How to get more tour bookings?

Every hotel, tour operator, tourist guide and person that offers a service on this planet surely wants to be fully booked, right? I think that is a given, but how do you make sure every day of your diary is filled up? Well here are two things that come to mind.

A really great marketing campaign and/or a really sought after service offering.

These two elements will naturally compliment each other in the growth of business. The great thing is you can achieve both simultaneously by doing just one thing: Sharing content on the internet. Dean Paarman is a Tourist Guide based in Cape Town and would like to share some advice on the subject.

Tour Content is still King

People are traveling the globe more than ever. Tourism industry jobs are one of the most sought after, especially in destination countries like South Africa. Currently it already keeps our economy afloat and has the potential to even bring it to a surplus. (Here’s hoping.)

Globally more than a third of all Youtube content is made up of travel videos. That is a ridiculously large amount of videos. The spectrum of what is available is extremely broad ranging from high-end production videos to simple home made vlogs. And their respective success and reach is also wildly varied.

Everybody is looking for something that speaks to them specifically.

In the last while, more and more people are using videos of real experiences created by real people to make a buying decision. They need not be flashy over the top production videos, in fact quite the opposite is true.

People want authentic. They want real information by real people that they can trust. Commercials and adverts by big corporations do not fill the need of the traveller in the current internet space.

For this very reason travel review user-platforms like Tripadviser have become so popular. People are looking for reviews by their fellow travellers. And when real people start making real content you have a recipe for success.

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We will mail you some awesome content to help you start making videos on your tours. We will not sell or use your contact details for any purpose other than sending you our learning content.

Start by using your best, already existing, skill

As a Tourist Guide you are already a pretty good storyteller, host & all-round entertainer. This is your biggest asset. It is more valuable than any drone shots of Table Mountain or GoPro shots of Penguins underwater. YOU ARE THE ASSET. All you need to do is talk.

Using nothing more than your smartphone you can engage people on the internet through various powerful social media tools & your charming self. Share:

  • Your local knowledge of when best to visit & why
  • Hints and tips on safety
  • What you like to do with guests that might be different
  • Why you enjoy doing what you do
  • What you love about your home
  • Places to eat & sleep
  • ….

What should I make a video about?

The list I started above can go on and on. People often ask me: what should I film? What video do I make? Well here is a list of great things to start with. Once you get going you will discover a myriad of opportunities. If however you get stuck we do have some more ideas for you. More on this later.

Case Study: CPT Safety Video

As a test, I took my camera and walked (drove) around Cape Town city central, talking about safety and useful info for tourists visiting the city. There was minimal editing – just lots of talking.


The result:  As of 12 February 2020 we have received 94 000 views, 1.5k likes & 388 comments.

This video single handedly added more than 1000 subscribers to our channel. Some of our “best” content (including expensive cameras & advanced techniques) have barely seen 1000 views. Why? Because it was advertising.

This video is real.

Give your guests added value

Up until now we have looked at marketing yourself, creating something that you can put out on the web to be found to establish a contact point.

This next part may add even more value in the longterm & requires even less effort.

Learn how to capture video clips for your guests. Give them something amazing to go home with that they will remember you by, and more importantly share with their friends & family.

Word of mouth is still the best marketing out there, even better than social media. The truth is people are out there to scam us into believing things are real. People pay for “good reviews” for example.

But adding value to your clients experience is one sure way to make a lasting impression.

In the beginning you will want to scout out the best places for video opportunities. Chances are very high you already know these spots and incorporate them into your existing routine as a photo-stop. Now instead of taking photos of your guests, take a couple of seconds of video using their phone (or camera).

You can then share a couple of “stock video clips” of the same location that will help them make an awesome little video for Instagram or Facebook.

If you feeling brave you can film it for them on your phone, pop a little edit together and send it to them afterwards.

From experience I can tell you this is highly effective. People love it. They share it & you will reap the benefits in the long run. Ask your guests if they wouldn’t mind reviewing your tour using your little video clip. It’s a win win.

Travel Video Tips – Demo

The video below is a demo of what you can expect to receive if you sign up to our mailing list. We will send you one video a week for 10 weeks. All content filmed in Cape Town to give you direct application demos.

Get a new tips mailed to you every week.

We will mail you some awesome content to help you start making videos on your tours. We will not sell or use your contact details for any purpose other than sending you our learning content.

We hope this was helpful…

If this topic interested you, but you are not a registered tourist guide in South Africa yet then get in touch with us and we can find a suitable course for you.

Let us know in comments below what you are looking for and we’ll help you find it.