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How Ralph Made the Transition from Walking Tours and Teaching Travel Photography to Launching PhotoEnrichment Adventures (110)

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How Ralph Made the Transition from Walking Tours and Teaching Travel Photography to Launching PhotoEnrichment Adventures (110)

PhotoEnrichment Adventures
Ralph Valesco shares his tour operator journey on the Tourpreneur Podcast

TP110 – The Story Behind PhotoEnrichment Adventures

With Tourpreneur Ralph Velasco

Ralph joins me today to share the story behind PhotoEnrichment Adventures and how he decided to switch from being a restaurateur to a tour organizer. He discusses his most popular tours and how he puts them together with local tour operators, creating a product that has seen a 42% repeat customer rate. He discusses the difference between PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna and how his business responds and adapts to the coronavirus crisis. Ralph also discusses the marketing tools and apps he uses and his strategies for building client-relationships and pricing.

Ralph Velasco is the founder, CEO, and tourpreneur behind PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna, where he creates local and international cultural tours and travel photography. Ralph is a third-generation restaurateur who left the industry to start walking photography tours at the dawn of the digital photography age.

He has since developed these tours into multi-day adventures in exotic places like Spain, Italy, Georgia, Armenia, and Cuba. He has photographed in more than 70 countries on six continents and is the author of Ralph Velasco On Travel Photography: 101 Tips for Developing Your Photographic Eye & More. He was also a finalist for the prestigious 2015 and 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year award, a licensed private pilot, and an integral member of several championship sailing teams.

“Nowadays, a lot of people just don’t have the time or inclination to put together a trip and to spend the time that is required to put together a great trip.” – Ralph Velasco

This week on Tourpreneur:

  • How Ralph made the transition from walking tours and teaching travel photography to launching PhotoEnrichment Adventures
  • How a partnership with global tour company eased Ralph into providing tours on different continents
  • Ralph’s most popular tours and putting together a licensed program to offer trips to Cuba
  • Why Ralph uses a seven-page tour operator expectation list when putting tours together with operators
  • The role of word of mouth marketing and speaking to different audiences
  • How Ralph’s cultural tours with a focus on photography have a 42% repeat customer rate
  • The advantages of using a tour organizer over self-building trips
  • The difference between PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna
  • Adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and creating local experiences
  • Indispensable tools and apps for tourpreneurs
  • The value of using private Facebook groups and Zoom calls to build rapport before each trip
  • The lessons Ralph has learned about pricing tours

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “The secret to this is working with a single tour operator in the destination who knows everyone.” – Ralph Velasco
  • “Photography was my niche, so I tried to get in front of photographers.” – Ralph Velasco
  • “You can save a lot of time, a lot of money, and let someone else make the mistakes for you.” – Ralph Velasco

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Ralph Velasco:

Exploring the World of Tour Business

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Shane Whaley

Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.

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