Kelowna wine tour company hits back at ‘influencers’ seeking free rides

FILE PHOTO – Krystina Rossworm

(Jennifer Schell /

A Kelowna winery tour operator says if you don’t have a massive online following and the cash to back it up, you can skip the free tour.

Krystina Rossworm, owner and operator of Beach Bum Tours, said she gets requests from influencers about once or twice a week for free tours.

More recently, a photographer from the UK with 2,000 Instagram followers contacted, asking for a free visit, she said.

“You’re a photographer, you should know better, you know how many people reach out and say ‘why don’t you take my picture for free for the exhibition? “”

She only offered one free visit in exchange for exposure, she said, and that was with Kelowna interior designer and influencer Jillian Harris.

“Now that’s my influencer threshold,” she said. “It made me probably $30-40 grand that week. That’s the kind of influence I want.

Harris also has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, she said.

READ MORE: Okanagan’s Funniest Tour Company – Beach Bum Tours

“I even toured with musicians and got nothing out of it. For me, everything has to be synonymous with money. I think I’ve built a pretty good name for my business now, I don’t need exposure.

She joked about adding a $500 influencer charge out of frustration with people wanting to trade a tour for exposure.

“I’ve been saying for a while that the next influencer that contacts me, I’ll have an influencer load because even if I visit them, they’re a lot of work,” she said.

“It’s all part of the business, I’m not the only one,” Rossworm said. “That’s how it is, it’s influencer culture now.”

Is this a problem for your business? Let us know in the comments.

READ MORE: Okanagan influencers are making their mark on social media

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We appreciate your comments and opinions on our stories, but play well. We will not censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in the comments, email the editor in the link above.


Elisha A. Tilghman