We’ve previously written about all the aspects of digital marketing in our Journal, but it helps to put it together in a digestible way. So, that’s what we’re going to do here. Here’s a simple strategy for marketing that should help you get started marketing for your guiding company. In other words, to spread the word about what you do and who you can guide. 1. Determine Your Target Audience Figuring out who your ideal customers are will help you...

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Affiliate marketing is great for outdoor adventure guides looking to increase their website traffic, boost brand awareness, and expand their reach. You’ve probably seen affiliate marketing at work. Namely through blogs or social media posts. If you clicked on their link and bought the product or service, then that affiliate marketer was paid a commission based on your purchase. From finding an affiliate network to deciding on how much you’ll pay for a booking, there is a lot to consider when starting an affiliate program. Keep reading to see how affiliate marketing and adventure tour providers work together. Table Of...

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Email marketing, especially for the travel industry, is still the best marketing tool and reigns supreme over social media and SEO. If you’re still wondering whether or not email marketing is for you, keep reading. By the end of this post, you’ll understand what email marketing is, how it helps guiding businesses, and how to start. Table of Contents What's Email Marketing? How Can Email Marketing Help Your Business? Email Marketing Strategy What's email marketing? Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy of sending marketing messages to your prospects and customers in order to achieve a certain goal. This goal...

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Social media marketing for adventure guides is imperative if you want to grow your business and book more trips. The good thing about being an outdoor guide is that there isn’t a shortage of amazing content. Social media users want to see what you’re doing as a guide. And through videos and photos, they can live vicariously through you until they book an adventure themselves. What Is Social Media Marketing For Adventure Guides? Social media marketing is using social media platforms to connect with your (potential) customers in the right place at the right time to encourage them to take...

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Content marketing may be the secret sauce to booking more adventure tours. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Content is king.” Bill Gates once said that in a post published on Microsoft’s website back in 1996. In his micro-essay, Bill describes that information can be posted online anywhere at any time, usually for free, which makes it such a great tool to use in growing your business. Surely, no one would have been able to predict how we’d consume content in 2021, but here we are. We may not have completely written off traditional marketing, but digital marketing for professional adventure...

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Display advertising is yet another component of digital marketing. It’s one of those things that we see wherever we go online but rarely think about it from the digital marketing perspective. There are a lot of benefits to display advertising but knowing if it’s right for your guiding company really comes down to your goals, budget, and the time you have to dedicate to running a smooth display ad campaign. Table Of Contents What Is Display Advertising Types Of Display Advertising Display Advertising Formats Which Is Best For Your Business? Display Advertising Best Practices Display Advertising Courses Online In this...

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Paid Search is as complex and convoluted as you can imagine. We’re only only going to give you an overview of what paid search is and whether or not it’s worth it as an adventure tourism operator. We’ve also included additional resources where you can learn more about paid search and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. Table of Contents What Is A Paid Search? How Paid Search Works Paid Search Vs Organic Search Is Paid Search Worth It? Additional Resources For Paid Search Marketing What Is A Paid Search? Paid search is what it sounds like. It’s...

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SEO is important for tour operators in the adventure travel industry because it’s another way to get more visitors to your site and, ultimately, more clients. Adventure travel starts with a Google search. Our clients search for outdoor activities they want to do when visiting a place. Table of Contents What is Tourism SEO? Why SEO Is Important For Outdoor Guiding Businesses How Tourism SEO Works - The Basics Quick Tourism SEO Tips For Guiding Businesses Key Takeaways Further Reading With a solid (and long-term) SEO strategy for your guiding website, you can build your site’s authority and end up...

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While adventure tourism takes place in the real world, sharing, discovering, and digitally marketing adventures happens online — which is where you want to be. For instance, did you know #Travel is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram? According to Think With Google, “The average traveler spends 13% of their time online conducting travel-related activities.” You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert but you should understand how to use the stages of the buyer’s journey in adventure tourism to sell more experiences. To successfully sell your outdoor adventure experience, it helps to know at what stage...

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Digital marketing takes advantage of our increased screen time (nearly 7 hours on average per day) for most of us. Most of us subsist through digital channels. Our phone alarm wakes us up in the morning. We read the news from an app. We connect with our friends through social media. Order groceries, food, and snacks online. Reserve and pay for outdoor adventures through a website. Our smartphones are our maps, compasses, navigators, and means of communication. So are you meeting your clients where they are through the varying stages of the Buyer's Journey?   What Is Digital Marketing? Digital...

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