How-To Get More Guided Tour Bookings: Tea Time

tour reservation software

Stopping for for refreshments is already a part of your guided tour, but did you know that can become a special event all by itself? Tea connoisseurs have the will and the means to go on tours that feature - or are entirely built around - fine tea. Here's how to tap into this new trend using tour reservation software.

One Lump Or Two?

All clichés aside, the popularity of fine and exotic teas has skyrocketed recently. And while tea has been popular for millennia, the 2000s era coffee culture has fractured into a new branch of potential bookings. That is if the savvy tour guide can fine tune their service to cater to the demanding teetotalers.

Examples of Tea Tours

In New York City, a popular activity is to meet-up and visit tea shops and coffee houses. More than just friends gathering, these meet-ups are made-up of tea experts seeking the very latest in high tea drinks. What started as loose knit group has evolved into a rather structured event that is scheduled monthly. NYC Tea Tours has seen its ranks grow enough that professional guided tours have begun catering to the trend directly.

Incorporating tea as a special event isn't just something they do in Manhattan. In Hawaii, the guided tour tea experience has been taken to quite an extreme.

Cloudwater Tea Company offers guided tours of its facilities as a special paid event - $50 per person - that is a popular excursion for vacationers. The tour is all-inclusive with tea samples, tasting sessions and an in-depth "how it's made" workshop all part of the experience.

Enjoy a private walk among our tea garden and farm grounds followed by tea cupping and discussion with the owner of Cloudwater Tea, Michelle Rose. Sample Hawaii grown tea brewed fresh from the heart of our farm home and let the architecture, built by resident, Parker Croft, inspire you as it naturally blends into the tropical surroundings.

The above examples show that a vertical market exists for a tour guide to consider making the tea trend part of their tour. Looking to other specialty beverage markets, like beer and wine, is a good way to find inspiration for a business process. A previous post looked at the lucrative wine tour market, and how they are often intertwined with hotel accommodations in a region known for wine.

Unlike wine grapes, tea is not grown here in the United states, but nearly every city has a specialty tea and coffee importer, some cities have a so-called "coffee row" packed with the precious commodity. Establishing a new guided tour, or altering an existing one to include the warehouses where fine tea is received from importers can make for an entertaining and educational experience.

The Weather

Two types of weather are forever entwined into tea drinking, and that has quite a bearing on a tea tour. The popular notion of hot weather, cold tea is more than an old wives tale. If your guided tour is mostly held outside and the seasonal bookings expect it to be warm, hot tea may not be well received. Cold brews, iced teas and more exotic fare like an iced chai latte match the conditions of warm weather.

Conversely, the complete opposite holds true when it's chilly out. However delicious iced tea may be, making it the refreshment offered up in December may not even be welcome by the most staunch tea expert. Beverage temperature may seem trivial, but remember that catering to a vertical market means providing a product or service that is the expected norm. Meeting customer exceptions is already part of your day-to-day operations, but when extending your service to a new demographics, the expectations change - and so should the service you provide.

Exclusive Offers

A great way to entice a tea drinker into becoming your latest booking is to sell tea, as an actual product, during the tour reservation process. The item can be a small sample of a premium tea, or tea paraphernalia, or both, just make sure that it is uncommon and seemingly a collector's item. Wholesale tea importers often keep rare and exotics teas off their website (yes, it's THAT highly sought after). But a quick phone call, possibly when negotiating with the tea importer to be a tour stop, may yield a prized tea for you to sell on your website.

ThunderTix Tour Guide Booking Software

Specializing in vertical markets, such as tea tours, doesn't mean abandoning your bread and butter guided tour - more like expending your current successful tour to new uncharted waters. Use your tour guide booking software to create a special experience that appeals to the new tea trend, leaving your regular time tables as they are.

ThunderTix tour guide booking software has just the tools you need to easily add a special tour just for tea connoisseurs. We make establishing your tour schedule and booking online easy with near "set and forget" features that let you focus on what's important - conducting tours.

Plus our new Products feature is perfect for offering up that batch of exotic tea you purchased wholesale. Present your rare tea selection to your guests as the book online. You set the price, write an enticing description and we'll make it part of the overall booking experience!