Romantic walking tour tickets at peak demand
Tour operators are familiar with the traditional holiday rush but did you know that Valentine's day can be just as busy? Savvy guides are tailoring tours in very creative (and lucrative) ways for couples that have been struck by Cupid's arrow. If you are thinking about adding a love theme to your tour and tap into the demand for romantic walking tour tickets, here are a few ideas.
Romance Off The Beaten Path
Valentine’s Day more than just couples sipping champagne and exchanging gifts. It is a day for romantic activities like horse-drawn carriage rides and long walks on the beach. Valentine’s Day is also the day your guides in the business of enabling those romantic activities are busier than one would expect.
Similar to the seasonal rush that the dark tourism experiences during Halloween, the walking tour industry sees an increase in business on Valentine's Day. One of the most admirable traits of hard working tour operators is their ability to tailor the experience to match the holiday’s theme. A moonlit stroll through cobblestone streets harkens back to a more romantic era and it is a fun activity for any couple out on a Valentine’s Day date.
Several examples of a romantic walking tours were recently mentioned by an unusual source - National Geographic. One may not expected the century old institution, known for adventure and exploration, to be a source for hand holding and whispering sweet nothings. But because National Geographic consulted concierges from five star hotels, this list is actually quite authoritative.
In NatGeo's ‘Off The Beaten Path - Romance‘ Annie Fitzsimmons lists several romantic walking tours for Valentine's Day, most notably the “Midnight In Paris” tour in France. Fitzsimmons quotes head concierge of the Le Bristol hotel in Paris:
Sonia Papet is often in charge of arranging romantic days for guests. For a unique experience, she suggests taking a private Midnight in Paris walking tour ”to go where the actors and actresses were in the movie.”
On the Midnight in Paris walking tour website there is a description of the activity:
The Midnight In Paris tour will take you to sites featured in the 2011 Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris,” and to places that capture the lively and quintessential spirit of Paris from the past. The nighttime tour will take you on a memorable journey through the streets of Paris, stopping along the way to enjoy one of Hemingway’s favorite haunts, a cocktail in the place that invented the popular 1920’s drink (the Sidecar), and the intimate atmosphere of a cozy Parisian jazz club.
Of note is that the tour’s film theme is a year round aesthetic, but functions as a two-for-one marketing effort during Valentine’s Day. You may recall the walking tour that intertwined Hollywood and history from earlier on this blog. It too achieved a two-for-one return on its marketing investment by coinciding with the release of a major Hollywood film.
The boost in ticket sales that come from creative combinations, like romantic film themed walk on Valentine’s day, can last year round since combining two subtexts into a single theme widens a walking tour’s appeal. Finding inspiration for a new creative theme may be as easy as typing the tour's city name into the Internet Movie Database search box - you never know what your are going to get! :D
Cupid meets Mozart
In contrast to looking for inspiration, walking tours are sometimes the source of inspiration, as will be the case soon at the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Appalachian Philharmonic is scheduled to perform a collection of works by Beethoven, Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. The inclusion of Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 is of note since it was inspired by a walking tour. Appalachian University professor Karen L. Robertson explains:
Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Mendelssohn’s walking tour of England and Scotland about which he wrote, “This evening in the deep twilight we went to the palace where Queen Mary lived and loved; there is a small room with a winding staircase leading up to it…The adjacent chapel has lost its roof; grass and ivy grow thickly within; and on the broken altar Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. Everything there is in ruins and ramshackle, open to the blue sky. I think I have today found the opening of my Scottish Symphony."
Few thing are more representative of romance than symphonic music, just consider how many film love scenes are set to symphony music.
Mendelssohn's affinity for walking tours could become of theme itself, which borders on Life imitating Art. Set to the recording of Symphony No. 3, the romantic walking tour could re-enact Mendelssohn walking tour using queues from his writings. The Mendelssohn tour could either begin or end at the local theater where a symphony performs or, make a stop at the local bookstore where Mendelssohn's written work is sold.
If a walking tour can have a respected composer as its theme, imagine the other notable personas that could be used.
Scandal & Love Gone Wrong
In Savanna Georgia there is a popular walking tour that is more of a "walk on the wild side".
Known as Backstory Savanna, the walking tour is a rather salacious look at the sex, scandal and love gone wrong that is a part of Savanna's history. Romantic walking tours on Valentine's day do not have to be "rated G". There is a niche market for more risky material when it is presented in a fun, lighthearted way. That is just how Old City Walks describes their 'Backstory' tour:
This is the definitive, Original Backstory Tour that makes similar tours look like a Saturday morning children’s cartoon. Peer behind the moss curtain at our city’s scandal-ridden past with stories of Lechery, Treachery & Debauchery. Hear about Debtors, Duelists, Bootleggers, Love-Gone-Wrong, and Hoaxes. Learn of the Mayhem and Mysteries…the Bombastic Leaders and the Coarse Colonists…and the Appalling Exploits that continue today. Skullduggery. Did I say Betrayal? Touch upon the “Oldest Profession” and more lofty topics! Tour leaves daily from Chippewa Square at 10am and 2pm. 1.75 hrs.
Old City Walks is an excellent example of a tour operator using themes to sell online event tickets. Other walking themes created by Old City Walks include Savannah Saloons, Women of Savannah, The King Cotton Walk, and the "Gone With The Wind" package. The last example being a combination of history, literature and film - a triple play as they say in baseball.
Romantic Walking Tour Tickets Are At Peak Demand...
Can your ticketing software adapt?
When savvy tour operators combine popular themes to coincide with a special date or holiday, the ticketing software in use must be able to adapt - like being able to quickly add more start times to an established schedule. Spikes in demand also require the ticketing software to be able to display ticket inventory levels during the purchase process to spur sales ("Hurry! Only 8 tickets left!").
The ThunderTix plan for walking tours helps Old City Walk meet the demand and it can help your walking tour too. We offer you the ability to modify individual tour names within a larger event for holidays. Your tour can have special side trips or change from its normal route as a way to commemorate a holiday (“4th of July Sightseeing Tour – Fireworks on the Pier!“). We make this easy to do and we include the ability to increase or decrease the ticket prices for the special holiday exceptions.