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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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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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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We scoured the internet for online booking stats that our clients will care about. While researching, we saw the shift to online booking has seen significant changes from pre-pandemic levels. While many guiding companies are making the move to online booking, there are still too many putting it off and gripping too tightly to the pen and paper. Those who don’t jump on board now will be left behind and lose out to their competitors. Here are 25 online booking statistics showing the shift to online booking, travelers’ habits and interests, and how important it is to adopt reservation technology...

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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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The guiding season is non-stop. There’s always an adventure to go on with an expert guide, but some guiding companies only operate during a specific season or two. For those preparing for their upcoming season, here are eight tech aspects to have dialed before you take clients on their next adventure. Review Or Update Your Liability Waivers Have liability waivers for your guided trips? It’s a good idea to review your liability waiver text and make sure they’re up-to-date. If you have a new trip that requires an additional waiver, it’s important to upload that before the season. Origin users...

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The outdoor guiding industry, like other adventure travel sectors, has seen its fair share of dramatic changes over the past two years. We don’t expect that to level out any time soon. Instead, consider going into 2022 with your pivoting feet because there’s sure to be a consistent change in guiding (and travel in general).  So, if there’s anything we’ve learned since 2020, it’s that “the only constant is change” for tour operators. Here are 9 outdoor guiding and adventure travel trends coming our way in 2022: Outdoor Guiding Trends Coming in 2022 1. End of Reserve With Google But...

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Have you ever wondered what your booking process says about your business? Imagine this: You’re seeing a return of travel, but your bookings are lackluster. You’re open for business. You get a decent amount of interest from travelers, especially after COVID, but you’re ready for more bookings. In fact, you need more bookings.  There’s one thing: You haven’t touched your booking process in ages. You may not even realize that’s likely the problem for the small number of tour reservations filtering through. Maybe you’re still blaming COVID (which is fair). But the fact is, if you’ve been struggling to increase...

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Tour deposit functionality, especially those that are higher-priced, makes it more appealing to customers when they can book now and pay later. With the uncertainty of travel currently, especially with airlines, deposits give travelers peace of mind —knowing that they don’t have to pay in full right now in case a trip is canceled outside of their control. The Problem - Without Deposit Functionality When you don’t have automatic deposit functionality, you can take the initial deposit, but collecting the rest is a pain. It becomes a manual and insecure process of charging a credit card. For tour operators who...

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Every time a guest lands on your website they’re measuring how much value you provide against the cost of your trip. If you’re the only guiding company that offers that kind of service in your area, then you already have a leg up against other guiding companies who are competing for more guests against multiple guiding companies who offer the same experience as them. So how do you add more value to your trip offerings? Why should a consumer pick your guiding company over another? We reviewed “The Elements of Value” by Eric Almquist, John Senior, and Nicolas Bloch. Here’s...

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Outdoor adventure guide scheduling can be a total headache when you’re forced to do it manually. Operators we’ve spoken to lost faith in their online book system. They’d request features from their previous reservation platforms to no avail. Most admins use one system to book reservations and schedule their guides separately. Operators want one system they can log into for outdoor adventure guide scheduling. They don’t want multiple logins. They don’t want to share passwords with their guides. You should be able to reserve trips and schedule your guides on one platform. It’s common sense.  What Is Outdoor Adventure Guide...

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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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