Spotlight: From Hotels to an OTA – How Greg Fisher built Tripshock

On this episode of Tourpreneur a podcast for tour operators and tour professionals, Greg Fisher, CEO of Tripshock shares his journey with host Shane Whaley, of how he founded the company and how he has grown tours and activities OTA Tripshock over the last 10 years.

Welcome to Episode 17 of the Tourpreneur Podcast. Today’s show is a different kind of episode. Now we have gone weekly, I am experimenting a little bit with the formats and acting on your feedback.

Many of you are asking for hot seat/spotlight style interviews by that I mean inviting someone onto the show who may not be a traditional tour operator, but is someone we can learn from and works within the tours, attractions and activities ecosystem.

So, for example, that could be a:

– Director/Manager at an OTA.

– Head of a digital marketing company that focuses on tours and attractions and activities.

– A Sales/Marketing Manager for a landmark attraction or global chain.

Don’t worry, we will still bring you interviews with traditional tour operators. I feel there’s a lot we can learn from those men and women in the roles above because they are also in the trenches with us.

Their challenge is also to acquire bookings, develop marketing plans, manage staff and budgets, digital marketing, partnerships and everything else.

I’ve always been fascinated in the tourpreneur journey, as I’ve often said on the show, many of us didn’t go to school to study hospitality or tourism. For many of us, tours and activities is a second or even third career.

So today is the first in what we’re going to call a Tourpreneur spotlight. First up is Tripshock CEO Greg Fisher. Greg is the founder of Tripshock and they recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary.

Tripshock operates in destinations spanning the South East USA. They are an online platform that allows users to search and book activities for tours and activities and they represent tour operators and tourism service providers and they try to connect tourists with the best local businesses to create.

Who is Tripshock?

TripShock is an online marketplace that allows activity and tour providers to sell their products and services to travelers across several different advertising mediums. Based in Florida, TripShock operates in 12 Southeast destinations including New Orleans, Destin, Myrtle Beach, and Key West. 

Tripshock was founded in 2009, they’ve grown from a single tour provider to over 130 tour providers throughout the Gulf Coast region.

More about Greg Fisher.

Since 2009, Greg has worked to transform TripShock into a travel industry giant. Proactive and personable, Greg first developed a passion for tourism while studying hospitality at the University of Central Florida. Since then, he has grown Tripshock by cultivating strong relationships with partners and employees alike. In his free time, Greg enjoys reading biographies, watching college football, and relaxing with friends and family.

On this episode of the Tourpreneur podcast, Greg Fisher reveals:

  • How working at a hotel led him to start up Tripshock.
  • How he developed the idea and executed on it.
  • Having no budget he could not go out and hire SEO and digital marketing experts (sound familiar?) so he shares how he went about learning the skills he needed.
  • Why he feels that OTAs charging 30% commission is not feasible for many smaller tour operators such as fishing boat tours and charters.
  • The decision he took after the Gulf Coast oil spill that almost crushed his business.
  • What he learned as a result of this decision.
  • What customers are looking for when they want to book tours and activities online.
  • The importance of saying no (or not yet) to some tour operators and who want to work with Tripshock.
  • All the Tripshock staff is remote-based.
  • How he builds a Tripshock work culture when all his staff is based remotely.
  • He has not taken any investment funds from VCs.
  • Why he set up TripCon.
  • Why he wrote to Nike’s Phil Knight and why he recommends his memoirs Shoe Dog.
  • How he initially struggled to manage a work/life balance and why it is important for tourpreneurs to work at this.
  • And Much More!

Who do you want us to swing the Tourpreneur spotlight onto next?
Let us know here.

Next Spotlight August 27 ( will be Anna Karnowski, Sales Director of One World Observatory.

Resources and websites mentioned on Episode 17 of the Tourpreneur Podcast with Tripshock CEO Greg Fisher.

The Tourpreneur Daily Brief – never miss out on the tours, activities and experience companies who are making the news. Daily free email from the host of the Tourpreneur Podcast Shane Whaley.