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Lessons Learned Starting a Tour Business in Paris During A Pandemic with Txango Tours

Starting a Parisian Sidecar Tour Experience during a Pandemic with Simon Burke of Txango Tours

The Tour Operator Start Up series is back, Simon Burke joins Nikki Padilla Rivera today to discuss starting a tour business, in fact, a sidecar motorcycle tour company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He explains the hoops, logistics, and licenses when starting a tour vehicle business in Paris. He describes how Brexit and the pandemic impacted his start-up and explains how he came up with the concept of Txango Tours.

Simon also underscores the value of taking yourself out of your comfort zone and highlights the role of passion in running a tour company.


What your tours may be-–whether it’s beating that pavement or bushwhacking through the forest—the prerequisite to starting a tour company is having a love for tour-guiding.

Simon Burke


This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • Simon’s background and how he wound up working in tourism
  • The importance of passion and experience in starting a tour company
  • Simon’s experiences from when he first became a tour guide
  • The advantages of being a tour guide with dual citizenship
  • How Simon started his tour company during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How Brexit and COVID-19 impacted the launch of Txango Tours
  • Why Simon chose motorcycles for his tours
  • How Simon pivoted from doing motorcycle tours as a hobby to starting a company
  • How Simon came up with the idea of including sidecars in his motorcycle tours
  • Breaking away from standard routes and Simon’s plans on delivering information as a driver-guide
  • The tours Txango Tours offers, how long they are, their routes, and inclusions
  • The kind of help, tour guides, and chauffeurs Simon needs for his company
  • Tour guide and chauffeur licensing in Paris and Simon’s business continuity plan for his tours
  • The price points of Txango Tours and how Simon financed his start-up
  • The responses Simon got from the industry
  • Doing test tours and offering free tours for possible collaborations and promotional opportunities
  • The origins of Txango Tour’s name

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is kindly sponsored by Tourism Marketing Agency and Arival Las Vegas

More about today’s guest…

Txango Tours – Simon Burke

Simon Burke is the Founder of Txango Tours, a tour operator company that offers guided excursions of Paris and Versailles. 

Simon began his career in the tourism industry as a tour guide for Fat Tire Tours, a role he held for two years before becoming a quality analyst for Meetic. 

In 2012, Simon returned to Fat Tire Tours and rose through its ranks, later becoming the company’s European Human Resources Director. 

Today, as the operator of Txango Tours, Simon is passionate about creating lasting memories for his guests.


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