Being Part Of The Free Walking Tours Community
Cédric, Tour Guide & Unconditional Traveler, France
31 March 2020
Being part of a community is always a letmotiv for me whenever I lived in my home town or when I was on the other side of the planet. I’m a big believer in the power of communities, as we are just so much stronger together than by ourselves.
A few days ago, when this pandemic affect all of us on the planet, we (Free Tours Managers) felt the desire to keep strong as a unity and try to help each other by creating a new platform for us, by us, where all visitors all over the world would be able to easily find each free walking tour on earth!
The Free Walking Tours Community website was born and now is a perfect time for us to take control over our future!
During these very hard times, we thought that it was essential to stay close and support each other in any way possible. We all now that the tourism industry is going to suffer dramatically from this crisis and that we will be the last sector restarting. In the meantime, it’s very important and active so we have joined our forces to start turning this community into a website which can be beneficial for all travelers! Is there anything better feeling than being part of a worldwide community?!
Firstly, do I really need to re-explain why the Free Walking Tours are the best way to discover cities while traveling and how much they can help you to grow, to a certain extend, as a human being?!
Since 2004, this new concept has been growing significantly all over the world with maybe now more than 200/300 hundreds.
What a free walking tour is about? What is the concept behind it?
Well, the difference between a traditional tour and a free walking tour is relying on the fact that the remuneration of the guide is subject to the positive experience the visitor will received through the service provided. Basically, that means that any visitor will rate the guide and leave a tip accordingly to the experience received. He’s deciding what it was worth for him.
This little difference is actually way bigger than you think for the reasons listed below:
– The guide is very flexible and he’s able to provide a more personal touch to the tour, be more receptive to visitors needs. Because tour guides only get tipped, the quality of a Free Tour tends to be significantly better than traditional “pay first” tours, which can take advantage of unknowing travelers.
– The free walking tours are bookable for free and sometimes limited in spaces. Even if they are also free to cancel, it’s more than appreciated to, at least, inform them that you won’t join the tour so a whole group won’t wait for people who wouldn’t turn up. Free Tours can do with a bit of respect, right!
– As it’s a “pay-as-you-like” type of tour, you are sure to give the guide what you think is fair and won’t feel overcharged in any ways. Not even mentionning that it leaves culture accessible for any kind of budget!
Photo from a free walking tour in our quaint and historical Antibes.
Photograph by WhatToDoRiviera
As you know, people working in the same industry very often have the same mentality! That’s another reason we felt the need to connect. So now, we are trying to reach all the Free Walking Tours managers of the world and implement our own platform to display each individual tour everywhere in the world.
This new platform called www.freetourcommunity.com will help you to locate a free tour on the worldwide map and then you’ll be redirected to each other own website to be able to book your spots.
It was very important for us to try to become our own OTA (online travel agency) so we can cut down on the outrageous commissions and deliver our other products to the best and fairest price for you travellers.
Another very easy way for visitors to see if a free tour is available in their future destination is simply to “Google” Free Walking Tour + the name of the city you’re travelling to and if they do exist, they will obviously pop up on top of your research’s list!
In France, we have numerous free walking tours all over the country, set up in many touristic cities. Paris of course got many free walking tours but they are, in my knowledge, all run by huge international companies. The others are definitively run by locals and keep as human sized little businesses like Antibes, Bordeaux, Cannes, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Strasbourg just to name a few. You can find a little intro called Visiting France, A destination based on history, gastronomy, landscape and culture on the community blog to tempt your taste buds!
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others might walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you!”
To finish, I would say from my personal experience as a free tour guide that I met so many amazing people from all over the world on my own tours. Within 2,5 hours, I actually manage to create some amazing friendships. It’s just unbelievable as language and cultural barriers just disappear on these tours. So many times, I had the impression that I was sharing my city with friends while I only knew these people for a few minutes or hours.
Many times, we all end up sharing a drink or a meal after the tours where we exchange ideas, life experiences, change of carriers, tips, funny travel stories and much more… These moments were priceless and give me so much joy and knowledge. That’s what make us different and unique!
My little company called WhatToDoRiviera is offering free walking tours, e-bike tours, tasting tours and cooking classes to entertain and satisfy every taste! All our tours are also focusing on eco-tourism as our planet means a lot to us and it’s time to educate and change habits around traveling!
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