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Tour Operator COVID Survival Stories – Plus working with Amazon Explore

John O’Sullivan of Depot Adventures joins us today to discuss his tour operator COVID survival and working with Amazon Explore

He shares the innovation needed to survive the economic crisis caused by COVID and the opportunities to continue trading by providing video experiences and virtual tours. 

John reveals what it is like to work with Amazon Explore and the investment in time you need to create a worthwhile partnership. 

He discusses the pro and cons of high-value private tours versus mass-market low-value tours. John also shares what equipment you will need to work with Amazon Explore and his views on whether this Amazon beta project is here to stay.


“Be ready to give 25% of your time to this if you are going to do it; otherwise, it won’t be worth it.

John O’Sullivan on working with Amazon Explore


This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • 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

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is sponsored by RocketRez


Meet Today’s Guest, John O’Sullivan

John O’Sullivan is the Founding Director of Depot Adventures, formerly Walks 101, one of Australia’s top walking tour operations. Armed with his Irish passport, John left his mid-west American home in 2009 to see the world before finding himself working in Melbourne’s travel industry. 

Previously, he was the Director of Melbourne Urban Adventures, the Director of Turtle Rabbit Travel, and an independent tour guide and travel consultant. John is the Co-Founder of Speakeasy, created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide SaaS solutions for companies wanting to run offline events. He holds a B.A. in communication from Saint John’s University.


Resources Mentioned