How To Write a Tour Description With a Step-by-Step Example

Why is it that when someone asks about a tour over the phone, you can explain it in a way that makes them enthusiastic about booking, but as soon as you sit down to write a tour description, your mind goes blank?

You just can’t seem to translate that excitement into words. 

Don’t be hard on yourself; writing a description for tours and travel is notoriously tricky, even for experienced copywriters. How do you possibly describe an abstract experience to someone who’s never visited your destination before? Try to fit all the information they need to know into a single paragraph? While still persuading them to book?

Here’s the good news. The more tour descriptions you write, the better you’ll get at it, and you’ll start to learn what works as you increase conversion rates. But until you get up to speed, you might find it helpful to have a tour description example to work off of. 

If that’s the case, let’s workshop one together as I teach you a few insider copywriting tricks you can apply to both your tour descriptions on your website and online travel agent (OTA) listings today. 

An okay tour description example

Our award-winning coffee tour offers guests an inside look into traditional sustainable farming in Panama and its impact on the coffee industry. We’ve carefully designed this tour to show visitors every stage of the production process, from growing to roasting. Our guides are knowledgeable locals who lead a walk-through of a scenic farm, explain how the slopes of Volcan Baru make some of the world’s best coffee and show how to brew a delicious cup. We also provide free hotel pick-up and drop-off, bottled water, and a custom bag of whole beans to take home. 

How do you write a tour description that’s better?

Female tour operator sitting at a cafe, drinking coffee, learning how to write a tour description that sells

1. Speak to your audience

A tour description is not the place to boast — that’s for writing an About Us page. Your potential customers won’t care about how many awards your tour has won or what inspired you to create the tour. The only thing on their mind is what’s in it for them.

Before you even start writing a tour description, you need to figure out who you’re targeting; better put, who is your ideal guest? Once you have that answer, you can learn how to speak directly to them with a tone of voice they can relate to while highlighting exactly what they’re looking for.

Then, using the You Rule, you can write for that one person, which means instead of using the words “we” or “our,” you flip the script to support a “you” or “your” message. This makes the tour description more of a casual conversation, like chatting with them in-person or over the phone, helping to build a personal connection online.

Revision #1

Get an inside look into traditional sustainable farming and its impact on the coffee industry. You’ll learn about every stage of the production process, from growing to roasting, by our local experts who’ll take you on a walk-through of a scenic farm, explain how the slopes of Volcan Baru make the world’s best coffee, and show you how to brew a delicious cup. You’ll also get free hotel pick-up and drop-off, bottled water, and a custom bag of whole beans to take home. 

Group of tourists going on a coffee tour in Panama

2. Start with a hook

Since a tour description is often your last chance to win someone over, your first sentence has got to be attention-grabbing. Like a headline, it needs to stand out, draw the visitor in, and encourage them to keep reading. And the best way to do that is to zero in on a particular feature of the experience and turn it into a hook.

How? By going beyond the obvious benefit and tapping into the emotional value. For instance, it’s one thing to say that a tour has small group sizes and another to point out why that matters on a personal level. If you can solve what that is for your target guest, you’ll know how to talk to their heart and not their wallet, making the tour irresistible.

To come up with a hook, read your recent reviews to see what previous guests liked most about the tour and why. When you notice a trend, that’s what you should focus on as your leading benefit, keeping in mind the exact phrasing they use to make your hook more specific and relatable. 

If you are just starting out and don’t have any reviews yet, you can always break down the unique selling points of your tour using a similar table below, making sure to ask the million-dollar question, “so what?” to dig deeper into why guests will care.

Then, pick the best one. 

Revision #2

Love your morning cup of joe even more by discovering what goes into a satisfying brew on a coffee tour. You’ll learn about every stage of the production process, from growing to roasting, by our local experts who’ll take you on a walk-through of a real farm, explain how the slopes of Volcan Baru make the world’s best coffee, and show you how to brew a delicious cup. You’ll also get free hotel pick-up and drop-off, bottled water, and a custom bag of whole beans to take home. 

3. Show, don’t tell

There’s a popular TikTok and Twitter trend right now called #TheTellMeChallenge, where people ask others to tell them about something, usually a topic they can relate to, without explicitly stating it. Like tell me you have kids without telling me you have kids. 

As fun as this new challenge is, there’s actually something you can learn from it when writing your tour and travel description or any marketing content for your business, and that is: show, don’t tell

People are tired of overused travel words from tour operators, such as unforgettable, picturesque, hidden gem, must-see, etc. They’ve completely lost their meaning and impact and often get filtered out by the reader as fluff. On top of that, anyone can say their tour is terrifying or relaxing or exciting without justification. 

Instead, it’s much better to describe the tour in a way that elicits an emotional response rather than outright telling someone how to feel. You can do that by using more verbs than vague adjectives because verbs pull the reader into the action, especially if you use present tense to trick the brain into thinking the event is currently happening. 

Revision #3

Love your morning cup of joe even more by discovering what goes into a satisfying brew on a coffee tour. Stroll through the fields of a coffee farm in the Boquete highlands, plucking ripe berries with your own hands. Meet professional roasters and learn how to create a flavourful blend in a homemade roaster before tasting the difference between premium Geisha coffee and store-bought grinds. Get free hotel pick-up and drop-off, bottled water, and a custom bag of whole beans to take home. 

An elderly woman's hands picking coffee beans

4. Tell a story

Tour descriptions are different from product descriptions in that people aren’t only looking for certain features to compare across the board. Yes, they want to know what the main highlights are, but more so, they’re hoping to get an idea of what the tour will be like from start to finish. 

That’s because before they get to this point, it’s likely they’ve already visualized the type of experience they want to have based on stories from their favourite travel bloggers, recommendations from friends, and real-life advice in TripAdvisor forums. 

By setting a scene, you can bring the tour to life, helping to paint a picture in their head that’s similar to what they currently have in mind — or better. While also doing the impossible, making an intangible experience tangible by incorporating the magic of sensory words and vivid imagery. 

That said, if you aren’t the greatest storyteller, try consulting your guides, who are the experts and conveniently have the itinerary memorized. Simply ask them to describe the tour as a story, and depending on the length, summarize the key parts into 3-4 sentences.

Revision #4

Love your morning cup of joe even more by discovering what goes into a satisfying brew on a coffee tour. Stroll through the fields of a coffee farm on the slopes of Volcan Baru, hearing stories of farmers who’ve worked the land, growing premium Geisha coffee enriched by volcanic ash and lunar cycles. After plucking ripe, red berries with your own hands, you meet with professional roasters to create your own custom blend to take home before sipping an aromatic espresso with notes of mango on the open patio, admiring a panoramic view of the cloud-forest and the reddish-brown crema lining your cup. Can your coffee taste any better? Get free hotel pick-up and drop-off and bottled water. 

A male tour guide looking through the plants on a lust coffee plantation

5. Break up the details

At this point, you’re probably wondering when we’re going to get to the essential details. The description is already long enough; are we going to make it longer with more info?

Well, if you take a quick look at listings on OTA sites like Viator or GetYourGuide, you’ll see that they break up additional details using bullet points and clear section headings. Seeing as these global travel companies have an enormous booking volume, it’s safe to say that they’ve got the conversion data to back up this copywriting technique. 

Of course, it’s not hard to see why it works. Lists are easy to read compared to big, dense paragraphs. And since most website visitors are scanners, not readers, using bullet form in your booking page design can help them find what they need to know — faster. 

So, what details do you cover? 

Popular categories are What’s Included, What to Bring, Highlights, How to Get There, Cancellation Policy, and Safety Measures — you can use one or all depending on the type of tour. You can also answer questions you often get asked about your tours and activities, or at the very least, link to your FAQ page. 

Revision #5

Love your morning cup of joe even more by discovering what goes into a satisfying brew on a coffee tour. Stroll through the fields of a coffee farm on the slopes of Volcan Baru, hearing stories of farmers who’ve worked the land, growing premium Geisha coffee enriched by volcanic ash and lunar cycles. After plucking ripe, red berries with your own hands, you meet with professional roasters to create your own custom blend to take home before sipping an aromatic espresso with notes of mango on the open patio, admiring a panoramic view of the cloud-forest and reddish-brown crema lining your cup. Can your coffee taste any better? 

What’s Included:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Bottled water
  • Sample bag of whole beans
Coffee farms showing how to process coffee beans as part of the tour description

6. Remember keywords

Whenever you write copy for your website, you have to remember that you’re not just writing for your visitors; you’re writing for Google. That means you should try to use every keyword opportunity possible for better on-page SEO (search engine optimization). 

When it comes to your tour descriptions, your tourism keywords will change per tour depending on the specific queries people use to find them in the first place. If you haven’t done keyword research before, you can start by simply entering one of your tours into Google and see what related searches come up at the bottom of the results page. 

Then, all you have to do is find instances where you say “tour” in the description and replace it with the popular search term instead. Doing this step last ensures your keywords fit naturally within the tour description, rather than being stuffed. 

A tour description that sells

Love your morning cup of joe even more by discovering what goes into a satisfying brew on a Boquete coffee tour. Stroll through the fields of a coffee farm on the slopes of Volcan Baru, hearing stories of farmers who’ve worked the land, growing premium Geisha coffee enriched by volcanic ash and lunar cycles. After plucking ripe, red berries with your own hands, you meet with professional roasters to create your own custom blend to take home before sipping an aromatic espresso with notes of mango on the open patio, admiring a panoramic view of the cloud-forest and reddish-brown crema lining your cup. Can your coffee taste any better? 

What’s Included:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Bottled water
  • Sample bag of whole beans
A female guest enjoying a cup of coffee overlooking a cloud-forest

Isn’t that much better? Doesn’t it make you want to book this tour right now?

Now, it’s your turn!

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