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Podcast: How we built a successful bike tour business – with Fitz & Follwell’s Diego and Shea (Ep 11)

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Podcast: How we built a successful bike tour business – with Fitz & Follwell’s Diego and Shea (Ep 11)


The Fitz & Follwell Story, how two friends started and grew a successful bike tour company.


How to start a bike tour

Fitz & Follwell are into their 11th season. On this episode of Tourpreneur a podcast for tour operators and tour professionals, founders Diego, and Shea share their journey of what made them start a bike tour business and the lessons they have learned along the way.

How to start a bike tour business and the lessons we learned growing it.

Fitz & Follwell began with the simple idea that the most fulfilling travel experiences are created by connecting with locals and discovering new places using eyes & ears. They’ve always believed that the best way to explore a new city is by bike or on foot.

On Episode 11 of Tourpreneur, host Shane Whaley digs deep into the remarkable story of 2 friends who started their bike tours in Montreal and Buenos Aires. Strap yourself in as Fitz & Folwell’s Diego and Shea reveal more about:

  • how an Argentine and a Canadian decided to join forces to build Fitz & Folwell bike tours of Montreal.
  • why Shea wanted to start a bike tour business.
  • how Diego built BA Bikes Tours in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • how did Shea and Diego meet?
  • what Diego did with his BA bike tours company on moving to Montreal to work with Shea at Fitz & Follwell.
  • Diego reveals that Sir Paul McCartney took one of his BA bikes tours in Argentina.
  • Shane is curious how an A-lister, global icon such as Paul McCartney books a bike tour. Diego tells all.
  • how they built the Fitz & Follwell bike tour business and what were the 3 vital keys for business growth.
  • how Fitz & Follwell bike tours have evolved over the last 5 years.
  • how streamlining their tours lead to even more bookings.
  • how cutting some of their tours led to even more business.
  • how it was hard to let some tours go in order to streamline their tour business.
  • How they cut revenue by 30% but increased profitability by 100%.
  • why are Fitz & Follwell bike tours different from other bike tours they have experienced.
  • how they are dealing with the Montreal law that requires tour guides go through 8 months of training to become accredited.
  • how they attract locals to book their bike tours and not just tourists.
  • how they first got the word out about their tours.
  • why Search Engine Optimization was so important at the start.
  • where the name Fitz & Follwell comes from.
  • why and how they are expanding to other cities.
  • how they attract 50% direct bookings.
  • how they work with OTAs.
  • why working with Airbnb Experiences has created a lot of work because Airbnb does not offer API connectivity.
  • why they decided to work with Eztix as their booking reservation partner.
  • how their website is built on EzSites technology.
  • how they use social media to promote their tours.
  • why they employed a team member to work on their social media rather than work with an external social media agency.
  • why and how they created a video to promote Fitz and Folwell.
  • what books they recommended for other tour operators.

Learn more here.

Resources and websites mentioned on Episode 11 of the Tourpreneur Podcast with Fitz & Follwell.

Recommended Books for Tour Operators – Shea and Diego’s picks.

The 4 hour workweek by Tim Ferris

Think Like a Freak

Heart, Smart, Guts and Luck – Tjan and Harrington.

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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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