How did we look for unusual tourism in Russia, and what kind of adventures generally happen
Ethiopia is a photograph from an adventure where you need to live a bit with a tribe to go through their lands.
15 years ago, we started with the most accurate train schedule. Then we continued to make a service where you can get all the travel information. And now the time has come for those adventures that are not excursions and not organized tours.
For example, you knew that there is a Russian special forces university near Grozny, and you can go there to study basic shooting training, driving off-road buggiesand just try the local cuisine? But strictly without alcohol. Or is it possible to send a child to the North Pole on foot expeditions that have been led by polar explorer Matvey Shparo for more than 10 years? Or that you can go to Moscow, get to the secret level of Sokolnikov and have a hug there in the kennel with huskies who rolled foreigners on sleds for the World Cup? Save a mannequin in the mountains with lifeguards?
The problem with this market is that it is partially shadow. In the sense, these are most often individuals who make tours without proper design. But there are the same unusual children's camps. And in general, the market is gradually civilizing. Nevertheless, finding everyone in a row is quite difficult.
And we made a service where we started collecting them all. Those same buggies for special forces.
What was on the market in 2018?
Imagine that you know something cool about your city. For example, you can perfectly tell about the City of Chekists in Yekaterinburg, show everything about constructivism, and then lead them into an apartment and tell how these houses are arranged from the inside. This is a wonderful tour that can be taken on portals with excursions. Now imagine that you know a little more and can put together an entire adventure for several days. For example, take people from the ecological station to the forest, put up a tent and watch the passage of birds during their migration. Or you can lead people into a large cave with a couple of nights. Such things, too, gradually took shape as field trips or “multi-day excursions”, but they were already on the brink of clarity in today's adventure selection services.
In 2015–2018 groups of people stood out who collected large tours, for example, to Lake Baikal, to Teriberka, to various nature reserves for several days. There were gastrotour: this is when a blogger in the food category realized that he could take people to the same Georgia, conduct them to all the right places and feed everyone delicacies well.
Such people existed according to the model of inclusive communities: usually it started with the audience of one blogger or VKontakte group (Instagram account), the first trips were conducted, and then word of mouth worked. Just recounting them is already a problem. They were not advertised outside and did not crawl out anywhere.
In these conditions, we decided to collect information about all such unusual adventures.
The first task is simply to find those who drive such unusual tours. A brief investigation revealed that the market began five years ago with photographers. Relatively speaking, the photographer wants to go shoot something in Paris. He pays his margin there, takes people out, teaches them and rides for free himself. This model has developed rapidly. The nest of requests for “photo tours” was easy to calculate, we got all the photographers taking their people on tours. There are even nu tours when a group of people strips a group of other people in another country and photographs it. But more often we are talking about trips to exotic places with beautiful nature. There is no single standard: someone gives tasks and lets people out in Istanbul, someone leads people in a crowd and gives lectures, someone just provides a route to beautiful places.
Looking at the photographers, other craftsmen connected. The first were fitness trainers. More precisely, fitness coaches (instructors). This is yoga in different places of the world. The model is already scaled, because if the photographer needs the photographer himself (and it burns out in a few years), then any instructor, including a local one, is suitable for a fitness tour. And it's important to get people together. Another nest of requests is about fitness tours, yoga and hashtags search on Instagram, and we have a list of such tours.
Looking at fitness trainers and photographers, travel bloggers suddenly realized that they were experts in certain regions. And people are willing to pay for this expertise. And away we go. Gastro tours appeared. Jeep tours appeared. Immersive trips with the theater have appeared - it's like you are the hero of the Game of Thrones, but you will survive in Armenia and in the end.
From an immersive adventure in Armenia. 40 actors, costumes, three days, the plot, as in CRPG, and many plot branches. This tour has an adventure modeled for each traveler on a psychological profile. Relatively speaking, at a crucial moment they take the guest away and give something special or do something else magical. Someone is reading a poem. Or the monk is led out to ruin everything. Or everyone goes to the bar, and the guest is taken to another bar, where he is completely his own. In general, catharsis, tears - that’s all.
Art tours appeared when you go not just to the European gallery, but with the right person who can tell you everything so that you instantly begin to understand what the artist wanted to say. Even if he didn’t want to say anything. There were shopping tours, but not the same as before for shuttles in the spirit of “came to Athens, bought fur coats, left full”, but such that a guide or a stylist walks with you and helps to pick up something at European sales, for example. There are outlets routes. You can just go to lavender fields in Provence, or you can buy honey, lavender, and visit incense plants. From a motorcycle tour of Nepal.
There are girls' tours: this is when before the wedding there is the last chance to walk in a girl's company. Although recently the trend is this: the wedding has absolutely nothing to do with it! Such tours became "just girls" with a program designed for female hobbies.
Ethno-tours: this is when you live with some small people (there are in Africa) or immerse yourself in the life of another culture. There are horse tours when you ride horses. From a four-day horse tour for 5 thousand rubles.
How people searched
In total, there were about five thousand people in Russia (more precisely, tour authors or author groups) who conduct such tours.
With photo tours it was relatively simple: this is a banal extension of the semantic core of search queries with filtering by stop words. For everything else, we used the following strategies:
- They simply corresponded with famous bloggers on the topic (for example, gastrobloggers or travel bloggers) and checked whether they conducted tours.
- We followed the hashtags on Instagram and monitored travel reports with atypical tags (such as #russiantravelgeek).
- They highlighted frequently traveling people on Instagram and looked at which accounts they like. Of these, travelers were also singled out. If 5-6 travelers like the same account - most likely, there are tours. And if there are tours, then inside there are still travelers. Most of the inclusive Instagram communities we “unwound” precisely through such a social graph. There really is a long tail.
Then they started contacting these people and asking if they were still alive. Many have already stopped driving, many drive once or twice a year "for the soul", but someone works stably. We called them.
Then they called those tour operators who do non-standard things like traveling to the pole on a nuclear icebreaker.
As a result, we got Tutu Adventures.
We work as a paid bulletin board. You leave the application directly to the tour author. No monetary relationship between us and the traveler. At the end of each month, we consider applications and set a small percentage of the commission (very small). If the author wants to stay on the Adventure site, he pays. If not, we turn it off (that is, everyone has a trial month).
If a person showed up, but did not go, this is considered an application. That is why the commission from the application is many times lower (it is 1%) than the commission from the order in an ordinary travel agency. We sell hot leads, but not guaranteed orders. It is possible to challenge spam applications, competitors ’leprosy (we store all the texts of applications, we see suspicious activity when the same person sends an exorbitant number of applications, and so on), but if a person leaves an application and then breaks down as the details are clarified, no , This is a lead, which then could not be brought to the order.
We don’t disclose the income of the organizers to anyone.
Now you can enter the service for half a year of free placement after passing through a simple filter: our security guards will check the legal entity or individual entrepreneur for legal incidents and the founder (or the author of the tour) - the same thing. Plus there will be a reputation analysis by reviews. So far, none of the authors have been rejected, but one tour operator - yes. For legal reasons. Even at the entrance, debts, permits for activities are checked.
Bottom line: if you don’t know what to do on the weekend, or are looking for an option to go with Fedor Konyukhov, we collected the database, did a working search on it (more precisely, now it is already choking in the classifier, and we are converting it to a more usable one) and We show everything at once in one place. If earlier it was impossible to simply take and find eight options for bachelorette parties in Istanbul due to the inclusiveness of communities, now they are all on the site conditionally. One costs 50 thousand, the other 150, the third 60. And you can see what is included in each, compare and solve. Previously, there were cases of uneven pricing due to the fact that travelers did not have the opportunity to compare. Now prices have become more transparent.
The first applications took place in March. In March, we conducted a survey about who goes on copyright tours and how, and it turned out that 68% of people do not even know that this is possible in principle. We are now talking about the main audience of those who buy train tickets in Russia: for the most part, these are not geeks and not the most wealthy people.
In the future we want to make a search and comparison platform. Entrance control from completely unreliable organizers. Then - so that the reviews give realistic quality information. The ability to leave feedback means the possibility of control, otherwise the tourist becomes uninteresting to the operator immediately after receiving the money. The organizer is also convenient to cooperate with us: he receives a stream of applications.
Now everyone is coming to us, including market leaders. Brand trust here is such that they often want to associate with us, because this is one of the few ways to prove your reputation.
Here are some more ideas in the end: Sailing tour of Greece. Sap tour on the boards in Slovenia. From the adventure of kitesurfing A-trip. Former KVN workers make bus tours to Europe and the Caucasus. Five years of experience in casual dating and team mixing. Weekend in the rescue team. That's it, come to the catalog to see what else happens . Or join if it is your business. But there is still no visit to the ISS.