Ep. 179 — New Ownership Announced at Tourpreneur

Tourpreneur Founder, Shane Whaley leaves show for new industry challenge.

After three years, Tourpreneur’s Shane Whaley announces why he is leaving the show and revealed why he is thrilled to hand over the reins of the podcast and community to these three industry veterans.

Hi everyone, today I wish to announce some major changes here at Tourpreneur.

I am thrilled to announce that as of June 13th I will be taking on a new role as Head of Community at FareHarbor.  Some of you know I worked at Booking.com for over 10 years.  I never completed my degree and always felt that my university was Booking and always considered the company to be my alma mater. 

Booking developed me from a young commission-hungry salesman into a polished regional director managing seven offices across the US and Canada overseeing hundreds of employees. So, when the call came in that FareHarbor, a Booking owned company was keen for me to come in as head of community, the call was too strong for me to turn down.

I am also thrilled because this is the first major role in my career that does not involve sales and sales management. To be able to pivot into a new career is very rare at my age so I could not turn this down. Also, I worked for over a decade for OTAs, a brief sojourn into channel management last year and now I get to experience the res tech side of the business which has always fascinated me. How res techs can be not just the operator’s plumbing but a true partner in growing their business.

That obviously presented me with a dilemma, could I continue to produce Tourpreneur and deliver for my new employers and their clients? I have thought long and hard about it and decided that not only could there be a conflict of interest but also a question of productivity, do I want to be working 13-15 hour days on the same type of work?

The answer is no, that would not be right, I pride myself on delivering the best content I can here at Tourpreneur besides which I want to enjoy other activities in life.

But, I did not want to leave you all in the lurch. I have received so many messages from you telling me that this podcast and community has kept you going during some rough times. I am not going to just abandon you because I know how important our community is, not just the education we receive, but also how much the support from peers means to us.

So the exciting news is that I have invited three industry veterans to take over the reins here at Tourpreneur.

Before I introduce them, I want to thank all of you who appeared as guests on the show and/or participated in our online community, sharing your real-life stories, real-life wins, and your real-life struggles.  

Without you, there could never have been a Tourpreneur.  I also thank those of you who subscribed to the show, every single download inspired me to continue producing the podcast and hosting the most engaged online community for operators. 


The three veterans (which really means, old buggers) are joining us today, please welcome Mitch BachPeter Syme and Chris Torres.

“The A.A. Milne quote springs to mind ‘How lucky I am to have built something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ “

Shane Whaley

Official Media Release

Tourpreneur, the leading educational podcast and online community for tour operators around the world, will be under new ownership as of 11 May 2022, with big announcements to follow on 18 May regarding the new trajectory of the business. The new owners are travel industry veterans Mitch Bach, Co-Founder of TripSchool and Campfire; Peter Syme, founder of multiple tour operations; and Chris Torres, Founder and Director of Tourism Marketing Agency and the Digital Tourism Show.

“I’m thrilled to announce that I’m taking on a new role as Head of Community at FareHarbor,” said Shane Whaley, Founder and Publisher of Tourpreneur. “One of my concerns in accepting this role was leaving all of the Tourpreneur listeners and community members in the lurch. Over the pandemic especially, I’ve received so many messages from tour operators around the world saying that the Tourpreneur community has kept them going during these tough times. So I’m thrilled to hand over the reins of the Tourpreneur to these incredibly experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals. I know that Mitch, Peter, and Chris will take Tourpreneur forward and give our subscribers an even better chance of growing their profits from their business.”

Tourpreneur began in 2019 to connect tour operators in an otherwise often lonely professional journey. By sharing real stories and connecting through an engaged, supportive community, tourism entrepreneurs can build their businesses with the help of others, rather than in isolation.

“Taking over the Tourpreneur podcast and site is a fun challenge for all of us,” said Torres. “Tourpreneur has been such a big part of the industry that it’s an honor and a privilege to try to take this forward and keep it growing.”

The Tourpreneur podcast currently has over 250 episodes, offering a breadth and depth of helpful, actionable content for tour operators.

“It’s probably worth saying that Tourpreneur will be different going forward,” said Syme. “Shane is a media professional and, if you look at the numbers, there’s only one of Shane and there are three of us trying to take over and fill his shoes. The tone of the show will certainly be different going forward just based on our backgrounds and expertise. But the focus on community is still 100% there; it’s all about the operators.”

Going forward, tour operators around the world can look forward to more resources, more education, and more content coming from the new owners of Tourpreneur. For tour operators attending Arival in Berlin at the end of May, the new owners will be hosting Hot Seat sessions to tap into their depth of tourism industry insight and experience.

“I am very sad to be leaving because Tourpreneur is my baby,” Whaley said. “It’s definitely bittersweet but I am excited to see where Tourpreneur goes from here. The growth potential for all our subscribers who listen with these three industry veterans at the helm is massive.”

Meet Your New Tourpreneur Team!