Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Tanner.
Dan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Three years ago, I was a trainer for architectural and engineering firms using computer-graphic software related to building construction. Having been in the industry for 30+ years and at 57 years old, needless to say, it was quite the surprise when I was unexpectedly let go from my company.
In my personal life, I’ve always been a traveler, visiting more than 40 states and over 30 countries. I had a long-term plan to be a part-time tour guide in Italy during retirement so after I was laid off, several friends reminded me of those plans. I realized at the time, if I was ever going to be an international guide, I needed some experience and so I considered becoming a guide in Atlanta.
During my research, I could find companies giving group tours but I couldn’t find anyone offering private, personalized tours, so I wondered if I might be hitting a niche and created DTours (Dan Tanner tours). My tag line is to ‘Tour Like A Local’ and from the beginning, my goal has been to get people off the tourist-worn beaten path and show them the diverse history and neighborhoods of Atlanta.
The business took off almost immediately. My 1st year was part-time, the 2nd year was full-time and my 3rd year includes additional guides. Last year, I conducted hundreds of tours for more than 1,000 people. Interestingly, I wasn’t really looking for the perfect job that was made just for me and because of life’s circumstances, I accidentally backed into it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I had amazing support from a great group of friends. Someone helped me with my website, another for my logo, others took professional photos for advertising. It’s been easier than I expected and I’m so thankful that I’ve found a career that brings me such joy.
Please tell us about DTours.
DTours is a private tour company that offers set topic-based tours and personalized tours based on a customers interests. Some of our most popular offerings are:
‘From Civil War to Civil Rights’ which follows the history of Atlanta from a major Civil War battlefield to the center of the Civil Rights movement.
‘Walking Dead to the Hunger Games’ which visits film locations of The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games and shows why Atlanta has become known as the ‘Hollywood of the South’.
‘Plan Your Own Adventure’ where customers let us know their interests and we create a DTour uniquely designed for themselves or their group.
I’m especially proud that all all my Trip Advisor reviews except 1, are 5 stars/Excellent.
I feel as if what sets me a apart is my customers feel, as if they spent the day with a friend and they saw Atlanta in a way that they would have never discovered on their own.
As J.R..R. Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost”.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’ve done these things now but I would have shortened the tours. I think 3 hours is about the limit for a private tour (I started at 4). And, I would have raised the prices. I feel as if I was initially underselling myself.
- Tours are $95 a person for a 3-hour private tour
- Website: www.dtour.me
- Phone: 404-971-7763
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dtour.me/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dtour.me/
John Fulton, Ashley Jones