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4 Benefits of Including Free Tours in Your Business Model

Last updated on April 22, 2022
6 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Offering free tours can actually boost profits.
  • Free tours can increase tips and sales, and lead to free marketing and inclusivity!
  • Learn if this business model can work for you!

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All Skill Levels

As a business owner, adding a free offering may seem counterproductive. Contrary to what you might think, adding a free tour may actually help you increase profits! Of course, this is not for everyone and you will have to decide what is best for your business. 

Should you offer a free tour? What are the benefits to doing so? We share four ways offering a free tour can actually help your company bring in more sales!

Higher Tips for Tour Guides

A free tour often leads to higher tips for tour guides. When customers don’t pay an outright cost for the activity, they may feel obligated or encouraged to leave a larger tip. This is especially true when the tour guide is knowledgeable and personable.

Ensuring that your employees are well-trained, even for a free tour, is essential for this business model to work. If your tour guides are making more tips, they will be happier and, therefore, more motivated for each tour they lead. This positive outlook can help you retain amazing tour guides in the long run. 


Offering a free tour promotes inclusion for those who want to experience your activities. We will always encourage inclusivity and diversity for businesses in all industries. While you do not have to offer free tours only, having one or two options means that anyone can partake and see what your business has to offer. This creates inclusivity and can lead to more customers seeing the value in your company – prompting them to book another tour in the future or recommend your business to friends and family.

Pro Tip: Rather than offering a free tour, you can market the activity as “pay what you can.” This still allows for inclusion for all customers, and can also lead to tour guides making higher tips. The customers will pay what they can afford at the end of the tour, but they will know that any amount of payment is appreciated. 

Help Sell Add-Ons or Other Paid Tours

Similar to our first point on higher tips, when there is no overarching price on the tour, customers may feel more inclined to buy a souvenir, add-on, or other paid experience. Depending on your business, you can decide to end the tour at your gift shop, restaurant, or bar. This is a great way to help get those extra sales. 

Also, once your guests know the value of what your company can offer, they may want to experience a paid tour in the future. Perhaps you have a free walking ghost tour that passes several haunted buildings. If customers have a great time, they may come back for a paid tour where they can actually enter the buildings and explore further.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Since a free tour is accessible for anyone who wants to experience your offerings, this can also be an opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing. Satisfied customers will tell their friends, families, and even other tourists about your tour. This is a free way to get publicity which is always a great opportunity. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is not limited to in-person interactions. If someone posts about your business on social media, this can make your reach and exposure infinitely bigger.

Followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more will have your company in mind if they plan a trip or live in your area. The more people who experience your tours, the more people that will know your company and recommend it to others!

With all that being said, a free tour business model is not for every company. As always, when trying something new for your business, a strong plan will yield great results!

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