About Shutter Tours
How Did This All Start from Owner Terry Divyak
Shutter Tours initially began with the idea of starting a simple walking tour at the Pike Place Market as a “Plan B” while I was a Network Engineer at a major bank. During the economic meltdown in the banking industry in 2008 and the largest bank failure in U.S. history of Washington Mutual in Seattle, I knew I needed to have plan B in place.
Being an avid photographer, I felt like Seattle could use a great city tour that also offered simple photo tips as a bonus. iPhones were just becoming popular and what better city to start one in than Seattle? Starting the company in 2009 and still working at my job, In 2011 I was “made redundant” at my banking job after 18 years and many years as a computer geek and sitting in a cubicle, I was ready for this new adventure called Shutter Tours.
Having the travel bug, I was excited to be involved with the tourism industry and share my love of Seattle with guests from around the world. I felt I could offer an insiders view of the city, since I was born in downtown Seattle, on Terry Avenue no less. Being a fourth-generation Seattleite, it was a perfect fit for me.
Our Business is about the Customer Experience
One thing I believe about being a business owner is I need to be as close to the customer experience as possible. I operate many of the tours throughout the week to help continually improve your experience as a customer of Shutter Tours. This is a constant focus of our whole team, and we believe the details matter. From having a clean bus, where we wash the windows both inside and out before every tour (Even if it's raining). To make sure they are mechanically sound via our partners that are top notch, certified mechanics. Safety has to be our utmost concern when driving, so all of our drivers have semi-annual medical exams to help ensure your safety.
Our buses are all equipped with seatbelts, something many other companies don't have that we feel is a necessary option.
What Makes Us Different from Other Tour Companies?
As a tour business, we share a lot of great information about our city, the history, restaurant recommendations, etc. This knowledge comes with a significant amount of work, and our staff is always updating our understanding and learning all we can about Seattle on a regular basis. We even have days where we shut down our tours for the whole day and experience the city as you would, so we can learn all the exciting changes that happen in a growing city like ours. We even check out the restaurants we suggest on our tours, so we can trust that they meet our high standards.
This may seem like a lot of work for what some people think are just tour guides, but we all take a lot of pride in what we do. We want to make sure that each part of our tour is a positive experience, even after you get off the bus.
Many of our customers are surprised by the simple photo tips. In fact, many had no idea they would learn a couple of simple composition tricks they can use on their phones to take better travel photos. We also send a link to a 30-page E-book we wrote that is full of great information on how to take pictures around the Pike Place Market when you book on our website.
Bottled water and snacks on our buses are always a welcome treat for our guests, and we are unaware of other local tours that provide the same. We know our customers come from different time zones and they are not on our schedule, so we don't want them to get "Hangry" on tour.
I'm thankful that we get many comments from customers mentioning that we provide the best tours they have taken and hopefully after your tour with us you'll agree with the many Five Star reviews we have received since 2009 on Tripadvisor.
We want to be the company that our competition admires and that our customers can trust when they make a booking, which we can meet those high expectations.
Our Vision For The Future
A few years ago we added an exciting addition to our company, our photo safari to Tanzania which has become one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had as a traveler and a photographer. This is a trip myself, and our guides look forward to every year. But I also know there are many great opportunities in our backyard that we are exploring to offer you in addition to our highly rated Tulip and Snoqualmie Falls and City Tours.
We understand that travel is an appreciating asset and we want you always to appreciate the time you came to Seattle and enjoyed your stay here. We hope we can be a small part of those great memories when you visit Seattle.