10 Ways To Get Free Advertising For Your Tour Or Activity Business

You know what they say – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, there are ways to get your tour and activity in front of a relevant audience without breaking the bank. As people increasingly go blind when it comes to online ads, looking at free alternatives seems like a good idea. If you’re prepared to spend a little extra time and effort on promotion, you might as well take advantage of the many ways to get free advertising for your tour or activity business.

1. Free classified ads sites

Classified ads websites work like the ad sections in newspapers with one exception – they are free. So you can connect to people who may be looking for a tour or activity like yours without paying anything. Some of the more prominent examples on the web are sites like Gumtree in the UK, QUOKA in Germany, Subito in Italy, and Leboncoin in France. All you need to do is visit the bigger sites in your country and create a free listing.

2. Online directories

Another way to get free advertising is by getting listed on relevant directory sites. These normally list and rank services based on some criteria, such as customer ratings and reviews. Prominent examples here are Yelp, Foursquare, and Tripadvisor. So if you haven’t already, go there and claim your business page.

3. Get featured on listicles

Listicles are long resource pages that are frequently published by travel bloggers and other websites in the leisure industry. For example, a listicle may include something like “The best places to visit in Berlin”. If you contact the blog owner or webmaster, they can include you in such a listicle so you can reach their audience as well.

Just search for “things to do in {your city}” on Google and make a note of the top results and their contact pages. Then, approach the website and offer something in return for being included. This can be promoting the blog on your own website or at least sharing the article on social media once you’re included.

4. Google My Business

Google My Business lets you create a local listing on Google so people can find you on Google Maps. You will also appear in search results when people look for relevant local services (e.g. “segway near me”).

As travelers and even locals often use Google Maps to get around, it’s a great idea to get listed there so people can find you much easier. As a free option that gets you so much visibility, this one is a no-brainer.

5.  Guest blogging

While you may want to post on your own blog, guest posting on other sites is a great way to increase your reach for free. Similar to listicles, you will get access to the website’s audience while earning a backlink which helps you rank higher in search engines.

Guest blogging is a great way to advertise for free as it’s a win-win situation for both you and the website who is getting extra content for free. If you haven’t already, try and search for travel and leisure blogs on Google that are related to your tour or activity. Next, ask if they are looking for a guest post on a topic you know well. You can use tools like SimilarWeb and Moz to estimate the website’s reach and their domain authority.

6. Post in niche communities

While forums have traditionally been the prime example of where people hang out and communicate online, nowadays you have even better ways to reach niche communities. With websites like Quora and Reddit, you can quickly get access to a large relevant audience for free. On top of that, tools like Slack and WhatsApp are also becoming increasingly popular as a place to build and grow online communities.

All these services are free – you just need to register and search for relevant keywords for your tour or activity. Buy/sell groups and traveler communities in your city are a particularly good place to start. Once you join a particular group, start contributing to the discussions and include a link to your website in your profile description. Try to avoid promoting your business outright before you’ve developed some trust and authority within the group.

7. Give interviews on podcasts or articles

Another way to get free advertising while giving value to someone else is by contributing to podcasts or articles. If you have a strong opinion about your industry or matters concerning your customer persona, giving interviews is a great way to reach your audience.

Services like HARO allow you to quickly connect with journalists who are looking for industry experts to contribute to their articles. In addition, more and more podcasts are constantly created which are often highly targeted towards a specific group and are on the lookout for interesting guests to feature.

Just search on iTunes or another audio marketplace to find relevant podcasts and the contact details of the hosts. With some persistence, you might land incredible opportunities and reach thousands of people.

8. Giveaways and contests

While this is not exactly free advertising, it’s certainly an overlooked way to gain more reach and raise awareness about your tour or activity business. You can offer people a chance to experience your tour or activity for free in exchange for sharing your content or engaging with your brand in other ways.

If your offering is especially exciting, you can get a lot of exposure on social media and other places where your audience spends time. Simply decide on an offer and then ask people to participate by sharing the offer or engaging in another way with your brand for a chance to win the freebie.

9. Speaking engagements

Similar to being interviewed on podcasts and articles, getting speaking engagements where you can share your industry expertise is a great way to get exposure to your target audience. Apart from building your image as an expert in the field, you’re also helping the event organizer find relevant speakers. So you get access to their audience for free and they can provide a high-quality experience to guests. If you don’t shy away from giving a speech, why not search the web for relevant industry events and pitch the organizer with a killer topic that’s interesting to your target market?

10. Partner with other businesses

Finally, partnering with local businesses and exchanging referrals is another way to reach your target audience for free. You can promote businesses related to your niche in exchange for the same on their side. Maybe there’s a local restaurant or venue that your target persona often visits? Just reach out and offer a deal, aiming for a win-win situation and developing valuable partnerships with local businesses.


As you can see, there are multiple ways to advertise your tour or activity business for free if you put some extra time and effort. Even if you have a considerable advertising budget, taking advantage of those 10 free ways to advertise for free is always a good idea. After all, reaching your target audience at the right time and place is what’s important.

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