How to reduce travelers' no-shows?

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Bernard S.

Has it ever happened that you showed up at the starting point of your guruwalk and waited for travelers who never came? It can always happen but there are techniques that you can use to avoid this situation. Discover them in this post!

Understand the no-shows

A no-show represents a person who did a booking for a guruwalk but who didn’t show up at the meeting point without any warning.

And it's a problem because you could have delayed your tour for just one traveler who will never come or worse: you came for nothing as it was the only booking on that day.

The no-show can be the result of many different situations and the walker is not always the one to blame. Therefore, we recommend you to ask politely to the traveler about what happened, and try to see how to avoid similar cases in the future.

No-shows related to the starting point

This is a typical case where travelers do not show up without warning but it is not their fault.

Imagine that you are traveling in a country that is not yours, where road indications are not written in your language, etc. Well, the following may happen to you:

"I've lost myself on the road"

"I didn’t find the meeting point"

"I didn’t see you"

"I didn’t anticipate so much traffic"

What to do in these cases? Give more precise indications to the traveler on the starting point and on the way to get there.

The day before the tour, when you usually do your last reminder, we advise the gurus to send the following, if it seems necessary:

- Link of the location of the meeting point in Google Maps;

- Pictures of the starting point;

- Ways to recognize you easily at the agreed meeting point;

- Local indications on the use of transport (bus schedules’ link, phone number of a trustworthy taxi driver, way to buy a transport ticket etc).

- Warn if there is a strike, a special event, streets or subway stations cut etc, which may delay travelers.

If you notice that many travelers have the same problem, it may be a good idea to change the starting point in a better known or reachable location.

Techniques to reduce the no-shows

According to our data, gurus usually have a no-show ratio of 20%. Reducing the no-show consists of improving communication with travelers so that they notify if they can’t come. However, no-show can’t be totally eliminated as there will always be impolite people who will not warn.

1. Start a conversation

It’s very important to start a conversation with travelers on the platform. This way, a communication channel is open, and travelers can communicate more easily if they can’t be there for the tour. If they gave their phone number in the booking email, even better, because people tend to be much more on their phone or WhatsApp, than reading their emails. We advise you to start this conversation as soon as you receive the booking.

2. Personally confirm the tour

The first message that a guru usually sends is to personally confirm the tour. This message is also the opportunity to thank travelers for the booking and give some local recommendations. As you know, the guruwalk is already confirmed in the automatic email we send, but it is essential to send a private confirmation message. It’s a way for the guru to guarantee that the walker will come.

3. Ask for the travelers’ confirmation

From the moment of the booking to the day of the tour, many things can happen. That’s why we recommend you to always ask for the travelers’ confirmation that they are going to attend your guruwalk. If the booking was made months before, we advise asking travelers a week before if there is no change and if they will come to your tour. In the case of a last minute booking, it’s also important to ask if travelers will come while confirming that you’ll be there.

4. Ask for a phone number

In the same first confirmation message, you can invite travelers to give their phone numbers, if it doesn’t already appear in the booking. As we said in the first point, phones are a better and easier communication channel.

To have their phone numbers, you could find an excuse, such as sending information and some pictures of the starting point, a personalized map, etc.

5. Send a private reminder

We advise sending a private reminder at least 24 hours before the tour, confirming the tour again and giving more practical details (location, etc.). The ideal is also to check again if the traveler will come to the tour.

6. Give your phone number again

If you put your phone number in your profile, it means that the traveler who did the booking has it too. However, it’s always good to write it again, if travelers don’t answer you or if they don’t give you their numbers. We recommend you to write it in the reminder message.

7. Be enthusiastic

We recommend you to sound enthusiastic in your messages. Forget about the cold confirmation template. Write that you’re excited to meet them, to show your city and share your passion through your tour.

Travelers are like any human being and will empathize more with you. No one wants to disappoint a passionate person, so there are more chances they will let you know if they can’t come to the tour.

For better results, keep this enthusiasm during all the conversation you have with your travelers.

8. Explain that the tour will be small

Many travelers think that free walking tours are made of large groups. This way, if they decide not to come, they believe it’s not such a big deal as there are still many other travelers on the tour.

However, if you have a small group, the no-show of a booking can make a lot of difference.

We advise writing in the last reminder message that the group will be small and more personalized (only if it’s the case, of course!). So travelers empathize more because they understand that their presence matters.

Take advantage of the no-show

Did a traveler not show up? As said before, we recommend you asking why. Moreover, you can take advantage of this message to know if travelers are still in your city and up for a guruwalk with you. You have nothing to lose by trying it.


And what about you? What are you doing to reduce the no-show? Thank you very much for your comments!