Amazon Explore Partner tour operator

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.

As well as listening to the show via podcast, you can also watch this Tour Operator Success Story on our YouTube channel.

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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

The Tourpreneur Brief

This week on Tourpreneur – the podcast for tour operators:

  • Being innovative during the COVID crisis and coping with a 97% downturn in business
  • John’s Speakeasy startup and embracing virtual tours and video experiences
  • The key things to know about becoming an Amazon Explore partner
  • Working with vendors and Amazon’s e-commerce revenue model
  • The challenges and time commitment you need to make to work with Amazon Explore
  • How the public is responding to the pricing of live streaming tours
  • The high-value private one-on-one virtual tour model versus massive scale low-value model
  • The equipment you need to work with Amazon Explore
  • The likelihood of Amazon Explore coming out of beta
  • Our over-reliance on OTAs

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “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
  • “We can’t afford to be working for less than we are worth right now.” – 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:

Connect with John O’Sullivan:

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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.