Best Apps for Running a Tour Guide Business in 2021

October 8, 2021

Running a tour guide business means creating experience, managing listings, balancing your schedule and keeping track of transactions. We’ve polled readers to find the apps that can help you do all of those things. Here are the results.

As a tour guide, you put a substantial amount of thought and effort into crafting memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for your guests. Whether it’s a bike tour through your city’s historical district or an idyllic jaunt in the countryside, your business thrives when you’re able to focus on the experience instead of the logistics.

With travelers almost exclusively using apps to book transportation and accommodation, tour guides and other experience providers are in a position to take advantage of this new travel landscape. The problem is, there are a ton of apps to choose from.

We turned to our readers to answer the question: Which apps are absolutely essential for tour guides? In this guide, we cover the best of the best—apps that will help you attract more guests, create better listings and manage the back-end of your business.

And if you lean strongly toward one of these apps, be sure to vote for your favorite at the end!

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Rezdy

Rezdy

Rezdy is an experience booking platform that lets you manage your calendar, inventory, sales transactions, and guest information all in one place. It automatically syncs with apps like Google calendar and features integrated booking widgets you can embed on your website. If you don’t have a website yet, Rezdy features a one-click custom website option so you can get your tour guide business up and running with ease.

Pros:

  • The software is easy to set up and simple to navigate
  • A simple and straightforward booking process
  • Great for managing staff and resources
  • Access to the Rezdy marketplace allows you to offer even more experiences

Cons:

  • Lacks multi-language support for some features
  • Key features such as liability waivers are locked behind upgrades
  • Pricy subscription rates plus booking fees can be prohibitive to some users

Price: Starts at $49/mo plus a 2% online booking fee.

App Store Rating: N/A

Viator Tours & Activities

Viator

Viator is a tour booking app owned by travel giant TripAdvisor. You can create a listing and start booking experiences in a matter of minutes. Tapping into the Tripadvisor ecosystem (including over 3,500 partners) means Viator is a great way to increase visibility and grow your brand. If you’re just getting started in the tours and experiences business, it’s a great starting place.

Pros:

  • Access to Tripadvisor’s massive audience of over 400 million visitors
  • Includes a free Tripadvisor listing
  • An easy-to-use management center lets you build your listings with photos, pricing information, and availability
  • Get paid either weekly with PayPal or monthly via direct deposit

Cons:

  • You must compete with millions of other tourguides
  • May not be viable if you don’t live in a major city
  • Viator’s 20% commission fee can be prohibitive

Price: $29 per listing plus 20% commission

App Store Rating: 3.9

GetYourGuide Tours & Tickets

Get Your Guide

Get Your Guide is similar in many ways to Viator. As a tour guide, you’ll sign up as a supplier and create a listing on Get Your Guide’s platform. Get Your Guide has a smaller audience than Viator, which could be viewed as an advantage or a drawback. You won’t be able to get your listings in front of as many people, but you’ll also be dealing with far less competition. Finally, where Viator is more positioned toward North America, Get Your Guide is great for the European market.

Pros:

  • Get Your Guide helps you with the listing optimization process
  • Commission fees are built into the displayed experience price
  • Very easy to sign up and make your listing go live
  • Negotiate your own commission rates

Cons:

  • Less visibility and reach than Viator
  • Cancellation policy favors the guest over the tour guide
  • No listing review fees

Price: Free plus commissions

App Store Rating: 4.2

Airbnb

Airbnb

The monumental app that allows anyone to transform their living spaces into bookable accommodations has expanded into the world of curated experiences. Where traditional tour companies offer visitors guided versions of the tours they’d see in guidebooks, Airbnb’s experiences allow people to experience more down-to-earth, “live like a local” activities.

Pros:

  • Allows you to show off your city or home region in a unique way
  • Access to Airbnb’s huge customer base
  • Great for tour guides who don’t live in a major city (as long as there are plenty of Airbnb accommodation listings nearby)
  • Impressive dashboard feature lets you keep tabs on your business and optimize your listing
  • Get paid within 24 hours

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hosts offering “traditional” tours
  • Not compatible with outside booking software

Price: Free listings, 20% commissions

App Store Rating: 4.8

Checkfront

Checkfront

Checkfront is an experience booking platform that lets you manage your calendar, take reservations, and process payments in real-time. It includes website plugins that allow guests to book reservations 24/7. It’s centralized dashboard means you don’t have to fuss around with complicated spreadsheets to keep track of your tour business.

Pros:

  • Includes a 21-day free trial
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Can be adapted to multiple types of experiences
  • Responsive customer support team

Cons:

  • High monthly subscription cost might be too much for new businesses
  • Mobile app features like the daily manifest could use some updating
  • Lacks some customization options

Pricing: Starts at $42/mo (billed annually)

App Store Rating: 2.6

You may be an expert at planning the perfect tour or experience, but there are always variables you can’t control, especially if you’re taking a group of people out into nature. Accidents happen. If the weather turns sour and one or more of your guests are injured or damage their belongings under your watch, you could be held liable.

With Tour Guide Insurance, you and your guests will have peace of mind knowing they’ll be covered in case something goes wrong. With monthly, daily or even hourly coverage, Thimble can provide you with the right insurance policy no matter what stage of business you’re in.

Our readers have chosen Rezdy as their number one app for tour guides, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to second opinions. Which app is your personal favorite?

  1. What’s your favorite app?

    • Rezdy
    • Viator
    • Get Your Guide
    • Airbnb
    • Checkfront
    • Other
    • Vote

Written on October 8, 2021

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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