We talked to Andrew Luan from ExperienceFirst to learn more about all that the company has to offer. Note: ExperienceFirst was formerly known as the Wall Street Experience and CityTour1.
How the company started?
Originally known as the The Wall Street Experience, this tour operator got its start by using former Wall Street insiders to give more context to the events of the 2008 financial crisis and landmarks of downtown Manhattan. Because ExperienceFirst employs tour guides that actually lived through the experiences described on the tour, the tours are able to come to life in a meaningful way. The Wall Street Experience recently rebranded to ExperienceFirst to help highlight the first-hand/local experiences they have to offer outside of Wall Street.
What types of tours are offered?
In addition to the highly acclaimed financial crisis tour, ExperienceFirst operates in five cities: New York, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. In these cities they provide three different types of tours.
City highlight tours
The first is a highlight tour which gives a great overview of the city and takes travelers to all the must-see locations.
The second type of tour highlights a particular popular attraction in an area. For example, in New York it would be the Statue of Liberty, in Paris it would be the Eiffel Tower or the Catacombs.
Immersive neighborhood tours
The third type of tour is a neighborhood tour which gives visitors a more immersive experience so they can get a sense of what it is like to live in that destination by walking through the streets, talking to people and trying their food.
Developing the perfect unique experience
When ExperienceFirst’s guides start to develop the tours, they think about the three key themes that they want their guests to walk away knowing more about. With these three themes in mind, the guides think about first-hand experiences and stories that they have to substantiate these themes in a compelling way. These key themes create the skeleton of the tour and everything else that is discussed is to support these three themes. And of course, a final ingredient of crafting the perfect experience are the passionate tour guides themselves that can bring significance to something as abstract as Wall Street or the financial crisis.
In addition to the three-themed approach, ExperienceFirst focuses on all parts of the experience, from the content to the logistics. For example, tours in New York City are timed in such a way to avoid rush hour traffic as best they can. And lastly, they are always innovating and looking for ways to provide a better tour. They truly take pride in the level of service they are providing.
How do you make a tour of Wall Street exciting and appeal to all audiences?
“Finance is not particularly exciting if you just lecture about it, you have to make it exciting, it’s all about drawing out the stories that are compelling for guests to hear.”
Andrew is well aware that it is no easy task to make financial markets stimulating for all audiences. For obvious reasons, the people that are in the industry are the easiest to entertain because they can really relate to the stories that are told. When younger groups come in the key is to tell them a story in a way that they can relate it to the stock market. As the tour guides are well-trained, adapting the tour is done with ease and precision.
During the conversation, Andrew told us about the company’s rebranding plans that are set to take place. “The brand is going to be called ExperienceFirst, we chose that name because we want our tours to focus on the experience. We want the experience that our visitors have to be as memorable as possible.”
Message to our travel agents
“As a company, we focus on customer service and providing an experience that is going to be great for everyone involved. That includes the travel agent, the tour guides on our side and the client so that everyone is having a good time”
Interested in booking one of ExperienceFirst’s tours?
New York – Immersive Neighborhood Tours
New York – City Highlights Tours
New York – Top Attraction Tours
Los Angelos Tours
San Francisco Tours
Top Attractions Tours
Top Selling Destination Guide: Paris
Paris is a city that is well known for its pretty-as-a-picture Hausmannian boulevards, world-class art museums, opera houses, boulangeries, cafes, and Michelin-starred restaurants.