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Geotour Costs

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I recently completed a very nicely done geotour and attended an event cache celebrating it. While I was talking to the organizers, the topic of costs came up and I was stunned to learn this particular tour (50 caches) cost $12k to set up! Just to list the tour on the website is $2,500 a year. How can anyone afford this?

 

Perhaps we'd have more geotours if would-be organizers didn't have to run around finding corporate sponsors. (Seriously, that's what the organizers of this tour had to do.)

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Usually a GeoTour is a way that corporations, foundations, institutions, etc. have to interact with the geocaching community, profiting from that interaction.

On the other side, the community gain access to places where otherwise would not have, like private parks.

The question is not only the costs of a GeoTour, but also the revenue for the owners.

 

Of course, a GeoTour is not a good project for a single geocacher, a family or even a local club, but they may have a powertrail, geotrail, whatever instead, almost for free.

 

But if you are responsible for bringing visits to a museum, theme park, etc. maybe you look at the millions of geocachers like a great target... somehow better than paid advertising on papers, billboards, radio or TV.

Edited by Kelux

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Drop in the bucket for some tourism/vacation bureaus. They're sure to get that (and then some...) back.

Ours (the poconos) spends close (if not over) that on one ballon festival weekend.

- Then there's the blue grass & jazz festivals, Renaissance Faires, etc...

Tourism is big business. :)

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Those costs also include being listed a geotours, and banners on geocaching.com among other things. The costs are also not just 12 grand, they could be higher or lower. Like it was mentioned above, it's a way for companies to do something.

 

Not always one company either. Say you're in a big city, and there's a hotel association. They set up a geotour of 14 grand and spend another thousand for coins for those who complete the tour. That's $15 thousand, but if theres 20 hotels that's only $750 from each hotel.

 

Or perhaps a national park has one to bring in visitors. Each non local cacher spends about $100 for fuel, $50 for food, and $100 a night for 2 nights to come and cache in the area. Plus whatever souvenirs, and other stuff they buy. If they attract 500 people that brings in $125,000 to the local economy. That 10 times what was spent to attract those cachers.

 

Just a few examples to show the true cost/benefit, rather than just dropping the money and not seeing it again.

 

Just for a cost comparison, one fireworks display can cost $20,000 and that literally goes up in smoke in 20 minutes.

Edited by T.D.M.22

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Based on how many GeoTours have been added in the last couple of years, I think the tourism bureaus are seeing that GeoTours are working. As for the costs, you didn't mention if that 12K was hard dollars or did it include allocated employee costs. Were the caches placed/maintained by employees, or did they bring in local geocachers? If they brought in locals, were there any expenses related to that, such as paying mileage to place/maintain caches? 12K doesn't strike me as a lot for a tourism bureau wanting to bring tourists to the region.

 

Also, it would be interesting to see what services/support they get from Groundspeak for their $2,500. They get a listing, of course, on the GeoTour web page. There are GeoTour links on the search page with the latest release. They get access to this forum. They get feedback in the form of logs and passports. Do they get any statistics for the distance geocachers traveled (based on home location)? Do they get easy access to our user IDs for marketing purposes? (I hope not.)

 

Back to the $2,500, I also wonder if that is a flat fee for any GeoTour, or do they offer different rates for different kinds of sponsors. Maybe it's only $1,000 for governmental agencies. Tourism bureaus may get a different rate, while commercial entities have yet another rate.

 

As for the benefits for the region? If you look at my stats, you will see a bump in the number of caches in the distance from home table. That bump was caused by doing the Lane County GeoTour. Six days, four nights, two trips to get four geocoins. And, when I complete the WA State Parks GeoTour, I will have traveled several thousand miles and spent quite a few days and nights in WA. In all, I will spend several thousand dollars all for a GeoCoin. While I live in adjoining Idaho, these represent significant time and money for me.

 

Why do I travel long distances for a GeoTour? Partly for the bragging rights, and partly because the caches in GeoTours generally fit my definition of a 'quality' cache.

 

On a different tangent, I am worried about a backlash. I think that groups that pay to setup GeoTours are walking a fine line. A GeoTour cannot be a completely commercial activity. There will be geocachers that will be quite vocal against GeoTours because of the commercial activity. I'll admit that when I started on my first GeoTour, the first couple of stops were at local businesses. I almost quit right there. But I continued, and almost all of the rest of the caches were in county parks, along beaches and in national forests. That's when I got hooked on GeoTours.

 

Thanks, Skye.

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Based on how many GeoTours have been added in the last couple of years, I think the tourism bureaus are seeing that GeoTours are working. As for the costs, you didn't mention if that 12K was hard dollars or did it include allocated employee costs. Were the caches placed/maintained by employees, or did they bring in local geocachers? If they brought in locals, were there any expenses related to that, such as paying mileage to place/maintain caches? 12K doesn't strike me as a lot for a tourism bureau wanting to bring tourists to the region.

 

Also, it would be interesting to see what services/support they get from Groundspeak for their $2,500. They get a listing, of course, on the GeoTour web page. There are GeoTour links on the search page with the latest release. They get access to this forum. They get feedback in the form of logs and passports. Do they get any statistics for the distance geocachers traveled (based on home location)? Do they get easy access to our user IDs for marketing purposes? (I hope not.)

This particular geotour was comprised of already existing caches. It was organized by two local cachers, who went to 23 businesses and agencies in two towns for funding. I think they said they spend at least $5k on coins, which doesn't surprise me as you got two coins after completing the whole thing (one trackable), plus two wooden nickels. While the two organizers probably took a little gas money, I doubt they were compensated in any other way.

 

The passport does ask for your geocaching name, but that's so they can verify the earthcache logging. Not all the caches were physical. The businesses don't see the passports, but they do get publicity on it. There is no economic impact data collected.

 

Yes, I can see where the marketing aspect of this comes in. I'm going up to Helena to do their geotour soon, where I'll spend time and money in local businesses. I was just surprised to find geotours are so commercial. Before this, I had thought they were set up by locals who just wanted to.

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There's a bit of a controversy about one that just got published near Atlanta. City of Duluth, Georgia decided to put one together and it's been a royal disaster. First, they managed to get numerous valid caches involuntarily archived...even some that were not within the city (or even the same COUNTY). Then they published them without even having PLACED many of them. The locations of many of them were questionable (I hear one was a fake beer can outside a convenience store, another on an active construction site). Coordinates were off by a huge amount on several. No kick-off event was ever organized. No hints posted on any of the poorly written cache pages. No marketing materials were put together to promote it, no reward (coin, certificate, etc) available for those who complete it. And apparently the lady to set it up isn't available for people trying to contact the city about it.

 

Frankly, I was quite shocked to hear that basically GS could be bought to archive other peoples' caches with no apparent recourse and the end result be such a total failure. Quite disappointing and I hope the information I've seen about it is inaccurate...but several folks I talked to at an event last night were directly affected and live in the area, so I tend to believe their story about it.

Edited by J Grouchy

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There's a bit of a controversy about one that just got published near Atlanta. City of Duluth, Georgia decided to put one together and it's been a royal disaster. First, they managed to get numerous valid caches involuntarily archived...even some that were not within the city (or even the same COUNTY). Then they published them without even having PLACED many of them. The locations of many of them were questionable (I hear one was a fake beer can outside a convenience store, another on an active construction site). Coordinates were off by a huge amount on several. No kick-off event was ever organized. No hints posted on any of the poorly written cache pages. No marketing materials were put together to promote it, no reward (coin, certificate, etc) available for those who complete it. And apparently the lady to set it up isn't available for people trying to contact the city about it.

 

Frankly, I was quite shocked to hear that basically GS could be bought to archive other peoples' caches with no apparent recourse and the end result be such a total failure. Quite disappointing and I hope the information I've seen about it is inaccurate...but several folks I talked to at an event last night were directly affected and live in the area, so I tend to believe their story about it.

 

It's afwul, but I belive it. It's all about the numbers behind the $ sign.

 

I know one geocacher that is a geotour host and promotes tourism to her Inn and the area in general. The Mega Events she hosted before being an offical geotour filled all of the hotels in the area, but I would have never imagined the cost of a offical geotour. :blink:

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There's a bit of a controversy about one that just got published near Atlanta. City of Duluth, Georgia decided to put one together and it's been a royal disaster. First, they managed to get numerous valid caches involuntarily archived...even some that were not within the city (or even the same COUNTY). Then they published them without even having PLACED many of them. The locations of many of them were questionable (I hear one was a fake beer can outside a convenience store, another on an active construction site). Coordinates were off by a huge amount on several. No kick-off event was ever organized. No hints posted on any of the poorly written cache pages. No marketing materials were put together to promote it, no reward (coin, certificate, etc) available for those who complete it. And apparently the lady to set it up isn't available for people trying to contact the city about it.

 

Frankly, I was quite shocked to hear that basically GS could be bought to archive other peoples' caches with no apparent recourse and the end result be such a total failure. Quite disappointing and I hope the information I've seen about it is inaccurate...but several folks I talked to at an event last night were directly affected and live in the area, so I tend to believe their story about it.

The one in Peachtree City was done quite well. One cache archived to make way for a Tour cache kinda needed to go, it was in a poorly selected spot. The only issue I know of is the Geocoin you get for completing the Tour is not trackable :yikes:.

 

And the Geo Tour in Jackson County is outstanding!

 

I guess to have a successful "Geo Tour", you need more than funds -- you need COs who know what they're doing. :anibad:

Edited by kunarion

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Geo Tour facts from PTCDOGWALKERS. As 2 avid geocachers who spent over a year talking with the Visitors Bureau about a tour, we finally managed to get all the parties together and make a plan. It was made very clear from the start that WE would handle the placement, page listings, hints, waypoints and maintenance for the first year. Free of charge. We did put up roughly $500 of our own money to insure the containers were weatherproof and presented a good impression to those that came. We neither received nor asked for reimbursement. In addition, we also donated 6 of our caches to the city simply because we had the foresight to know that several locations were a part of the city that needed to be highlighted. Were it not for several local geocachers that freely allowed us to adopt their caches and archive if needed, our tour would have been markedly different. As for the coin, the Bureau had them struck without consulting us. Their thoughts were that if we do not do a Geo Tour, we can use these for other events. And they have, golf tournaments, 5K races, etc. Not trackable yet no one has refused to finish the tour and take the coin. "A signature part of life in Peachtree City." According to the last GS brochure, a tour starts at $5K. There are other options, $10K and $20K. We cannot say how much the passports, cache cards, etc cost but we can say the Visitors Bureau did a great job in bringing together a nice little geo tour. As it relates to collection of data. Basically, there is very little. Our tour has a simple survey sheet at the end. "How many in your group", "Did you stay in a hotel here", "Did you eat in a restaurant here.", "Did you shop while here.". It also asks for optional info, City, State and email if you would to like further info about the area. If there is anyone out there who has been contacted without giving permission, please let us know. Be advised we are in the early stages of adding 8 to 10 more geocaches to this tour for the second year and including local business entities as partners. A prize at end yet to be determined. To all those who have done our tour, Thank you. To all those who have yet come. Good luck and by all means, Cache On.

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Wow! :blink:

 

We have a series of caches already in place to help promote tourism on our little island, and so when I heard about Geotours I thought that would be a great way of tying them together and giving folks more of an overall "goal". But at that sort of cost it just isn't going to happen! I guess we'll just carry on doing our own thing. Very disappointed. :(

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Wow! :blink:

 

We have a series of caches already in place to help promote tourism on our little island, and so when I heard about Geotours I thought that would be a great way of tying them together and giving folks more of an overall "goal". But at that sort of cost it just isn't going to happen! I guess we'll just carry on doing our own thing. Very disappointed. :(

 

I find geotrails with rewards more interesting than a geotour, which is basically the same thing without paying Ground$peak to advertise the caches as a GeoTour. B)

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I find geotrails with rewards more interesting than a geotour, which is basically the same thing without paying Ground$peak to advertise the caches as a GeoTour. B)

 

Interestingly, I have had the opposite experience. But, to be fair, it really boils down to who is running the reward trail/geotour.

 

I've done the Spokane History, WA State Parks and Lane County (now retired) GeoTours, and they were well maintained, and in great locations.

 

The two reward trails I have attempted, Pacific Lamprey and BLM, had problems with unmaintained caches, poor cache descriptions, and coordinate issues.

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