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Lessons learned re-opening our tour business after Lockdown (128)

Bike Tour Business Bike Tours Coronavirus Featured Podcast Episodes Tour Operator Pivot

Lessons learned re-opening our tour business after Lockdown (128)


Torin and Alice join me today to share the lessons they have learned since opening their tours after lockdown.

We explore the measures and policies you can put in place to run safe tours during the COVID pandemic and discuss how you can manage your team when they display symptoms or have had close contact with someone who received a positive test.

Torin and Alice share how they are experiencing a rise in direct bookings and making pivots in their business to find new revenue streams. We also discuss the tour operators’ role in the community and the challenges of maintaining good mental health through the pandemic.

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is sponsored by RocketRez

It is really important to us to show that we are doing things the right way and not being irresponsible and care about our community.” – Alice Kexel

Who are Alice and Torin of the Flying Bike Tours Asheville?

Torin and Alice Kexel are the Owners of The Flying Bike, an electric bike tour operator in Asheville, North Carolina. After living in Japan, Torin and Alice returned to the US and settled in Asheville, close to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

They bought Electro Bike Tours as avid bikers, which they rebranded to their core values, mission, and vision. Their goal is to share the sense of freedom and fun of electric bikes and give back to their community by donating a percentage of profits to bike advocacy programs and organizations that support Asheville’s people.

This week on Tourpreneur – the podcast for tour operators.

  • Introducing measures to run COVID-safe tours and creating a policy page
  • Disarming objections by listening first and addressing issues straight on
  • How to handle a COVID-19 positive test in your tour company
  • How to manage staff resistance to staying away from work when displaying symptoms or after close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • The rise in direct bookings during the pandemic and the advantages of direct communication with clients
  • Making pivots to generate income through different revenue streams
  • The importance of social advocacy and supporting your community
  • The challenges of protecting your mental health during the pandemic
  • The value of having a business coach, acknowledging when you need help, and learning from each other

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “As tour operators open up, they’re going to have cases and they have to have a plan in place that’s aggressive from the very first.” – Torin Kexel
  • “People are resilient, even to feeling challenged and uncomfortable, so you have to give people credit for their ability to take those hard moments and bounce back.” – Torin Kexel
  • “We have a huge opportunity to tell different stories, to make sure we are hiring people and welcoming people in different ways, and build that coalition of people who care about these things and make that change.” – Torin Kexel

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Torin and Alice Kexel:

Exploring the World of Tour Entrepreneurship

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Tourpreneur. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe to the show and leave a review. Be sure to share your favorite episodes on social media to help us reach more tour operators

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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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