What is it about a tour business name that makes it stick with you? Humour, fancy acronyms or play-on-words all have their place in the travel industry. Ever wonder how some companies land on their tour name?
When you are just starting a tour operator business, you have to come up with a name that stands out in people’s minds. A memorable tour name helps to curate brand recognition and bring more customers your way. And as people grow to be familiar with your tour brand, they’ll develop a positive association with it.
What’s in a tour business name?
A tour name can have a polarizing effect on people. It should define your tour business type, give guests an idea of what you offer and speak to your values, like if you offer ethical travel and tours.
With many different types of businesses in the tourism and travel industry, it’s vital to capture your audience’s attention with just a few words. In trying to figure out how to attract potential customers to your tour business, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want your business to stand for?
- How do you want your tour business to fit into the market
- How do you want your tour business to work for you?
Tourpreneur addresses some common challenges when it comes to naming a tour business. You want to land on something that’s fun, memorable and sets your tour business apart. And ideally, you want your name to accurately represent the experiences you set out to provide.
Is there a secret sauce to choosing a name? Maybe a little bit.
Let’s take a look at how Google reads your website.
Google defines keywords as words or phrases that describe your product or service. They’re how search engines match websites with terms people are looking for.
When looking for keywords to use for a good tour name, aim to pick terms that will attract the right audience to your site. The best way to do this is to get specific.
It’s also a good idea to use your name your tour business after the area you’re located in. That way you capture audiences looking for activities or tours in your city or town. Remember, your goal is to attract people who are interested in an experience where you are located.
Google understands when words are related and searches for keywords on your site based on your link structure. So, it might be worthwhile to include a few common keywords that prospective guests use throughout your main web pages as well as in your tour name, if you can.
This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. And before your eyes glaze over, I hope to simplify how SEO impacts your tour business.
Choosing based on sentimental value or having to explain can be challenging for climbing search engine ranks.
- Do you have a lot of competition for the name?
- What are your unique selling propositions (USPs)?
- How do you attract guests?
- What demographic do you tend to attract?
- Is the website name available?
SEO involves adding elements to your site so search engines (like Google) can find and rank you. And while quirky statements or deliberate misspellings aren’t always savvy for SEO, they can help you to stand out with the right tactics.
The basics of tour name SEO:
- Identify what your customers are searching for
- Learn how to create content that will match their query
- Set your site up so Google can find and understand it
While SEO can be intimidating, understanding the basics can have a huge effect on your website traffic, and ultimately your bottom line. So what does this all have to do with naming your tour?
Well, with nearly 85% of travelers using their smartphones to book travel activities online, guests are likely using a search engine to find what they’re looking for. If you want modern travelers to book your tours and activities you have to be available online. Even more importantly, they have to be able to find you on the web and it all starts with a good tour name.
How to find tour name ideas
Happen to find yourself in an emerging market or have little competition? Choose a straightforward name that has the activity and location right within the name. Potential guests are going to search for experiences by typing in the activity type in a specific location.
Imagine as a guest in a major city, that tours are offered by bike, boat or on foot. How will travelers narrow their search?
To help guests find you, be specific and simplify your name to detail the activity, location and tour type you offer. Descriptions help to provide a compelling reason to book with you if guests are looking for an easygoing pace on their tour.
The goal is to use as few words as possible to help future guests find your tour business. Simplicity can help your online presence. Make sure to include keywords for the type of tour you offer, your location, and any subcategory or distinct feature. Try using the template of both category and name:
Category: Location & Keyword for Tour Name: Distinguishing feature
Category: Victoria by Bike Name: The Pedaler: Victoria Bike Tours
Aim to choose a short, easy-to-spell name with two to five words. But what if you offer multiple activities under one business umbrella? Is there a defining word that can work to allude to the types of activities you provide?
Examples of clever tour names
- Two Wheelin’ Bike Tours
- Rapid Cycling Bikes
- Pedaling about [City] Cycling Tours
- [ City ] Bikes and Brews – Brewery tours by Bike
- Spokes and Snacks — Scenic Bike Rides in the Pacific NorthWest
Pretend your name is Ronan and you live in Scotland where you operate Row Boat tours in Lochness Lake. Does the name Ronan’s Rowboat Tours sound both catchy and descriptive?
If you’re considering this tour name for the long term, is there the potential that you may want to scale in the future? And if so, what would happen if a person named Linsday wants to run this type of rowboat tours in another City. Does the name still make sense?
- Scenic [ City ] Tours by Boat
- Boat Tours [ City ]
- Water Adventure Tours
- Paddling [City] Tours
- Taste of [City] Food Tours
- [your name] [City] Smorgasbord
- Gastronomy by [your name] [City]
- Walking in [City]
- Wake up [City] Walking Tours
- [City] by Foot Walking Tours
- Pacing about Portland – if you enjoy alliteration
Instead, if you name your business something like “Cloggin’ about Chicago” most people know that clogs are shoes and can put the two together. Still, it might be a stretch. Ideally, you want to squeeze in the most basic version of what you offer in your name.
Better yet, name your tour company using layperson’s terms like Inner [City] Walking Tours. By naming your tour after the location and activity, you’ll answer the main questions guests will have. In your tour description, you’ll be able to further niche down what you offer.
What happens if your tour name is already taken?
You may notice a lot of similarities when it comes to tour names. If you’re in a saturated market, it’s best to eerr on the side of caution. Try to make sure you’re not borrowing someone else’s name for the sake of simplicity.
For instance, if you run walking tours, there’s a good chance your competition will also have “walking tours” in their name. To avoid conflict, see if you can get more creative by adding in something instead like Frankly Fun Food Tours or [your name] Classic Culinary Adventures. You can be a bit cheeky but there are too many clever names available to be a copycat in a competitive industry.
To give you a first-hand account, Tourpreneuer tackled this topic in the podcast episode with Lauren McCabe sharing how she built up and chose the name for her food business.
For scalability, steer clear of using your own name. Unless you’re Rick Steeves’ — globally known tour guide, then it’s probably a good call to brand your tour company as Rick Steeves tours.
But, not all is lost if you find yourself with a name buddy. Your solution? Amp up your marketing efforts. Picture more video marketing, a heightened social media presence. Be ready to adapt and identify areas where your business shines. No need to get petty with another business, provided they’re not copy-catting your business name.
Words are powerful and when it comes to first impressions, they can hold a lot of weight. Choosing a tour name is one element of creating a successful tour business. So, if you can land on a catchy tour name that aligns with your values and provides memorable experiences for guests, you’re well on your way to building your tour brand.
Consider how people find you and what they’re looking for in an experience. Then, aim to have your tour name be representative of the type of activity guests are searching for. Ideally, you want to take your time selecting your brand name because it’s likely to stick with you for as long as you’re in operation.
From here, add detailed descriptions to help your tours stand out to travelers. By choosing a tour name that represents the type of business you plan to run and describes what you offer, you make it that much easier for guests to book an experience with you as they search online for their next adventure.