Beer Tour Operators are a small but crucial part of the beer industry. We at Zephyr Conferences keep a Complete List of Beer Tour Operators that includes 42 vacation beer tour operators and 123 local day tour operators. At this point, almost every medium sized city in the United States has a local beer tour company taking customers to local breweries.
In December of 2019 we completed a third survey of beer tour operators with some interesting results:
- Beer tour companies are small: 91% are owner operators and only 59% work full time as a tour operator. The median revenue of a tour operator is $107,500.
- However, beer tour companies can have a large impact. The median number of customers served by a local day tour operator is 1,000.
- Multiplied by the 123 day tour operators about which we know gives an estimated industry total of 123,000 beer enthusiasts served per year.
- The median beer tour operator revenue has increased 82% over the past three years. So while the businesses are still mostly small, most are becoming financially viable.
- 69% of tour operators say their biggest challenge is finding new customers.
At the Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference last week, tour operators were consistent in their desire to work with other industry players so they can serve more customers and thus bring more revenue to breweries. If there is one takeaway from the survey and conversations at the BMTC it is this:
Breweries, Destination Marketing Organizations, Brewery Guilds, and even local hotels and restaurants could win by reaching out to work with their local beer tour operator.