Introducing Operator Stories

Douglas Quinby

by | Dec 6, 2018

In a recent planning meeting, Arival’s recently appointed editor Peter Gietl shared something that struck a chord.

“When I tell my friends and family about what I do, that I’m writing about Tours, Activities & Attractions,” he said, “the reaction is always something like ‘Oh, you mean bus tours, right?’”

I’ve had this response myself more than once. And it usually comes with a pained expression that gives away what the person is thinking: a memory of being ferried about on a big tour bus, or following a guide around with an oversized lollipop sign.

My immediate response: “Hey, this is not your grandma’s tour bus!” *(See footnote.)

And then I start talking about some of the extraordinary companies that are creating all sorts of new tours, activities, and experiences. I talk about some of the incredible entrepreneurs who have presented at Arival, and the many more companies I’ve met since we founded Arival two years ago.

When Peter shared this recent experience of his, it just became so clear: We have to tell all of these incredible stories. There are more than enough media outlets covering the ups and downs of online travel agencies, hotels and airlines. We want to tell the amazing stories of risk-taking creators at companies small and large who are reinventing what we do when we travel. This is what gets the entire Arival team excited every day.   

Image courtesy of Fat Tire Tours

We Want To Tell Your Story

So we are introducing Operator Stories. Every week, Arival is going to tell a different tale of an operator of a Tour, Activity, Attraction, Event or Experience that is creating the future of our industry. Last week Peter profiled Michael Jensen, who runs the ghostly Haunted Key West.

And this week we’ve profiled Tom Medin from Local Tastes of the City Tours about challenging the status quo. 

Do you or someone you know have an incredible story that you think should be told? Email We want to hear from you.

We hope these stories will be informative and inspirational. We hope you’ll join us on this journey. Together, let’s tell  the story of the Best Part of Travel – Tours, Activities & Attractions.

* I love my Nana. She was an amazing lady and an awesome grandma. She traveled frequently – and independently – to Europe and Africa, and always came back raving


1-3 March, 2020

in partnership with

June 24 - 26, 2019

Orlando, FL
Oct. 28-31, 2019


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