“The tour was okay, interesting but nothing special”. This is a real opinion of a traveler from our platform. The problem here: The guru failed to exceed the traveler’s expectations. In order to achieve this, you need to surprise travelers throughout the tour. Not only will it increase their satisfaction, but also the money you receive! In this post we give you all our best secrets!

At the beginning of the tour

You can do it at any point during your tour. So let’s start with the beginning of the tour! The aim is to get your travelers interested from the very start of the tour.

  • “Guys, do you know what the word ‘Cuba’ means? We are going to learn about it during the tour. It represents an identity, a culture and a way of living that cannot be explained using only words. ”
  • “Guys, after seeing the Main Square, we will end the tour at the North Train Station, which curiously is located to the South of the city. I’m not telling you anything else, I will explain it when we get there ”.

We have a guru who has completely turned his experience around so that it’s not a guided tour, but a treasure hunt. “Guys, I found this box, but we can’t open it without knowing the code to the combination lock! On my way to the tour, I met an old man who gave me this map that covers the entire old town where we can get clues to open the box. Do you want to join me on this adventure? ”

We have another guru in Athens who asks travelers to close their eyes when starting the tour, as you would in a yoga session, to return together to the beginning of the city’s history.

At the beginning of one of your stops

It has the same goal: to get your travelers curious about what you will share with them. 

We have gurus that surprise travelers with a wonderful view of the sea or the city that they didn’t expect.

Wonderful view on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, with a group of travelers during a free walking tour with GuruWalk.

You can start with sentences that catch travelers’ attention and need more information, likes “She didn’t want to die” or “Sometimes love makes us choose crazy decisions”. Another good example is from a guru in Medellín who says “I have to confess, I have a lover … it’s called the bicycle.” And then he explains the importance of cycling in the city.

During your stop

It helps to keep travelers’ attention during your explanations.

You can say something like “Take a good look at that, because later you will understand why it is so important.” In Italy, we have a guru that sings opera for a few minutes in order to suprise travelers.

Use your environment to bring your explanations to life. A picture is worth a thousand words and it’s going to surprise travelers much more as they can directly relate to the reality of what you’re telling them. Moreover, it allows you to save a lot of time on explanations.

  • Show pictures / videos. Perhaps there are posters that you can already use or otherwise print them or show them on a tablet (make sure that it has enough light to be seen during daytime and enough battery!). Things you can show: pictures of what the city was like before or the stop where you are, what the interior of a building is like that you visit on the tour, pictures of paintings by a famous painter, copies of newspaper articles, pictures of famous people or movies that were filmed in your city, celebrations, traditions, typical dishes, …
  • Use maps. If you want to show something in your city, the route of the tour, street plans, the evolution of the different defensive walls, …
Guide showing a map to travelers during a free walking tour with GuruWalk.
  • Use interesting objects. Something that travelers might not have had a chance to see or touch. For example in Berlin, we have a guide who passes a piece of the Berlin Wall among the travelers and another who shows an old German Deutschmark note.
  • Offer food. Something cheap and that you could use to illustrate a stop of your tour. 

At the end of your stop

The goal is to get them curious for the next stop and keep your travelers hooked.

One way is to break your story up between 2 stops to give it more suspense. “So the plan was to destroy the city. The day had arrived but as you can see something did not work, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. What happened? I’ll explain it to you at the next stop ”.

But you can also achieve a “double effect”! If you say something like “Guys, now we are going to the next stop and I bet you a beer that you will find it very curious”. Well, travelers are going to be very surprised, first by what you said, and then by what they will discover at the next stop: boom!

I also used this technique on my tour in Brussels:

  • At the end of the stop: “Guys, now we are going to see the biggest monument in all of Brussels.” First surprising effect: travelers think: what are we going to see?
  • When they arrive at the next stop: they arrive at the statue of the peeing boy, which is very small. The second surprising effect comes because they were expecting something big. Then I explained, “It’s not big in size, but it is big in the heart of the Belgians.
Manneken Pis, the statue of the peeing boy in Brussels, Belgium.

What’s next?

Another way to surprise travelers is to include them in your tour stops. In this post, we explain all the secrets to create an interactive tour!