Tourists and even locals are always looking for new ways to experience a city. One of the ways to discover and rediscover a city is through a walking tour. Walking tours take tourists on a curated exploration through popular or lesser known sites of the city. The most important part is that a walking tour is conducted by tour guides with lots of local knowledge of the city. A lot of walking tours explore the city based on specific interests of tour participants. Examples include walking tours for gothic architecture, street art, film locations and many more.

Walking tours and tour companies in general are a growing segment in the tourism industry. This comes as no surprise as walking tour businesses may be small businesses and are relatively easy to start one, but they can also grow into successful businesses with careful consideration and planning. A lot of walking tour operators start on a part time basis but eventually grow the business into a full-time operation.

Here is our 3-step guide to starting your own walking tour company :


  1. Research the Market and the Requirements for a Walking Tour Business

What kind of walking tours would interest people? Who would be interested, meaning the target market? Is there a demand for walking tours in your city? If yes, how big is the demand? What would be the cost of starting a business of walking tours? Who are your competitors? How can you differentiate your walking tours from the competition? How do you plan to grow your business? How will my walking tours generate revenue? These are among the many questions that your market research should answer. It is a good idea to write a full business plan with all this information and outlining how you plan to start a walking tour.

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After researching the market, the next items to consider would be the legal requirements. What permits and licenses would you need? How will you go about registering your business? As a legal business, how are you going to structure it? There are different business entity types – from sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, etc. Be sure to consider the best business entity according to legal requirements for a walking tour company as well as requirements on taxation. Whatever the entity, you will also be required to open a business bank account.

Now that you are armed with information and plans to become a business owner, the next step is designing your walking tours

2. Design your Walking Tours

Walking tours are your products and like any other product offerings in a business, they must be worth the price the customers pay. Designing your walking tours is the next crucial step. Decide on the types of walking tours you are going to offer based on your market research. The great thing about walking tours is that they can be customized easily according to themes, interest, and customer demand. Once you have decided the one to two types of walking tours, it is time to create your itinerary.

An ideal walking tour is anywhere between 2 to 4 hours. Consider the timing in your itinerary. Break down the tour into specific locations and points of interest depending on the niche or theme. For example, if the tour is about famous architecture, stopping on specific locations along the tour and providing detailed explanations will make it more memorable. Aim for content-rich and interesting details rather than generic ones. Incorporate storytelling into your walking tours. The best and most memorable tours paint a story and remain with the tour participants long after.

3. Market, Promote and Sell

People will most likely find out or hear about your walking tours from online searches so the best way to make your walking tours visible to your potential clients is to have a robust digital marketing strategy. Begin with a well-designed, informative, and intuitive website. Make sure to have it search-engine optimized so your website ranks higher and is easily found by online searches. An efficient booking platform working seamlessly with your website makes online ticket sales easy for your clients. List your walking tours in online travel platforms like TripAdvisor,, Airbnb and online event platforms like Meetup, Eventbrite etc. You can also enlist the help of bloggers and influencers to feature your walking tours in their network. Ask them for feedback and incorporate that into improving or innovating on your walking tours.

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In this age of hyper-connectivity, make good use of social media by putting out relevant and exciting content. It is also a way to connect directly and in real-time with present and future clients. Make use of features like live feed and stories in Facebook, Instagram stories and real-time tweets in Twitter. More importantly, encourage reviews from those who already participated in your walking tours. Put in place a review and complaints management policy to ensure direct feedback from customers are addressed properly and in a timely manner. Another way to directly reach out to customers is via mailing campaigns. There are a lot of mailing campaign platforms like MailChimp to regularly send news, updates, promotional offers etc. to your customers.

You can also partner with third-party service providers that are targeting the same clientele as your walking tours. Examples that fall into this category include hostels, event organizers, other tour operators, pub crawl operators and many others. Participate in online forums, industry events and other associated products and services to promote and sell your walking tours.

Like most of the tourism industry, walking tours are seasonal. Make sure you account for seasonality when you market/promote your walking tours. You can ramp up promotions leading-up to the peak season and offer bundled or discounted prices during the lean seasons.

starting a walking tour business

Now, You Are Ready to Start

What is left to do but launch your walking tour! You can start with doing it for family and friends and getting their honest and constructive feedback. You can refine your walking tours anytime. Innovate as you see fit, ensuring you take customer feedback into consideration as well as differentiating yourself from competitors. Go beyond just starting and operating a walking tour that is thriving – grow and scale! Remember that walking tours can easily be customized. You may have started with one type of walking tour but you can always add more types/themes as well as export your brand/business into another city/location.

Become a Riviera Bar Crawl and Tours Franchise Owner

Riviera Bar Crawl & Tours bring the Riviera experience to life, to any city! We specialize in great activities, super-fun parties and fast paced tours. We have been doing it since 2012 across Nice, Cannes, Monaco and recently, Paris. We aim to share our passions for travel, life and all things Riviera through our eclectic mix of exclusive tours, great-fun day trips and very memorable parties. We bring many different and exciting ways to experience the best of your city – the Riviera Way!

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If you’d love to start your own walking tour business as an independent guide in the city where you live and share the local history with tourists, we are here to help you on your way to become part of our ever expanding family.

Why to franchise your Walking tour business with Riviera bar crawl & Tours :

Our franchise system will provide you with all the support, training, marketing and all the information you might need in order to start a successful branch. Benefit from our franchise and organization’s:

  • Strong brand and concept, the French Riviera is already a brand on its own, the fun and eclectic mix of tours and bar crawls adds an extra level of brand recall
  • Best practices and operating procedures in running tours and bar crawls for people from around the world and locals as well
  • Digital marketing and promotions that use the best and most efficient practices to get your local tours and bar crawls visible and rank well in online searches
  • Support for recruiting, training and retaining tour and bar crawl guides
  • Best practices to get partners and third-party platforms and providers
  • A network of tour and bar crawl providers across France and soon, worldwide

With us lending you our brand and platform it will be only a matter of time before you’ll succeed! Now, You Are Ready to Start Get ! Get in Tuch on How To Become a Franchise Owner ! Contact us

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