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Travel Talk

Local hosts share their insights

Publishing a self-guided tour | All you need to know

Earn additional income and reach more travelers by publishing a tour on GlobeTrott Travel.


Great, you have decided to reach more audiences and share your knowledge with travelers by creating an audio guide. Here are the 7 steps to creating and publishing a self-guided audio tour.


GlobeTrott Travel is a platform where locals share insights with independent travelers in a form of self-guided audio tours. Currently, we offer digital tours in 27 cities in 4 languages, with more tours being added on weekly basis. Tours are available using GlobeTrott Travel mobile application available on the Apple App store and Google Play store.




We have conducted extensive research with curious travelers you want to engage with, and we are excited to share it with you. The recommendations below highlight what they are looking for in a great audio tour.


1. Define the area: Which part of the city do you want to showcase?


The traveler will be walking on foot, so there is no way they will be able to see the whole city. Therefore, you need to choose one area of the city, ideally walkable within 4 hours. Remember, your self-guided audio tour is going to be one of a few activities that the traveler will do that day. We say - less is more! Instead of creating one long all encompassing tour, create a few shorter area-specific tours.


2. Topic: What is your tour about?


What is the story you want to tell with this tour? Do you want to share stories about the city's history by guiding travelers to major landmarks? Or perhaps you are passionate about architecture and your tour will feature the most impressive buildings in the city. Or maybe you are into the alternative cultural scene of the city and you want to show that part of the city to the traveler? Local hosts have published tours featuring street art, music, politics, and innovation in their cities.


With so much to see in every city, a solid topic makes it easier for you, the tour creator, to select what should be included in your self-guided tour. Nevertheless, it enhances travelers' experience as they know what to expect when choosing a tour.


3. Choose sights where you want to stop at


You probably have a long list of sights you want to include, now it is time to narrow it down to the exact objects that will be included in the tour. Keep in mind that they all have to be within a walkable range. We believe that the ideal tour should have between 12 - 18 sights, as it’s the number:

  • that travelers believe provides a valuable amount of information and are willing to pay for;

  • Allows you to include a range of sights, including both main landmarks and hidden gems;

  • Creates a tour that is about 2+ hours long, which is pleasant and not overwhelming.

What sights will you choose to include is completely up to you.



4. Scriptwriting: tell an engaging story


Of course, you can record the audio right away, however, the majority of content creators write the script first to ensure that it includes all the facts they want to say. Key things to remember when writing the script are:

  • Write the script as a story. People enjoy the tour better when the tour is more than just a combination of the facts.

  • The ideal duration of the audio file is 1:30 to 3:00 minutes - plenty of time to share a detailed story about an object. If there is more information you would like to share about the object - maybe it is worth considering creating two audio files that should be listened to in different locations. Example: Main entrance to St. Pauls Cathedral and St. Pauls Cathedral Courtyard.

  • Include points of engagement to maintain the listeners' attention. Phrases like “Can you see [...]?”, “Did you know [...]?” or even jokes work great to re-engage the listener and direct their attention.

  • While planning a text for the audio, we recommend not referring to other sights that will be visited during the whole tour. This way you will always have the freedom to adjust the flow of the tour (adding and removing new objects), as well as use already produced content about the sight in your future tours.

  • As with every piece of content, review it with fresh eyes (ideally a few days after it was written or ask a friend), so that you could see where more details should be added or removed.

GlobeTrott Travel team is always here to provide their advice on your content pieces as well.


5. Record separate audios for each sight.


High-quality audio without the ‘uuumh’ and ‘aah’ or distracting background noise is most pleasant to listen to. You can either record the audio at a professional studio, record it at home or hire a professional voice-over artist (our team has several vetted suppliers).


Whichever option you choose, when recording it is essential to make sure that you sound friendly, knowledgeable, and lively. No one likes a boring monotomous tone and overly official representation of information. Imagine that you are taking your friend on a tour around the city, and the jokes will flow into the script smoothly.


6. Photos: a visual aid to discover the sights


Just like a good guidebook, GlobeTrott Travel mobile application provides images to travelers as a visual aid, almost like a confirmation that they are in the right location, especially when it comes to the hidden gems. When taking images please be mindful of the requirements:

  • The picture must be taken in a portrait format and show the object itself or a relevant image.

  • Provide the credits to the author of the image. If you took the image, it will be yourself, while if you need to use publically available images, always double-check what are the copyrights of using the images.


7. Let’s bring everything together: technical details GPS coordinates and radius


Your tour is now 50% ready, so let’s get to some technical details that any software for tour guides will need.


Name of the site

You will need to name your sites. For objects, we recommend using the exact name that it is known for. Example: ✅The Louvre in Paris vs ❌ Best museum in the world

Geolocation

This exact location that you will choose on the map will be shown to the traveler in the self-guided tour. We suggest you think about the best spot for the traveler to stand in order to clearly see the object and listen to your audio recording.


The easiest way to get geo-location coordinates is by walking the route of the tour yourself or using Google Street Views. As you arrive at the exact location where the traveler should be standing open Google Maps, zoom in on your current location, click on the screen and copy the coordinate details with a right click. You can also share these coordinates with yourself using WhatApp or other social media, and add the information to the document when you return home


When using Google Maps to access geo location be mindful that the location you select is (1) a place from where the traveler will be able to see the object well and (2) is not in the middle of the building. This is especially relevant for Massive landmarks like Buckingham palace in London. If you will choose coordinates in the middle of the building (or on the top of the building while looking at the maps) it will make it impossible for the user to get to the point shown on the map. Therefore, it is better to choose the coordinates that reflect the spot in front of the sight the traveler will be visiting.


Radius

To help travelers navigate with ease the audio for individual sights start to play automatically as they approach the object in their self-guided tour. The question you need to answer is when should the audio auto-play start to play.


If we are talking about bigger buildings, squares, parks, and monuments, perhaps it would make sense to trigger the audio within a bigger distance, since the sight can be seen and found from further away. Hence, 50 meters or 100 meters will make more sense. Although, if we are talking about smaller hidden gems or narrow streets where your sight is more difficult to find, if the site is hidden, perhaps using a radius of 10 or max 25 meters would make more sense, to give the traveler a heads up to start paying attention to look around.


Suitable for locals

Locals are just as eager to learn about the hidden gems of their city. Ask yourself “ do most people living in the city know this? “ If the answer is no when the sight is suitable for locals.


Sight specific The majority of stories in your tour will be linked to a specific sight, such as a street art mural, sculpture, courtyard, or a place of worship. If the traveler should be standing in a particular location to see the object for themselves - these are sight-specific stories (tick yes). Every city has important stories, such as legends about how the city began, short historic overviews,s or commentary about day-to-day life, these can be listened to while they are walking between objects and are not sight-specific (leave blank).


Now simply share these details with the GlobeTrott Travel content manager and they will integrate the tour into the platform.



Digital platforms allow locals to share their insights with arriving visitors at their own convenience. You create the content once and continue to earn income from sold tours for years. If you have not done so already, pitch your tour and tell the story of your city.