Has it ever happened that you showed up at the starting point of your guruwalk and waited for travelers who never came? That’s what we call travelers’ no-shows. It can always happen but there are techniques that you can use to avoid this situation. Discover them in this post and the video below!

Understand travelers’ 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.

The importance of sending a message to travelers who didn’t show up

Why send a message to travelers who did not come?

  • Understand the reason and be able to anticipate it in the future. As we wrote earlier, it’s important to understand the reason that has prevented the traveler from taking your tour and thus be able to take the necessary measures.
  • Invite the traveler to join another tour. Perhaps travelers are still in your city. Why not inviting them to join your tour later the same day or in the days following the no-show?
  • Show your professionalism. A professional guru cares about his or her travelers. If you show you’re worried about what happened, travelers will feel very grateful because they have noticed that you cared about them and that they matter to you.
Hi John,
I’m Bernard, your guru in Valencia. I was waiting for you this morning at 10:30 at the Plaza de la Virgen. I hope nothing serious happened. Tomorrow I will do the same tour at 10:30, would you be interested in joining us? Moreover, I’d be very grateful to know the reason you did not come to continue improving my services 🙂 Thank you very much!

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”
  • “It was impossible find the meeting point”
  • “I didn’t see you”
  • “There was so much traffic”
Someone waiting for the train.

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.

Weather-related no-shows

Put yourself in the shoes of travelers. They get up to do the tour and realize that it’s raining. It can take away the desire to spend 2 hours walking outside on the streets. The same happens if it is very hot or cold. That’s why we recommend you to be attentive to the weather.

A man crossing the street with a umbrella while it's raining.

What to do in these cases? Warn and reassure travelers.

  1. Warn: tell travelers to come prepared for the weather.
  • If there is rain: recommend them to come with an umbrella or if they don’t have one, to tell you to bring one.
  • If it’s cold: have good clothes against the cold.
  • If it’s hot: come with a bottle of water, sunscreen, comfortable clothes…
  1. Reassure: tell the traveler that the tour is still standing, that it’s something normal that the tour is adapted to the weather.
  • If there is rain: you can say that although they will walk outside, there will always be places to be protected from the rain, or that the rains are not usually very long.
  • If there is heat: you can say that they will always be in the shade and that they can buy water bottles all the way or that there are public water fountains.
  • If it is cold: you can say that they will enter some heated places during the tour to make it more comfortable.

Techniques to reduce the no-shows

According to our data, gurus usually have a no-show ratio of 20%. Reducing travelers’ no-shows 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 using the automatic welcome message

It’s very important to start a conversation with travelers. This way, a communication channel is open, and travelers can communicate more easily if they can’t be there for the tour. The easiest way is to create an automatic template in the field ‘welcome message’. This way, it will be sent automatically. Here you can see how.

We also advise you is to contact travelers via WhatsApp, since they check it more than their emails. Moreover, you always have traveler’s phone number when they book.

We recommend starting this conversation as soon as you find out about the booking. If they don’t have WhatsApp, sending messages through the platform is still a good option.

2. Personally confirm the tour

The first message that a guru usually sends is to personally confirm the tour. As we wrote before, you have the highly recommended option to create an automatic welcome message as you can read here. 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.

Confirmation message of a guru in Athens on GuruWalk.

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.

Guide asking by message if the travelers is coming or not on GuruWalk.

4. Ask for a phone number

Usually you already have the traveler’s number in your booking details notification. However, sometimes it’s not correct or sometimes they use WhatsApp with another number. You can always ask for it again if these cases happen. In the same first confirmation message, which is usually the automatic welcome message, you can invite travelers to re-confirm their phone numbers. As we said in the first point, phones are a better and easier communication channel.

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.

Reminder email on GuruWalk.

6. Share your phone number

Your phone number is not shared with travelers since they can contact you through the platform and that they give you their number when they book. You can still share your phone number in the same automatic welcome message or in the reminder message.

Confirmation message of a guru of GuruWalk for a tour in Athens.

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.

9. Insist on punctuality

If travelers really have a problem of punctuality, write this in the confirmation message of your booking or in the reminder:

“Your reservation is valid until 10 minutes before the tour. If you do not show up 10 minutes before the tour, your booking could be given to someone else. “

You know well that you will not give your booking to another person, but the travelers don’t know it and, as they don’t want to lose it, they will appear on time.

And what about you? What are you doing to reduce travelers’ no-shows? Thank you very much for your comments!

What’s next?

Interested in other tricks to have more bookings? Check out this article that gathers more than 20 ways to have more travelers on your tours.