It can be challenging to attract partners to sell your tours. Especially if your tours and activities are new on the market.
It is not a lie, that partnering up with the right partners like OTAs could get you more bookings. But how to find and how to draw partners to sell your tours?
Here are some requirements potential partners could be looking for:
Highlight your Tour Benefits
Stand out among others with your tour offer. That sounds familiar, right? You have already done everything that is in your power to create a unique tour.
But how to attract travel agents as your partners?
For example, show them that you are up to date with the latest trends in the travel industry. Having unique tours and activities won’t do all the work.
You have to have a website and book now button. Today well-functioning online booking system is making all the difference.
Without a quick way to check your availability (in real time) and book with you, the agents will be unable to confirm it with their customers immediately. Instant booking confirmation shows better customer service!
Marketing Strategy Focused on Local Customers
Successful advertising for local customers shows potential partners that you know what you are doing.
Even if you’re a small business that’s just starting out you can work on:
Building your online reputation
Invite your customers to write reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and your Facebook page. The most important thing with reviews is to be friendly, short and sweet.
That’s probably true for every aforementioned community. Do you need to respond to e every and each review? It depends on the norms of the community where it was left. For example, on Google, people don’t expect you to respond to all positive reviews. On Facebook, probably yes, as this is a place of ongoing conversations.
It’s also true that you don’t need to respond to all reviews publicly. You can thank people in their inboxes if you think that’s more appropriate or you don’t want to appear overly solicitous.
Read all your reviews, respond to all negative ones, and respond selectively to positive reviews. That would make up a good rule of thumb.
Networking at local events
Local events like tourism conferences or workshops are ideal for networking with potential partners.
Business partners can help you reach new markets, new customers, get new ideas and so much more! On the other hand, people like to socialize. If you present them your tours and activities in an engaging way, you are close to setting a deal.
Shape your Tours to Fit International Markets
You hit the stage where your tours and activities are pretty popular in your city or even in your country. Now is the time to spread a word about tours and activities in the international markets.
Do the research and tailor your tours to fit these markets. Let’s say you are targeting Chinese tourists. We all know how Chinese tourists like shopping and photography. You can add a shopping stop in your itinerary and craft your tours in that way. A great offer would be to create photo tours to beautiful locations like national parks.
Avoid Commission Rates Mistakes
Commission rates are important to agents since it is the way they get paid. There are two types of the rate: the retail rate (what customers pay), and the nett rate (what agents see to add their commission).
Try to avoid commission rate mistakes like giving the same commission rate for different types of agents or having different domestic and international distribution rates.
Show your partners that you understand the industry standards.
When you attract partners to sell your tours, your tour business will gain exposure to the new audience. The result will probably be – more direct bookings.
How do you Attract Partners to Sell your Tours?
Write down in the comments, from your experience, how do you attract partners? Do you find it more difficult to attract international than local partners? We would be more than happy to hear your thoughts on this one.
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