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Tour Operators as Conduits of History & Culture with Michael Idriss

The Tour Operator Start Up Series on the Tourpreneur Podcast

In this episode, our guests discuss how tour operators can facilitate conversations toward understanding diverse history.

They also explore how tour operators can discuss historical issues on tours effectively and safely. They consider engaging travelers who discover an unpleasant aspect of their ancestors’ history while on a historical tour.

Or podcast guests also highlight why running tours is a distinct art form in itself and underscore how She Shapes History strives to encourage people to engage in the democratic process.


We want to provoke thought, not think for people. It’s important to work out the techniques to facilitate that.

Ripley Stevens


This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • What has changed She Shapes History’s sales and branding strategy
  • The three Ps of responsible businesses
  • Why Sita and Ripley expanded their tour company’s focus from just women’s history to diverse history
  • Australia’s first tour operator and the active erasure of people of color in Australian history
  • The state of diversity and inclusion in Australia’s tourism industry
  • The power of tour operators in changing conversations about history
  • How to talk about history and “politically charged” issues in tours effectively and safely
  • Malcolm X’s wisdom on educating the people
  • Interacting with people who “short circuit” after discovering a challenging aspect of their ancestors’ history while on tour
  • How travelers of the pandemic era differ from their predecessors

More about today’s guests…

Michael Idriss

Michael Idriss is the first person to serve as the African-American Interpretive Fellow at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. As a Fellow, Michael oversees the implementation of the second phase of the museum’s initiative, which is focused on African-American interpretation. He is also the Tour Director and Designer of Shop Katika, a provider of cultural and historical experiences anchored on the stories of the African diaspora

She Shapes History

She Shapes History is a Canberra-based tour company founded by Ripley Stevens and Sita Sargeant. Sita and Ripley created She Shapes History as a platform to share the inclusive and diverse account of Australia’s history hidden in Canberra’s landscape. Through delivering tours, researching history, and curating stories, Sita and Ripley raise awareness of Australia’s rich and diverse history that is otherwise left untold.

Nikki Padilla Rivera

Nikki Padilla Rivera, your host translates between tour guides and tour operators and ‘tries to talk about Responsible Travel without all the buzz words.’