With its office tucked in a charming courtyard nearby Place de la Bastille in Paris, Discover Walks, a small company offering guided tours is successfully spreading its wings throughout Europe and the United States. It was founded, almost by accident, in 2010 by Jim Jorgensen and Alexandre Gourevitch, who had met when working together in the Bay area. Jorgensen had travelled to Paris to visit Gourevitch after the latter had relocated to his homeland. While Gourevitch was giving him his own personalized informal tour of the City of Lights, a stranger, eager to hear the information, joined both of them and at the end of the “tour” handed Gourevitch a huge bill to thank him for his time.
From that moment, the seed was planted into both men’s heads to start a company that would offer tours that would not necessarily be historically savvy or academic but that would make participants feel like they were touring the city with an old friend, native from that city. The first offering included only free visits, where the participants could tip their guide at the end of the tour. Getting the word out in the early days was rather tough. But once Discover Walks was able to distribute flyers in different hotels, the number of participants increased dramatically. Along the way, the team noticed that the same people would come back for 2 or 3 visits. At the end of the first year, tours were also starting in San Francisco and are now also present in a half a dozen European cities (Barcelona, Prague, London, Lisbon, Rome, Saint Petersburg).
After a couple years, as the company was growing, it also started to introduce paid visits. And with that came a rather surprising fact: participants liked to pay for their visits in advance, as a way to secure their tour and their schedule. This is when Gourevitch decided to team up with Brown Paper Tickets to offer a secure payment processing platform for his clients. Per his words, the journey has been great with Brown Paper Tickets offering personalized customer support to his team.
“The quality of services and relationships cultivated through Brown Paper Tickets is incredible. Things are taken care of quickly. [Brown Paper Tickets] knows and understands us, is careful about our needs. We’ve had the luck to meet three people from the Brown Paper Tickets team here in Paris, and we are really happy about it because we have been able to develop a face to face relationship that was far from certain at first.”
Gourevitch feels that BPT’s features also help him reassure his clients about his professionalism: the customized event pages and producer pages, the 24/7 call center and a secure payment platform have helped him engage deeper with his clients.
With Discover Walks’ growing activities, Gourevitch started receiving more offers from others ticketing and registrations competitors. “We politely told them off. We didn’t even compare their services. Our system is working, we trust the Brown Paper Tickets team. And while Brown Paper Tickets sells millions of tickets, we have the feeling that they know us and really take care of us”