What is a Tour Guide Throwdown™? Think of it as a cross between a rap battle, speed pitching, and American Idol. Tour guides from all across the industry and the world — from theme parks and museums to independent tour owners — applied to be contestants. They submitted audition videos. Those that made the Qualifying Round (videos had to be 2 minutes or less) were then narrowed down to 12 Semi-Finalists. Semi-Finalists had their videos aired and judged upon LIVE by a panel of industry experts who then chose seven Finalists to deliver their “throw down” LIVE, on-the-clock and on-camera for the entire live audience to watch and help vote on. It was a UNIQUE, FUN, FREE, EXHILARATING online 2.5-hour event…and boy, did time fly!
Four Winners walked away with cash (total cash prize kitty hit $2800!!) and non-cash prizes (like free registration to a future Arival conference, two round-trip JetBlue airfare tickets, free food gift boxes, and over $2500 in educational material), plus (and probably most importantly) bragging rights to be the World’s Best Tour Guide!!
Many of the industry’s top companies partnered with Redeam for this event. Even if you’re not a tour guide, you might want to watch the spectacle that it was! (Redeam is working on posting the event recording in the near future)
Whether you work for an attraction or work for yourself, if you give tours for a living, Tour Guide Throwdown is THE performance competition of the year for you!! Imagine yourself on the virtual stage, showing off your mad tour guide skills for all your peers and the world to see! You will be judged on your ability to convey your tour in an educational and entertaining way. The twist? You will have to give your tour in under two minutes!
Compete for fantastic cash and other prizes! Don’t wait! Complete the form to the left to APPLY TODAY! (Rules and contest procedure detailed here)
All registered contestants are required to submit an audition screening video. If you have applied to be a contestant, click here to upload your video.
If you’re not a tour guide or just not interested in competing, you can still be a spectator and vote for the final winners! Tour Guide Throwdown will be free to watch LIVE! Registration for the live audience will open soon.
Register to be a part of the live audience on August 13th!!
Redeam has partnered with other fantastic industry companies who want to support tour guides in these tough times. Our Tour Guide Throwdown Partners include:
We’ve assembled a panel of esteemed industry judges, who are probably familiar to you already. They know what it takes to be a great tour guide, and they’re all excited to see you compete in this first-of-its-kind event!
Rod Cuthbert is the founder and former CEO & Chairman of Viator, the leading online seller of tours & activities. He was the CEO of transportation search engine Rome2rio, and is on the Board of Japanese OTA Veltra Corp. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and an advisor to several online travel startups. Rod’s favorite travel destination is Italy; he’ll be judging from his home in Melbourne, Australia.
After seeing tourists “do NYC wrong,” Nikki became a tour guide, helping people fall in love with her city for over nine years. For the past five years, Nikki ran a guide program for over 1,500 freelance tour guides in over 160 cities around the world, ensuring they gave amazing and consistent experiences, working across language, time zones, and cultural divides. Nikki is co-founder of the Global Guide Alliance, a work in progress that will be a place for guides around the world to connect and continue to grow. Nikki’s favorite tour was a Pinxtos Crawl in San Sebastian. Nikki will be judging from New York City.
Kelsey Tonner is an experienced, global tour guide and the founder of the Be a Better Guide Project, a movement that brings together tour leaders and tour operators from around the world to learn from one another. His mission is to help anyone, anywhere, create extraordinary experiences for travellers. Kelsey has led tours in over fifteen different countries. In 2015 Kelsey was chosen from thousands as one of eight short-listed guides for the Wanderlust World Guide Awards.
Shane Whaley is the founder and publisher of Tourpreneur, the website, podcast, and daily enewsletter focused on tour owner operators. Shane has worked in the online travel industry since 2002 for such companies as Booking.com, Secret Escapes, and Get Your Guide before founding Tourpreneur. He has spoken at various travel and tech conferences including EyeforTravel and Arival.
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