Skift Take

Tour startups face many of the same challenges as their predecessors, but their sexy and unorthodox approach to art and sightseeing gives them the added boost of consumer-fueled marketing.

Series: Skift Podcast

Skift Podcast

Compelling discussions with travel industry leaders and creatives who are helping to shape the future of travel.

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World-renowned museums will always have a spot at the top of tourists’ bucket lists, however, a growing obsession with local and unique experiences makes a traditional local museum tour seem more like a homework assignment than cherished travel activity.

A small but growing group of entrepreneurs are responding to travelers’ changing expectations by building high-touch, low-tech experiences that share a different story at these local attractions that the general public wouldn’t otherwise know how to find.

In addition to consumer demand, these companies’ growth is largely due to the emergence of new technologies that streamline ticket sales and multiply marketing efforts online. They are relying on their customers, which consist of both locals and visitors, to spread the word through their digital social channels rather than rely on traditional tour operators or ads.

To discuss the growth of these unique travel experiences, host Samantha Shankman and Skift News Editor Dennis Schaal sat down with Nick Gray, founder of MuseumHack, which runs fast-paced tours through New York’s most famous museums, and David Behringer, founder of The Two Percent, which runs a live audio tour of New York art exhibitions.

We discuss changing consumer behavior, the role that technology and social media plays in building these kinds of travel businesses, business development challenges from TripAdvisor to mobile booking, and the evolving relationship between museums and these creative ventures.

You’ll hear more about what is driving demand, how museums and art galleries are responding to these changes, and whether these creative “untours” will replace the traditional local tours model all together.

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Tags: entrepreneurs, new york state, skift podcast, tours

Photo credit: Irreverent photos taken among storied pieces of art is just one part of the MuseumHack experience. MuseumHack