On this episode of Tourpreneur a podcast for tour operators and tour professionals, Tony Muia of A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours shares his journey of how he swapped healthcare for tourism and opened his tour business showcasing his beloved Brooklyn in 2005.
Tourpreneur Host Shane Whaley digs deep into the story of Tony Muia.
This interview is a cracker because, in true Brooklyn style, Tony does not hold back.
He gives it to us straight from the heart, straight from the guts. He tells us why he’s concerned about OTAs.
He talks about the importance of paying it forward.
He shares with us how mentorship with two tour companies in New York City helped him to grow as a business.
He also takes us to that moment when he sat in his car outside his parents’ home, his head in his hands because his business has run out of cash and he didn’t want to go back to healthcare.
- Why demanding high-quality buses is crucial to the success of his and every bus tour.
- How Tony got through the low days when his capital was running out.
- How NBC’s Today Show saved his business after he lost his capital in 2007.
- Why Tony says he owes his success to Georgette Blau of On Location Tours.
- Why it is important to surround yourself with peers.
- Why his Tour Guides are all Brooklyn natives.
- Why Tony built a bus tour business focusing on Brooklyn rather than Manhattan?
- How Tony designed his Slice of Brooklyn bus tour and why the tour covers so much more than just pizza (hint: mafia history, film history, architecture, etc.)
- How did Tony market his tours when he first started?
- Why he decided to launch a Christmas tour and why Tony really does wish it was Christmas every day!
- Why Shane thinks Tony should write a book to help others to start a tour business.
- Why he launched a Chocolate tour and is about to launch a beer and whiskey tour.
- How Tony trained his tour guides and why their personal stories are just as important as dates and places.
- The fun no-pressure way that A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours encourage reviews and sign-ups for their email list.
- Why his tour guides never ask for tips but still do well.
- Why he feels OTAs are strangling tour operators and why he is considering dropping all of them.
- How to deals with competitors who replicate your tour.
- How A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours social media is heavily influenced by Gary Vaynerchuk.
There is a lot in this interview that is going to inspire you, motivate you, and you’re going to be nodding your head to a lot of this. It’s an honest, authentic and genuine conversation with a man who is proud of his Brooklyn roots and his family business.
Resources and websites mentioned on Episode 19 of the Tourpreneur Podcast with Tony Muia of A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours.
- A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours
- Tony Muia on Linkedin.
- The Original Brooklyn Pizza Tour
- A Slice of Brooklyn Chocolate Tour
- A Slice of Brooklyn Tours on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
- Georgette Blau, President On Location Tours.
- Gary Vaynerchuk.
- FareHarbor Tour Operator Booking Software