Top 20 Tours in Europe by Online Review Growth

We’ve crunched the data on Tripadvisor and found the top 20 tour operators in Europe based on growth in reviews

Reading Time: 5 minutes 14 seconds

The fastest growing types of tours in Europe during the last two years of pandemic have been boat tours or outdoors, according to new research from Arival.

Arival conducted a global analysis of review trends on Tripadvisor in early 2022 and compared it with identical data from 2019.

Many are based in the UK, reflecting strong domestic travel through the pandemic.

However, not all are the result of domestic tourism. Jeroen van der Schalie, owner of Captain Jack Amsterdam, third on the list with an increase in reviews of 1,649%, says all of the boat tours he runs are for international tourists. 

3 Key Tips for Getting More Online Reviews

Getting great online reviews is important for every tour and activity business. While the most important driver to get great reviews is to deliver a great  experience, here are three additional tips from the operators we spoke to:

  1. Ensure your guides  introduce themselves and the company at the beginning and end of the tour while, and make sure they ask for reviews. 
  2. Create communication reminders (email or text) after the tour to prompt your guests to leave review. Include a link directly to the site where you want them to write it. 
  3. Time them so your guests receive them when they’re still thinking about the experience (but give them enough time to get back to their hotel)

There’s a lot more to getting and managing your online reputation and reviews. Read this for a deep dive on online reviews

Captain Jack Amsterdam has an average rating of 5 on Tripadvisor.

Van der Schalie says that in order to increase reviews from guests, operators should make sure they understand their customers’ wishes. “I don’t have a trick or anything,” he says.

“If they want to party, they get to party. If they want history, I give them history. If they want to relax, I let them relax and that seems to work.”

Captain Jack Amsterdam has an automated email in place to prompt reviews after the trip. This is not sent immediately after the trip but is timed for when they may have arrived back at the hotel. It thanks them and asks if they have time to leave a review.

Top 20 Tours in Europe by Online Review Growth Ben Finch Arival
“If you do a really, really good job, people will respond to that,” Anthoula Gioldasi says — Edgar Serrano / Unsplash

In Greece, Athens Walking Tours have increased their reviews by 396% since 2019, placing them ninth.

Anthoula Gioldasi, marketing manager for the operator, agrees with Van der Schalie.

“First of all, honestly, if you do a good job, it will come out,” she says. 

“From what I see, people will leave a review if they’re extremely happy or extremely disappointed. People that are somewhere in the middle, they really don’t bother. So if you do a really, really good job, people will respond to that.”

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Gioldasi says that guides need to remember to introduce themselves and their company at the beginning of a tour and remind them at the end. If they don’t, many travelers may not remember and won’t be able to review the tour.

Athens Walking Tours also sends an email asking for reviews. This also directs to Google so those who don’t have a Tripadvisor account can review the tour there.

Both van der Schalie and Gioldasi say that business is good at the minute. Athens is “getting really, really close” to 2019 levels of tourism, Gioldasi says. Amsterdam has seen an ”explosion in tourism”.

Van der Schalie says: “It went from zero to 100 in in a few days.”

The Top 20 Tours in Europe by Tripadvisor Review Growth

Top 20 Tours in Europe by Online Review Growth Ben Finch Arival
Santa Maria de Leuca holds thousands of years of history — Mathilde Ro / Unsplash

20. Alexander Leuca, Italy

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 194%

Boat tours and parties on the shores of Santa Maria de Leuca, Italy 

19. Lagos Grotto Trips, Portugal

Category: Boat and watersports — 

Review growth: 195%

Boat tours to the caves and rock formations of the Algarve, Portugal

Top 20 Tours in Europe by Online Review Growth Ben Finch Arival
Dublin was home to writers Joyce, Beckett, Wilde, Swift, Yeats and Stoker, to name a few — Gregory Dalleau / Unsplash

18. Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, Ireland

Category: Walking

Review growth: 205%

Drink in the same pubs as the best English-language authors in Dublin, Ireland

17. GoBoat London, U.K.

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 225%

Self-drive boating along Regent’s Canal in London, England

16. JetSkiDream Isla Canela, Spain

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 236%

Jet ski trips across the border to Portugal, near Seville, Spain

Barcelona is surrounded by miles of beautiful coastline — Leyre / Unsplash

15. Boat Trip Barcelona, Spain

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 248%

Sailing trips along the Catalonian coast, from Barcelona, Spain

14. Original Wild, U.K.

Category: Adventure

Review growth: 253%

Adventure tours across southwest England, based out of Bath

13. Fun and Tickets Madrid, Spain

Category: Day tours

Review growth: 258%

City and day tours in various locations across Spain

Cars are increasingly banned from the center of Paris, making a Segway a great way to get around — Colin Maynard / Unsplash

12. Wheels and Ways, France

Category: Segway

Review growth: 308% 

Segway tours taking in all the classics of Paris, France, and street art

11. Porto Aventure, France

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 315%

Boat tours showing off the wonders of Corsica

10. City Walkers Tours, Italy

Category: Walking

Review growth: 320%

Skip-the-line walking tours around Rome, Italy

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9. Athens Walking Tours, Greece

Category: Walking

Review growth: 396%

Skip-the-line walking tours taking in the food and history of Athens, Greece

8. Tourmania, Turkey

Category: Day tours

Review growth: 415%

Day and multi-day tours across the main tourist hotspots of Turkey

7. Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, U.K.

Category: Open top

Review growth: 460%

Vintage tram tours through the lights of Blackpool, England

A walk around Rome is full of some of the world’s greatest art — Michele Bitetto / Unsplash

6. Touriks, Italy

Category:  Walking

Review growth: 551%

Skip-the-line tours of the sites of Rome, Italy

5. Scudamore’s Punting Company, U.K.

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 766%

Traditional boat tours along the River Cam in Cambridge, England

4. Bath Walking Tours, U.K.

Category: Walking

Review growth: 1,406%

Walking tours through the ancient city of Bath, England

Top 20 Tours in Europe by Online Review Growth Ben Finch Arival
Amsterdam’s canals date from the Dutch Golden Age — Tobias Kordt / Unsplash

3. Captain Jack Amsterdam, Netherlands

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 1,649%

All-inclusive canal cruises with a local in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat, U.K.

Category: Boat, watersports and rail

Review growth: 1,896%

Days out on steam trains, boat trips and a paddle steamer in Devon, England

1. Beans Boat Trips, U.K.

Category: Boat and watersports

Review growth: 2,360%

An 80-year-old boat tour to up close and personal to grey and common Seal colonies in Norfolk, England

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