In the space of just 24 months, in the summer of 2021, the tours and activities industry has gone from cinder blocks to the front door of big travel retailers and entrepreneurs, as its untapped earning potential has gone straight through the doors of these major investors and travel marketers. What happened? Why is this industry experiencing this surge in growth? And how can you get involved?
As one of the youngest operators in this sector, I have a close insight into what’s happening and why, as well as dealing with some of the dilemmas that smaller operators are facing. This industry is a high-demand business, run by people who have been doing it for years. The same thinking goes into booking hotel rooms, cruises, and flights – that there will always be people looking for these sorts of accommodations and activities. There is also plenty of work for corporate travel consultants and event management experts.
So the savvy operator and tour operator or travel agent now has to be innovative, focused on providing a good service with a focus on attracting new clients and tapping into existing customers. The operators must also offer value-added experiences and promotions, such as discounts on already discounted tours; better deals on package tours; and discounted or even free use of organized and sponsored activities and tours. These operators must be willing to offer competitive prices to retain and gain new customers.
The focus of today’s operators is the development of brand equity. How can they leverage their existing customer base to attract new ones? They do this by offering value-added experiences and promotions, coupled with lower or even discounted hotel rates and special packages. For the long term, operators need to consider the question of how to attract and keep customers who may be in a fixed position for years to come. They have to think outside the box to create compelling content and promotional offers that will not only attract existing customers but will draw in new ones as well.
The concept of value-added experiences is also important for operators in the tours and activities industry. In other words, they have to come up with new and unique ways of offering tours and activities that will leave their customers satisfied and coming back time and again. Many operators are already leveraging their online travel agencies by offering customized tours, vacation rentals, and travel insurance. The more they can add to these offerings, the better.
One of the things that has helped travel agencies make the most of their existing customer base is the introduction of discount travel agencies. These travel agencies represent multiple tour operators and hotels and work in conjunction with them. The savings that the operators realize when they team up with the leading travel agencies to help them spread the cost of providing tours and activities. Travel agency owners and operators can also leverage the strength and value of their brand names to help attract new customers. This works in conjunction with lower commission rates offered by online travel agencies.
For operators, it’s important to keep in mind that the tour operators are still providing the services that they’ve been doing in the past at a lower price. The key for operators lies in being able to effectively control the costs of providing tours and activities so that they can increase their profit margins. The savings can be further realized through online discount deals and travel industry publications.
Online discount travel agents can also leverage the power of their brand names. If you can create a special deal just for your clients, you could easily command a higher commission rate. This can further encourage your tour operators to adopt this strategy. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need all the tools that you can get when it comes to making your business more profitable. A properly implemented tour and activities marketing strategy can do just that. You can find more information about booking makeovers on blogs and online forums related to the tourism industry.