Scandalous walking tours - A trip down the seedier side of the street
The old advertising axiom "sex sells" may not be what immediately comes to mind when you think of a sightseeing and tourism. But as a genre, so-called scandalous walking tours are becoming popular as a way to promote community engagement and book more reservations. Here's a quick look at the "sex sells" marketing of two walking tours.
The descriptive text reads "corruption, gangsters, prostitutes and gambling." No, it is not a re-run of Miami Vice, it is the marketing copy of a popular walking tour. In Tampa Florida, such eye-brow raising subject matter is not being shunned, it is being embraced. The local ABC affiliate, WFTS, reports the city is now operating a walking tour Tampa's infamous 1920's haunts replete with the vice of that age.
But the bawdy theme has a meaningful purpose and is not for the sake of titillation.
The walking tour is a cooperative effort between the history department of the University of South Florida and the Tampa Downtown Partnership (TDP). The TDP describes itself as being "operated by the Tampa tourism The Tampa Downtown Partnership serves as the steward of downtown Tampa, cultivating public and private partnerships, and encouraging downtown’s physical and economic development."
As seen on the ABC, South Florida graduate student Jessica Wells served as the tour guide leading guests through downtown Tampa and stopping at key points to explain the historical past.
"The corruption and voting fraud in this town were so bad that contemporaries of Wall's basically said that there was not a single honest election in Tampa or Hillsborough County for all of the decades that he was in power," Wells said. The group visited the old Floridan Hotel; where Wall would reportedly work his deals in the elegant Sapphire Room. Those on the tour soaked it all in.
Given that the event is sanctioned by the business-friendly Tampa Downtown Partnership, one may wonder if the scandalous walking tours are appropriate for economic development. Wells feels it, saying "[It is] important in general to know the history of your city. One of the reasons that we create these tours is to try to promote community engagement."
Tampa isn't the only city fanning the flames of its own scandalous past...
An earlier post on "romantic walking tour tickets at peak demand" put the spotlight on Old City Walks in Savannah Georgia. At the time of the post, early February, the context was the lucrative ways in which tour operators could tap into the Valentine's Day holiday by offering romantically themed tours. Romance, as it turned out, includes adult themed tours:
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.
Just like in Tampa, tours conducted by Old City Walks cater to the local community, as much as they serve the commercial needs of tourism.
Scandalous Walking Tours, Serious Software
Whether your tour is family-friendly fun, or a less than serious look at local scandals, the tour reservation software you use should be taken very seriously. Bookings are your company's life-blood - are you still taking spoken reservations over the telephone?
Tourists often book months, sometimes years, in advance when making their vacation plans (airfare, hotel, etc.) and that includes activities. The peace of mind that an online reservation system provides to out-of-town visitors can mean more bookings for your "scandalous" tour.
The only real scandal you need to worry about is not having the right software. ThunderTix online guided tour reservation software is easy to use and we can have you up and taking bookings in as little as one business day. Plus, our technology helps you manage your business by duplicating events using the established schedule. Simply set a start and end date and the tour times including variations by day of week, and all events are created simultaneously with a single click.