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Waco: Tour company earns national recognition after tough year

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 12:28 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Tourism was almost completely shut down during the pandemic, but somehow, Waco Tours has come back better than ever after the crisis.

TripAdvisor recently named Waco Tours the “No. 4 Top Overall Experience - United States.” In addition, Waco Tours was also named a 2021 Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best” Things to Do.

It comes at a perfect time, as the company hopes to be an ambassador for the city as life gets back to normal.

Waco Tours co-founder David Ridley said the pandemic was difficult for them, just like for everyone else. But after opening tours up slowly, they’re back to full capacity, and tours are sold out most days, in advance.

Ridley said making the list of top experiences in the country is special to them because they want this to be a fun adventure for both Wacoans and tourists.

“It gives them something to do while they’re in Waco, and it brings them in to stories of Waco that they would have never heard or they get to see things that would have never seen if they go on our experiences,” Ridley said. “And that’s the goal of Waco Tours.”

Sarah Jones, who is visiting Waco from Florida, went on the tour with her mom. Jones said she knew about Waco from “Fixer Upper,” and had read Chip and Joanna Gaines’ books, so she was excited to see the city.

Jones said she learned a lot about the area.

“I didn’t know what story in terms of the tornado and how much restoration really was made in this community so that was really cool to see,” Jones said.

Waco Tours is working on building back their number of guides and boat captains to be able to offer more tours, especially during this busy season. If you’re interested in taking either the classic tour or a river cruise tour, you can find more information here.

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