Ep. 265 – Putting Vulnerability and Empathy at the Heart of Your Tour Business Strategy

Excuse the length of this episode, but Mitch Bach jealously didn’t want to stop interviewing this week’s guest, Kyle Campbell of Sudden Journeys, who runs her small-group multi-day tour company, Sudden Journeys. For some of you listening, this might be the episode you need to hear to release yourself from the burden of thinking you have to keep producing more content to sell your tours.

At first glance, this episode’s title might put you off: what do the seemingly “soft” words like vulnerability and empathy have to do with the hard realities and hustle of growing a tour business? Kyle shows you the answer is: everything! Her multi-day small group tour company has been built (and has doubled in size this past year) based on a strategy of thinking deeply about how to connect meaningfully with her guests, and how to express herself and her business authentically and vulnerably. She’s not posting often on social media, but when she does, it’s personal, thoughtful, and she’s built a small but fervent community of people who connect deeply with her message, and book her tours. Her commitment to being open and honest resonates deeply with her social media audience, and you’ll hear about how important tour design is, from the welcome dinner ice breaker questions and tablescape to designing large periods of rest in her itineraries, to allow guests to leave feeling truly revitalized.

***Also, Kyle will be at Tourpreneur CONNECT, our multi-day tour operator conference in Marrakesh, Morocco in November if you want to meet her! ***

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Creating unforgettable experiences and connecting with travelers on a deeper level is crucial in the travel industry.
  • Using evocative imagery, storytelling, and personal vulnerability can engage and inspire travelers.
  • A “dimensional experience” that goes beyond facts and dates is more memorable and impactful.
  • Travel has the power to transform and connect people, and it is important to create trips that leave travelers refreshed and with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world.
  • Surprise and delight are powerful tools for designing memorable moments on tours.
  • Creating a group experience that allows for autonomy and connection is key to fostering a sense of community among guests.
  • When hiring and training tour leaders, it is important to find individuals who are passionate, organized, and willing to learn.