For years, artists have been taking to cityscapes to use them as the ultimate canvas. Displaying ideas on the sides of neighborhood shops, brick walls and even train cars.
While this style of art comes with an interesting history, in recent years, more cities have been embracing their urban art. There have been several initiatives put in place by cities like Berlin, London and San Francisco to preserve and promote these designs.
Thanks to street artists like Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Sampsa, cities have come to embrace this once controversial art form -- so have the tourists of the world!
As mentioned in this post about the modern traveler, more and more people are looking for something unique when they take a trip. You can attribute this to the rise of street art tourism, which seeks out unique paintings, graffiti and even sculptures.
Here’s how tour operators such as bicycle, walking and city tours can take advantage of the growing street art trend.
1. A vibrant arts scene attracts a new market
While there may be some travelers who are not actively seeking out your standard tours and services, something unexpected might catch their eye.
A city walking tour, for example, might not immediately attract those looking for the art scene in a new city. This is where you can offer something that caters to them.
Among the standard museum tours or famous sculptures of the area, a street art tour sounds fresh and memorable. It draws in the groups who want to see art, along with those looking for a glimpse into local culture.
2. It gives locals a unique experience too
When you have a tour and activity company, it’s likely that a majority of your customer base is made up of tourists. Street art can be a remarkable tool to draw in a local crowd.
As more people are looking for ways to enjoy a staycation in their own town, you can reap the benefits of offering an engaging experience for the locals. For those living nearby, these murals can represent the community they call home.
They might want to know more about these works of art but unlike a museum, information about the artist or the piece itself might be hard to find. With a guided tour, they can finally know the story behind the murals. Your tour could help bring the community together and while you’re add it, expand your business.
3. It’s memorable and gets people talking
Some of the most popular tourist destinations today have grown through word-of-mouth. Horseshoe Bend in Arizona is one example. It’s one of the most photographed locations in the state among travelers and yet it remains one of the least advertised.
Most tourists know about the Grand Canyon but Horseshoe Bend is one of those locations that take you off the beaten path. The experience is not at all commercialized so it feels authentic. It becomes something personal and can be shared with others in a meaningful way.
The same can be said of a street art tour. While everyone in Philadelphia knows about the Museum of Art (and its famous steps), they may not know about the local artists making a museum of their own neighborhoods.
Give your clients a glimpse into that world and they’ll never forget it. When they talk about their tour in your city, your company will be at the top of that list.
4. It’s perfect for the low season lulls in business
Every company has high and low seasons. The summer and winter are often times of travel and tourism while the spring and fall might not do as well.
Offering a street art tour is a wonderful way to keep business steady even while other activities are not in demand. Be it for business or pleasure, visitors in the area might look for something unique to do with their free time in a new city. A street art tour can easily fit into that schedule, offering even temporary travelers something interesting to do in any season.
Read more about the big tourism trends of the year and how they can benefit your company.
Written by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.