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Bond, Churchill, and the Royals: Growing a Bespoke Tour Business with The London Storyteller

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Bond, Churchill, and the Royals: Growing a Bespoke Tour Business with The London Storyteller

Growing a bespoke tour business

Plus Tom's 3 major value bombs on how you can start/grow a tour business.

Tour Operator Tom Barclay Matchett reveals how he went about growing a bespoke private tour business and provides his insight into the creative side of engaging business and guests through storytelling.

He walks us through the genesis of The London Storyteller tour business and how he designs his different bespoke tours, with themes ranging from 007 to Winston Churchill.

He explains how his years of working in different environments came together to inform his business operations.

Tom also shares the three major lessons/value bombs he learned about growing a tour business and underscores the value of trusting your creative instinct.

“Tours aren’t about going out with a set script. People like it when you have passion and enthusiasm about your subject.” -

Tom Barclay Matchett - The London Storyteller

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is kindly sponsored by The Tourpreneur Facebook Group

More about today’s guest - The London Storyteller Tom Barclay Matchett

Thomas Barclay Matchett is the founder of The London Storyteller tour business, a provider of bespoke cultural discovery and storytelling tours and experiences.

The London Storyteller shares the stories of the people, places, and personalities that make London one of the finest cities in the world.

With 12 years of business experience, Tom has worked in a multitude of environments and founded and co-founded various other businesses prior to The London Storyteller.

This includes Studio Boho, a boutique video production company, and FAD Live, a specialist in social media broadcasting.

Growing a bespoke tour business with the London Storyteller

This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • The accidental genesis of The London Storyteller

  • How years of working in different environments helped Tom launch the London Storyteller

  • How Tom curates and designs his bespoke London tours

  • The research involved in Tom’s work and how he anticipated demand for his different tours

  • The value of passion, enthusiasm, and insider experience in giving a tour

  • The importance of trusting your creative instinct and organically building a vision
  • Approaching guests and tours as a blank canvas

  • The challenge of trusting your creative instinct and confronting your imposter syndrome

  • Playing into your strengths and making new trends work for you

  • How digital disruption impacted The London Storyteller

  • Thinking big as a small business and going toe to toe with prominent brands such as Expedia

  • Marketing tours to locals and adapting to COVID-19

  • Tom’s tips and tricks to reading an audience

Our Favorite Quotes:

“One of the great advantages of being in some places like London is there are stories on the corners of every street.” – Tom Matchett

“Trust in your creative instinct and you’ll see the bigger picture.” – Tom Matchett

“Once you’re comfortable with being really terrible at something, you’ll realize you’ve got nothing to fear. You just need to allow yourself to keep getting better.” – Tom Matchett


Shane Whaley

Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.

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