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Arival San Diego – 9 Takeaways from 3 Tour Operators

Food Tour, Walking Tour and Day Tour owners share their learnings and takeaways!

Today we hear from 3 tour operators who attended the in-person Arival San Diego event, they share what they learned and experienced.

I was keen to hear what first-time attendees of Arival thought of the event, so today we are joined by Brian Cain of Crawl New Orleans and Jarrod Riddle of Sprit of Arizona Tours.  We also invited Heather Fortes of Sactown Bites to our tour business round table discussion. 

Arival San Diego is Heather’s second Arival event, she shares how she had set up her Sacramento food tour business just a few weeks before attending Arival Orlando in 2019.

Our guests share three takeaways each and reveal what they are going to implement in their tour business as a result of attending Arival San Diego.

We also run the rule over the OTA and res tech sessions that are always a big draw at Arival but did they deliver what our tourpreneurs were looking for?

Brian Cain also disclosed more about working with Viator accelerate, he was a beta partner with the OTA’s new program.

Tourpreneur and our guests commend the Arival team for putting on such an excellent event in trying circumstances.

We all hope to see you at Arival Las Vegas later this year and who knows, there is talk of a European Arival to be held this summer. 

Thank you to our guests, Brian, Heather, and Jarrod for their candor during this episode of Tourpreneur. I look forward to digging into your story and tour business journey on a later episode.

What did you think about Arival San Diego? What did you learn that you will implement in your tour business? Let us know in our Tourpreneur Facebook Group.

Many of you have written in, asking if we can produce Tourpreneur episodes in video format on YouTube.

So here is our first effort, I am in the process of hiring a video editor to make these smoother going forward. Please consider ‘liking’ and ‘subscribe’ to the channel to make this extra work and the costs worth while.

A big thank you to Chris Torres who produced the intro!


“Find out what wineries and breweries need and figure out how you can fill that void. Be an enhancement they’ll be excited to work with.”

Jamie Robinson


This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • Renee’s background and the best thing she learned from a career in the military
  • How Renee discovered her knack for business development
  • What inspired Renee to start a winery tour business
  • The importance of executing detailed market research
  • How Renee implemented a feasibility study before founding Cork and Keg Tours
  • Raising funds for Cork and Keg Tours and how building a reputation kept their business costs down
  • Renee’s advice on building relationships and partnerships with wineries and breweries
  • Acquiring their first customers and how being a community advocate helped Renee
  • The value of asking clients for review and feedback
  • How the Cork and Keg Tours experience have pivoted and evolved over the years
  • Removing friction from business and making bookings efficient for clients
  • What Renee looks for from a booking platform
  • How Cork and Keg Tours came out of the first year of the pandemic
  • Cork and Keg Tours’ largest driver of business growth
  • Renee’s advice on starting a tour company
  • And Much More!

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is kindly sponsored by the Digital Tourism Show

Resources Mentioned