Travel bans mean that tour operators have seen their income dry up overnight. But these tour operators and travel companies have come up with ways to solve both these problems. Here’s how you can support them.
During a time when travel isn’t possible you are probably spending more time at home than ever before. How do you scratch the travel itch? Tour operators and travel companies are some of the hardest hit during the pandemic. But some of them are weathering the storm in new and innovative ways.
As a fellow tour operator offering primate and hiking tours, I admire these initiatives tremendously. It’s a scary time. Most of us want to stay in bed hiding under our covers. To muster up the energy to try something new takes a lot of courage. And while it’s difficult to be creative in tough times, these travel companies and tour operators have come up with some fantastic ideas.
You can support their creative initiatives and possibly save a business from closing who currently has no other way of supporting themselves. Simply by signing up for one of their activities or ordering one of their tasty treats to enjoy at home. You’ll experience something really cool to sate your wanderlust, and your support will be greatly appreciated.
Check out what these innovative travel companies and tour companies are doing:
Devour Tours, Spain
Devour Tours is an award-winning company that helps local culture survive through their food tours in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and San Sebastian in Spain and 4 other European cities.
They’ve just recently launched an online cookbook, The Devour Tours Digital Cookbook. It brings Europe into your kitchen with 50+ easy-to-make recipes. The perfect way to escape to Europe without leaving home!
Devour Tours is also offering some great virtual tours and experiences which offer you unique food and wine tours and virtual cooking classes. Take your food and travel experiences to the next level.
Plus, I personally know the founder, Lauren. She’s not only an incredible person but she’ also really passionate about what she does. Her first tours focused on keeping small food businesses in business during a rapidly changing Madrid.
Related Reading: How To Support Travel Bloggers When You Can’t Travel.
Unexpected Atlanta, Atlanta
An experience company that shares what makes Atlanta Atlanta with innovative stories on either one of the food or history tours.
Unexpected Tours brings local stories and local treats right to your home with live immersive virtual tours and their signature ATL treat box. No need to jump on a plane!
Related Reading: Best Adventure Books To Read.
Walks of Italy, Italy and Walks (Various European Cities + NYC and San Francisco)
Walks offer small group tours with exceptional guides. They have a large selection of tours all over Europe, especially in Italy.
They’ve just launched their virtual tours from home. You’ll travel to the destination of your choice with an expert guide, chef or storyteller. As a bonus for signing up, they’ll give you a $25 voucher to be used for a real walk once it’s safe to do so again.
This is such a cool way to “travel” safely and is perfect for travel bugs like me who have itchy feet.
Related Reading: Soups From Around the World.
Savor Seattle Tours
Seattle’s go-to food tour company. They’re experts at connecting adventuresome guests with Seattle in the most unique, flavorful, and unexpected way.
Savor Seattle Tours is curating an Iconic Market Box that features a rotating mix of various Pike Place Market food vendors, complete with a bouquet of fresh flowers, delicious fruits and veggies, and whole bean coffee. It’s the best of Pike Place Market, all in one box. They deliver to Seattle-area zip codes and plan to deliver to the rest of the U.S. soon.
Top Nosh is a new platform founded by the owners of a leading tour company which provides private and small group culinary experiences prior to travel closures.
Now they have created Top Nosh marketplace for chefs and culinary experts and other tour companies. You’ll get a shared culinary experience in a premier real-time setting right in your very own home. Global travellers will love this innovative way to bring the tastes of travel home.
Related Reading: Best Travel Board Games to Play.
Travel Ideas in Tuscany, Italy
Travel Ideas in Tuscany is an all-female run incoming tour company based in Tuscany, Italy. Based in Cortona, they aim to give travellers a complete experience.
Now that travel to Italy has been suspended, they’ve created Do It In Tuscany which provides virtual and live experiences.
Try one of these great virtual experiences and bring the Tuscany into your home wherever you are.
Mount Warning Tours, Australia
Mount Warning Tours offers tours in the Southern Gold Coast, Tweed Valley, and Australia’s Green Cauldron.
During the travel ban, Mount Warning Tours is offering a unique product, the Taste Tweed Farm in a Box which includes thirteen individual products made from locally grown produce in the Tweed Shire and Northern Rivers.
This unique and wonderful product is available with free shipping in Australia.
Related Reading: Best Wildlife Books to Read.
Milwaukee Food Tours
Milwaukee Food Tours was founded in 2008 with the intention of bringing the best of the city and its diverse food culture to all its visitors.
During the pandemic, they decided to bring a new Milwaukee food experience to people which provides much-needed support for other local businesses at the same time. The Shelter-in-Style Kit comes in a variety of options, each of which offers an array of foods related to the theme.
Avital Tours, San Francisco
Avital Tours offer unique culinary tours in San Francisco. The aim of this tour company is to give travellers the best possible food experience in neighbourhoods by going behind the scenes.
They’ve come up with a way to give itching travellers and foodies the opportunity to enjoy culinary experiences at home with their new Virtual Culinary Events. Choose between virtual food and mixology events and bring your home alive and kitchen alive.
Bespoke England Tours
Bespoke England Tours offers unique private tours in various places in London.
The owner of Bespoke England Tours is currently offering his vehicles to drive hospital staff and frontline workers to their destinations in London.
This is a great way to join the initiative to help those that put themselves at risk to keep us safe and healthy.
Related Reading: Best Books To Read Before You Travel.
Tours to Taste
Tours to Taste is located in Portugal and offers food and wine tours that give visitors the chance to get to know the people of Portugal and their unique stories.
They are offering virtual food tours. These food tours offer visitors the opportunity to discover the secrets to Portuguese food. The experience is live and interactive so you can bring a bit of Portuguese flair into your home.
Related Reading: Workouts To Try From Around the World.
Gypsy Flamenco Dancing, Spain
Not Just a Tourist was founded by friends, Mahsa and David. It offers numerous experiences and tours in Seville and Andalucia and hopes to give travellers an immersive experience.
They’re offering a free online Gypsy Flamenco Party and dance lessons to anyone that wants to discover Seville’s culture. It is a great way to bring a little Spanish flair into your home.
Related Reading: Best Virtual Hikes.
Arigato Food Tours, Japan
A food tour company that makes delicious memories of your travels in Japan serving up local and regional specialities and taking you to places that locals love that you’d never find on your own.
Arigato Food Tours is offering three online tours to Japan; visit Tokyo virtually, attend an online happy hour in Japan or discover the magic of green tea and its special place in Japanese culture.
Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel
As we’re both a tour operator offering primate and hiking tours and an adventure travel blog, our approach has been a bit different from most other tour operators. For travellers, we’ve created a free 3-day “How To Be a Happy Hiker At Home” online course. We’ve also created lots of free content to help you through this difficult time, like Virtual Hikes From Around the World, and Workouts From Around the World and ideas to keep you busy like our favourite wildlife books and nature puzzles.
And for tour operators and travel companies, our founder, Laurel Robbins, has started offering our digital marketing advisory services. This brings together her marketing background and extensive knowledge of using content, social media and email marketing to build a successful tour company. You can check out the full offering here.