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How long should an audio walking tour be?


Imagine you're exploring a new city as a tourist, or perhaps even revisiting your own neighborhood as a local. Having a self-guided audio walking tour at your fingertips allows you to delve into the overlooked details of a place in your own time and pace. You can uncover hidden narratives, grasp historical contexts, or soak in the city's ambience, all through your headphones. When creating your own walking tour, one of the main aspects to consider is the length of the audio tour, as it can significantly affect the listener's experience.


If you're interested in creating your own audio walking tour, check out our creator platform and this guide to getting started.


person with headphones on walking on a city street

The beauty of audio tours lies in their adaptability. Tour lengths vary, depending on the depth of the narrative being told and the intended audience.


Let's consider locals first. Being well-acquainted with their surroundings, they might lean towards a more comprehensive exploration that uncovers hidden gems in familiar places. Audio tours for this audience can be longer, possibly ranging up to an hour and a half to two hours. With a focus on detailed storytelling, these tours can afford to skip basic directions and dive straight into the interesting anecdotes, historical contexts, or idiosyncratic details that make their neighborhoods unique. Creators may even opt to leave out historical background that they assume locals already know, focusing exclusively on niche narratives.


Tourists, on the other hand, have different needs. With unfamiliar surroundings and potentially limited time, the focus may need to shift towards providing a concise overview of the location, its history, and significant points of interest. Here, shorter audio tours of about 45 minutes to an hour can be more beneficial. Shorter tours with more straightforward walking routes strike a balance between offering valuable insights and not consuming a significant chunk of the day. Detailed directions and an introduction to the local setting become essential here, ensuring that the audience doesn't feel lost or overwhelmed.


While it's important to gauge the appropriate length of a walking tour based on your target audience, remember that the heart of an impactful audio tour also lies in the quality of the audio production, effective use of sound design, and how well the stories resonate with listeners.


 

Gesso is an audio storytelling platform for creators of all backgrounds. Create an account and publish your own audio walking tours in any city. It’s as easy as dropping pins on a map.

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