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In this week’s blog post, we’re going to discuss how to organize Segway tours.
Sometimes the best way to experience a city is to go and explore it on a Segway. That’s why focusing on Segway tours is a very lucrative business at the moment.
With this in mind, there a few key points that you should remember before starting your Segway tour business.
Okay, so how to create the best Segway sightseeing experience?
We’ll get to that part in a moment, but let’s start with some basics.
What is a Segway?
A Segway is a self-balancing personal transport vehicle. A high-tech scooter on two wheels, if you may. It can reach a speed of up to 12 km/h with a battery that can cover approximately a 25-kilometer journey.
Self-balancing means that Segway moves with your body; you use your weight and body to navigate it. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
The whole idea behind the invention is that it was supposed to be a high-tech scooter—a fun way to get around. But it somehow never became a mainstream product that you would use for your daily commute to work.
One might wonder why are these futurist-looking things gaining such popularity. Some would even argue that this gadget never really took off.
But in the travel industry, that’s not the case. On the contrary, take a look at how many Segway tours are out there (and they are not just popular in Europe).
In recent years, Segway has become the latest craze.
Truth be told, Segway wasn’t designed to be a travel experience gadget.
It was only until 2011, when the Segway Experience was launched, that it gained traction in the travel business. The whole project had one goal—to encourage tour operators to become authorized and affiliated with Segway Inc.
Now, everyone wants to ride one when they go sightseeing.
What is a Segway tour?
A Segway tour resembles an average walking tour, except for the part where you don’t walk but ride a Segway through the city and explore popular sights. So it’s sort of like a fun way to see the city, cover more ground in less time, and avoid sore feet.
The tour can last an hour or more. It’s usually 3 to 4 hours long.
There are different types of Segway tours. You can choose to organize a whole variety of Segway tours or specialize in one—historic, foodie, architecture related, etc.
For example, instead of a typical Segway city tour, you can organize a Segway food tour. This is a great opportunity to showcase any number of interesting restaurants and local food stands, as well as food tastings.
Or you can decide to organize a team building Segway tour.
If your city doesn’t allow Segways (and yes, some cities banned Segway guided tours), you can get creative and offer virtual Segway tours with a wi-fi balance board instead. Nothing beats the real Segway experience; however virtual reality comes really close.
Benefits of Segway tours
Using Segway to go sightseeing is the best excursion. It’s also a very profitable business for tour operators.
By offering Segway tours, you can enhance the experience behind the whole city tour story. And at that moment, your tour is not just another boring city tour.
Segway takes the ordinary out of your tour with the following:
- Covers a lot more ground than your usual walking tours.
- Saves time.
- Smaller groups mean higher tour quality.
- Tourists avoid sore feet.
- Environment-friendly and quiet.
- It’s a memorable experience.
How To Organize Segway Tours
Here are some resources to get you started with Segway guided tours.
Pick a city and create a tour map
Research. Everything starts with a thorough research.
Decide whether the city you’ve picked has worthy sights to visit.
List all things you want to include in your tour and create an itinerary. Devise a detailed plan of exactly what you are offering in your Segway guided tour.
Make sure that the sights you’ve chosen are relevant, popular, and interesting to your potential clients.
Provide a wonderful perspective on places visited.
Also, be sure to include a small break during the tour.
In the confirmation voucher, include instructions on how to get to the starting point or the meet-up location. Among other prerequisites, of course.
P.S. Avoid cobbled pathways.
Find a knowledgeable tour guide
Hire an experienced Segway tour guide. It makes all the difference.
Without a skilled Segway tour guide, the whole experience might not be so memorable at all.
Your tour guide has to be a lot more than a tour guide.
Your ideal person should know the sights like his/her back pocket. But what’s most important, you need a specialized Segway tour guide.
Because someone needs to give your clients a crash course in riding a Segway. Ensuring clients safety at all times should be your top priority.
The tour guide you hire should try to share personal observations, be able to tell a great story, and make important historic events seem amusing like a journey back in time.
Regulations, licenses, and paperwork
Before your fleet of Segways can hit the streets, you need to sort out a lot of paperwork—licenses, authorization, and permits.
For starters, you need to be a licensed tour operator.
Laws vary by country. Make sure you check with the local government what kind of permits you need for running Segway guided tours in your city.
Do your research.
For example, in Australia, you must obtain a short-term unregistered vehicle permit (STUVP) because it’s illegal to use a Segway on a public street.
As I’ve mentioned before, some cities banned Segway tours. They are not considered road-legal. In such cities, you might get a hefty fine if you try to go sightseeing on a Segway near some landmarks.
Additionally, in cities such as Berlin, tourists who wish to ride a Segway must own and carry with them a valid driving license. In some countries, Segway is regarded as a vehicle, and in some, you can drive it alongside pedestrians.
In other countries, such as Austria, even a 12-year-old can ride a Segway (of course, without a driving license), and in some, as I’ve mentioned, you need own a valid driving license. What can I say, technology advanced and the regulations can’t seem to keep up.
Make sure you research these regulations and have the proper information at hand.
Have the appropriate papers ready for tourists to sign. Tour clients sign a waiver. Clearly state if they need to make a security deposit, insurance, sign additional liability papers, etc.
Ensure adequate training and equipment
Your clients need to be able to drive the thing before you can go out on the streets.
So for any novice Segway drivers, you need to offer an orientation session. Tech people how to use a Segway and play them the safety video you’ve prepared.
When choosing a starting location for your tour, look for a place where you have enough room (a less crowded spot) for practice and training.
You don’t want someone to smack into a street light before you even begin your tour, now do you?
Having said that, have in mind clients’ condition, health, age, and agility.
For safety reason, keep these rules in mind:
- Wear a helmet
- Drive under 12km/h
- Age limit (ages 12 and up)
- Don’t drink and drive
- Have comfortable and appropriate clothes
Take into account monthly or yearly Segway maintenance; where you’re going to store all those Segways?
Grow your Segway tour business online
Create a website and sell your tours online. Have in mind that your website should be user-friendly as well as mobile-friendly.
To be able to sell your Segway tours online, you need a book now button. This allows you to sell your bookings directly from your website.
Since it’s really hard to manually manage bookings, it might be a good idea to use an online booking system.
By using an online booking software, you can manage daily booking tasks with ease. Additionally, you can stay on top of your bookings, payments, discounts, coupons, and manage your clients.
Refer to our Every Tour Operator Should Know This About Online Booking blog post to find out everything about online booking systems.
Apart from your website, you might want to consider creating a Facebook page for your business. It’s always a good idea to promote your business through different social media channels. This is also a great opportunity to showcase your tour business, put up some interesting videos, and amazing photos of your Segway tours.
For more information on social media and tour business, check out our The Best Social Media Channels to Promote Tours and Activities blog post.
If you want to learn more about how to improve your tour operator business and sell more tours, visit our company blog.
Be more than just productive—be wise about it.
Use an online booking software.
Orioly has a 30-day free trial so you can test the heart and sole of our product before buying it. Contact us and our team will happily answer any questions you may have.