Alan Rust

Tour Operator Alan Rust is a regular contributor to our Tourpreneur Community and has featured several times on the podcast. We find out more about Alan of America Tour Company in the first of our Tourpreneur Quickfire Q and A!

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Alan Rust shares his tour operator journey on today's episode of the Tourpreneur Tour Podcast.
Alan Rust shares his tour operator journey on today’s episode of the Tourpreneur Tour Podcast.

You can listen to our full indepth interview with Alan Rust on Episode 8 of the Tourpreneur Podcast

  1. Hometown: 

    Ames, IA, USA

  2. First job: 

    Shift Manager at Hardee’s restaurant

  3. Favorite tour/experience: 

    Historic restaurant appetizer & cocktail tour in Boston… many years ago.

  4. What do you think makes a fabulous tour/activity?: 


    An engaging guide in a visually interesting area full of stories, sights and even tastes.



  5. What do you think makes a fabulous tour/activity guide?: 

    Someone with a genuine personality who is like your friend while telling stories about a place they are passionate about.



  6. The person who has impacted your life the most: 

    My friend Marko who taught me to better manage my life one day at a time while having a great time.



  7. Your biggest accomplishment building your tour business: 

    Expanding to a multi-state network of local expert Tour Hosts.



  8. The biggest obstacle you have overcome in business:

    The same ongoing task as any small operator; learning and managing all aspects of running a successful business on a daily basis.



  9. Someone who inspires you in the travel industry: 

    Shane WhaleyPeter Syme, Mitch Bach, and every small operator sharing their passion.


  10. Favorite Quote: 

    “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Abraham Lincoln


  11. What is the best piece of business advice anyone has ever given you? 

    Listen to everyone because you never know when someone will casually mention something that becomes an excellent idea for your company.


  12. Advice to a tour operator when it comes to hiring guides? 

    I don’t ask for a resume in the first interview because I want to hear their storytelling capabilities. I check resumes before a second interview just to look at how long they stay at past jobs.



  13. What is one question you always ask in an interview? 

    Tell me about a time when you had to manage a difficult person and how it ended.


  14. What tools/books/podcasts/apps are indispensable to you?: 

    Podcasts: Tourpreneur, Masters of Scale, How I Built This, Agents of Change



  15. What is your biggest frustration about the industry? 

    It is difficult to find resources and support agencies for small tour operators. Not to mention, finding a booking system can be confusing. 


  16. What’s the best thing that has happened to you since you started your tour business? 

    Finding great team members to work with and discovering more about each city where they lead tours.

  17. What is your website? AmericaTourCompany.com

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.