Business Overview

This type of business differs from a traditional tour guide service in that the focus is not on the popular tourist destinations. Instead, it focuses more on unique and special experiences. Both local residents and tourists enjoy these types of tours/parties.

Extended Overview

This business provides interesting tours that have a niche focus, about which the tour guide has specialized knowledge and/or skills.

Some popular themes include:

  • Food and drink related tours
  • Wine tours
  • Chocolate tours
  • Liquor tours
  • Nightclub tours
  • Ghost tours (tours of old "haunted” houses)
  • Mystery dinner parties
  • Street Art tours
  • Wildlife tours
  • Adventure tours
  • Exercise tours
  • Eco tours
  • Chuck wagon/Horse trail tours
  • Special access tours (backstage, restricted areas)

For locals these tours can be great for a fun adventure, a night out, a party to remember, a unique date. Visitors from other areas are increasingly looking for immersive and compelling experiences when they visit a new place.

People like to do things that feel more authentic and consistent with what locals do versus just taking a sightseeing tour to see the major attractions.

Experiential travel” is a very popular trend right now. Traditional travel agencies along with new and upcoming travel agents and travel services are helping tourists get connected with nature with adventure tours, eco tours, and wildlife tours. These tours are designed to provide patrons with a rich experience that combines learning and travel with new sights, sounds, flavors, and experiences.

These can be very active experiences such as hiking, climbing, bungee-jumping, flying down a wire cable over the tree canopy, whitewater rafting and so much more. Many prefer such active experiences when compared to the traditional bus tours where tour guides describe things as the bus passes them by.

Who is this business right for?

This business is for people who are passionate about traveling, enjoy being outdoors, have a flexible schedule, and who are enthusiastic to share their love for a place with locals and tourists alike.

What happens during a typical day at a boutique tour business?

One of the main things you will need to do each day is to check the success of your marketing efforts. Whether you operate as a solo tour guide or as a manager of multiple tours run by a team of guides, it is your job as the business owner to make sure that enough tour bookings are happening for your business to be profitable.

Each day you will book new clients and contact those who already made reservations for a tour that day to make sure they remember the appointment time to meet up for the tour.

You will always be looking for exciting information or things you can do that make your tours unique.

If you are a tour guide yourself, you will need to prepare for the tour(s) for that day. Make sure any special needs of your clients can be accommodated, and that your tours run on time.

What is the target market?

Some boutique tours have age restrictions, such as wine tours, for example. Others that are very physically active may have weight, height, and health restrictions. Depending on your niche, however, you might see customers coming from all types of backgrounds.

How does a boutique tour business make money?

The tours are offered on a cost per person basis. You may offer discounts for certain groups or ages, like seniors or children.

What is the growth potential for a boutique tour business?

Growth in this business comes from booking more clients and serving more areas. With travel and tourism being one of the world’s largest industries, there is an ever-increasing demand for high-quality entertainment options, especially ones that offer a unique experience.