Q – How old is Travel Curious?
A – We used to be known as Touriocity, started in Rome in 2009 and has evolved into a tours and activities platform, which services high-end hotels and their customers in multiple destinations to provide access to the best local experiences around the world. Read our whole story here.
Q – What kind of customers do you have?
A – Our tours attract customers who come from all over the world and all walks of life, though generally, they are native English speakers. Our guides consistently say that our customers are always great guests, with interesting questions and upbeat curiosity. We know you will love them as much as we do.
Q – How do Travel Curious bookings work?
The process is designed to be very intuitive and quick for guides to respond:
- The customer discovers our tours through our partner’s website (for example, a partner hotel’s website) or our own.
- Based on the profile you have created with us and the tours that you added to your tour offer, we will match the customer to the best-suited guide.
- We will send out the booking opportunity email to all the guides who have selected themselves as able to fulfil the tour who can either reply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
- If you click ‘Yes‘, you have confirmed both your interest and availability in conducting the tour. Please note: This is not a booking confirmation.
- The platform chooses the most suited guide among those that clicked “Yes” based on the guide experience and interests, and the customer profile.
- If you are the selected guide, you will receive a booking confirmation within 24 hours and a few days before the tour, we will send you a complimentary email that includes all relevant details for leading the tour (meeting point, group size, tickets that need to be purchased in advance, and transport information, etc). Guides who were not selected to fulfil the tour will also receive a status notification email.
- You (or the selected guide) conducts the tour.
- Upon completion of the tour, we will encourage the customer to review the tour and we will send an email directing the customer to the appropriate place to do so. Good reviews for you correlate highly to the probability of being matched for future bookings.
- You are paid for all completed tours. Payments are made halfway through the month and at the end of the month.
Custom Tour Requests
We also offer custom tours in which we work with our partners and you, the guide, to create a tour in line with the customer’s preferences. The process flow is quite similar but if there is customisation, we will work with you directly.
Q – Does it matter if I turn down the tour?
A – Of course not. We know guides are not always available to do tours. We will still continue to offer you tours until you tell us otherwise. Please note it is on you to keep up to date with our tour offerings and update your individual profile to reflect the tours you are interested in leading. To keep you up to date, we will periodically send updates when we add new tours to your destination.
Q – How do you allocate tours between guides?
A – During the vetting and setup process, you will discuss with the guide community manager your interests and expertise for the cities in which you operate. The information is tagged in the system and then booked tours are matched to relevant tour guides and their specialities. We invite multiple guides to register their availability for a tour, but it will be allocated and fulfilled by the best available guide suited for that specific tour. Because of this, we encourage you to complete your guide profile as thoroughly and accurately as possible, which will increase the likelihood of you fulfilling our tours.
Q – Who pays for entrance tickets?
A – The booking confirmation email you will receive will contain this information. In case you need to purchase the tickets yourself, you can add this as an expense onto the reconciliation sheet on the Travel Curious platform and you will be reimbursed in full together with payment for conducting the tour.
Q – Does the guide have to pay for their own entrance ticket?
A – Most of our guides have free access to attractions. If this is not the case, then you must inform us during the vetting process so that this can be considered in the pricing of tours. In situations where the guide does not have free entrance into specific attractions, it will be treated as an expense and the company will reimburse the guide the full amount of the ticket as part of the reconciliation. This occurs during the middle and end of each month.
Q – What is the maximum number of people on a tour?
A – The maximum number of people varies depending on the tour, as some attractions have restrictions on group size. Though we predominantly offer private tours (typically two to four people), we are including gradually group tours for our channel partners. It is unlikely for a group to exceed 15 people. Also, at the time we offer you the tour, we will inform you of the group size and implications if the group is larger.
Q – What rate do you use to pay guides?
A – We pay guides according to standard, predetermined rates based on destination. These rates are periodically reviewed and we are happy to discuss the local rates for your destination. If our rates change in a city, we will inform all of the guides who work there.
Q – Will you negotiate different fees with different guides?
A – We have a set fee for guides in each city for our standard tours, and these fees are monitored in order to ensure fair payment to the guides while optimizing costs for our customers. Of course, for more specialised tours, it is possible for a price to be negotiated as it may not adhere to the standard prices.
Q – What do we do about VAT?
A – We connect guides to discerning customers operating as an agency service for tour guides. Travel Curious is registered in England and Wales. According to English law, where agency services are provided to a business, any VAT is payable where the business is located. As such, it is the responsibility of tour providers to make their own arrangements with local tax authorities regarding the payment of value-added taxes.VAT registered guides working within the EU will be required to let us know their VAT number in order that Travel Curious may comply with EU reporting requirements.
Q – Does the guide have to pay his own VAT?
A – Because of the different VAT laws by country, you will discuss this in your vetting process, though generally, the onus will be on you to understand the VAT policies in the places you lead tours.
Q – How do you pay the guides?
A – Typically, we take payments by Stripe, bank transfer, or PayPal. We do not make payments in cash. We incur all the fees that we have control over, however, your bank or Paypal may charge you a transactional fee that we have no control over.
We highly encourage our guides to use Stripe as it is used to take payment from customers booking a tour, therefore provides a streamlined process that eliminates bank transfer fees.
Q – How often do you pay the guides?
A – We reconcile with all guides globally twice a month, at which time you will be paid in full for any tours you have given in the last two weeks. These payments are made halfway through the month and at the end of the month. Please be sure to load all of your invoices within a few days of a tour and fill in the Guide expense form to ensure you are paid in the same cycle.
Q – How long in advance will I know about the tour?
A – We allow bookings up to 48 hours in advance, but our clients typically book tours 3 months in advance. You will be contacted immediately once a tour, which you are tagged to, has been booked. From here, it is up to you to get back to us immediately registering your interest. Our system then matches the available guides to specific customers requirements, before allocating the best-suited guide to a tour.
Q – Can guides be paid in advance?
A – Generally no. However, if there is a substantial outlay of expenses, we will work with you on an ad hoc basis to provide advanced payment.
Q – Who pays for transport?
A – There is an amount allocated and the mode of transit will be communicated in advance for tours. If the customer decides to use a mode of transit that is outside of what is included in the tour description and discussed in advance, then the customer will be responsible for paying on the day of the tour. For example, if the tour includes public transit, and the customer opts for a different mode of transportation, then the difference is paid by the customer at the time payment is required.Note: if you are a driver-guide, you must hold the necessary insurance to cover this service. This will be checked by our vetting team during your initial sign up, and you are responsible for communicating any changes in your licenses and insurance.
Q – What currency do you pay in?
A – While we prefer to pay in Euros (€) or British Pounds (£), we are happy to make a payment in your local currency. If you wish to be paid in a local currency, you need to communicate with us during your vetting process. As an additional note, it is on you, the guide, to keep your payment information up to date on your profile.
Q – If I am unavailable, can I recommend another guide to do the tour?
A – Of course you can recommend another guide to offer the tour. However, they will need to go through our vetting process to ensure that they meet the same quality standard as you have already met as an approved Travel Curious guide.
Q – Do I need insurance to conduct tours?
A – First, it is important that you hold the relevant insurance and licenses according to the laws of the country and cities in which you operate. We will discuss the current insurance you hold during an interview (therefore, please be ready to discuss this and show proof when your call is scheduled). You can still apply to be a Travel Curious guide without holding insurance; however, we will not be able to allocate you any tours until you are covered. We are happy to work with you to find a safe and thorough policy.
Q –What do I do if I can’t find the traveller at the meeting location at the agreed time?
A –We will provide you with the contact number for the main traveller in the booking confirmation and we advise that 24hs prior to the tour you either call or message them to introduce yourself and to confirm the meeting location and start time of the tour.
If you can’t find them at the meeting location at the agreed time please call the traveller immediately using the number provided.
In the event that you can’t reach your traveller by phone, please get in touch with Travel Curious at our emergency numbers US +1 212 710 1322 – UK +44 20 30092392 or on our mobile +447378178436 (Whatsapp and Facetime available)
Q – What do I do if there is an accident during the tour?
A – In the event of an accident, please first ensure the customer’s safety. When it is no longer an emergency, please reach out to Travel Curious with a full incident report. Please note, we will also be contacting the customer directly once we have spoken to you.