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Free Walking Tour Italia
Alessandro started Free Walking Tour Italia in 2018. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Free Walking Tour Italia?
The idea came upon a journey on the road from Shanghai to Cambodia. We participated in several Free Walking Tours and we realized it was a perfect way to discover cities from a new perspective...more real. Usually, Free Walking Tours have an easier and more funnier approach to the city tour, focusing more on the concepts than on details (that would easily be forgotten). They target an audience of independent travelers, not organized in big groups, on which Italian tourism never really bet and developed dedicated services, the street was therefore quite empty.
Lele (one of the 3 founders) asked us: “why shouldn’t we do it in Italy? It is not even well-developed”. The answer was right there “why not?!” and we simply started. We had an idea of the great potential of Free Walking Tours, before starting the adventure we deeply interviewed some of the Free Walking Tour managers around the world.
Our financial situation was a complete disaster, we were 28 and had very little money in our pockets. The only winning point was that we had a solid basis of project management and commercial management grew in other companies in which we were working as employees. We applied a professional approach to the business in an “American style”, which is not common in the Italian touristic sector.
We invested 3,000€ to register the company and start building our network of guides. Every single cent was reinvested, everything aimed at a brighter future and bigger achievements!
We spend a lot of time on QUALITY. Our tours must be the best ones, if they are not it means we have to work harder. We are used to thinking that the higher the price, the higher the quality but this is a huge lie!
The innovative format helped us a lot to foster the word of mouth around us. In Italy, it is also today unthinkable that a business can work and grow only thanks to donations, especially in tourism, where the mainstream approach is to “rip-off the tourist”. In the Free Walking Tour, participants decide what is the value of the tour at its end and are free to attribute the value they want (yes they are free not to give anything...but if you do a good job, why should they?!).
This created a big mess around us and pushed our visibility in a very short time.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater