Most of us try to stay up to date with changes in our career fields either through continuing our education or via reading up on industry news. As it is in other industries, tour operators have to grow their network, nurture their business relationships and mingle with people.
It's not what you know or who you know, but who knows you. – Susan RoAne
Networking is one of the most important strategies you can use to advance your career as a tour operator. Tourism industry meetups allow you to get to know each other, share tips on tech, marketing, and more.
Benefits of Networking Among Tour Operators
Many people are put off by the idea of networking, being afraid to approach people. Here’s the thing – We’re all afraid to approach people we don’t know. For me, it’s especially uncomfortable to approach big groups of people I haven’t met yet. It’s in our nature to fear rejection or looking awkward or stupid, but if you power through that short-term discomfort, the multiple benefits you’ll experience will convince you it was all worth it. So, let’s see how networking helps you exactly.
- It strengthens relationships with acquaintances
Networking is about forming trust and helping one another toward each other's goals. The more you reach out and offer assistance, the greater the chance of someone doing the same for you. Just like it happens in your private social life, building long-lasting connections can help you in many ways.
- Networking freshens up your mind and spark new ideas
A dialogue on challenges, experiences, and goals allows you to gain new insights that you may not have had otherwise. Sometimes, business network is an eye-opener; it gives you a new perspective.
- It’s a way to raise your profile as a tourism expert
Regularly attending tourism events will help to get your face and name known. Is there a better way to pitch yourself? Build your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.
- Attending tour operator networking places opens new doors
Active networking helps you to be memorable, and be present in people’s minds, which can be especially helpful when opportunities (such as job openings) arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral for a new job.
- Networking facilitates exchange of information
Attending tour operator networking places is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge, learn about the business techniques and keep up with the latest tourism trends. Being connected with a great group of movers and shakers in the travel community means broader access to new and valuable information.
Networking usually requires organizational skills because one should have a strategy to find the people with whom he or she wants to network at a later time. It’s a bit different when it comes to tourism professionals (tour operators, tour guides, etc.) because the national chamber of commerce, just like tour operators’ and travel agents’ associations organize tourism events for its members. So, the opportunity to meet other tour operators is available to you without any hustle.
Anyhow, if you’d like to meet tourism industry professionals who are not the members of the same associations as you, here are the top three tour operator networking places you should care about.
What Are the Best Tour Operator Networking Places?
1. Tourism Meetups
Thanks to 189,600 members, we can say that Tourism Meetup groups are among the largest tour operator networking places. There are several topics (e.g. Travel, Travel Industry Networking, Travel Business Entrepreneurs, etc.) with multiple Meetups beneath them.
Basically, Meetups allow tour operators to meet travel enthusiasts near them! It’s a great networking place to relive adventures, share photos from around the world and get first-hand recommendations on new exotic destinations.
2. Travel Massive
Travel Massive is a travel community, connecting over 38,100 members from 66 countries. Their mission is to empower change in travel by connecting travel insiders in every city in the world.
Travel Massive encourages discussions at their forum, so-called lounge. There are several topics where tour operators can ask and answer questions, as well as collaborate and share.
They organize free to attend events all around the globe. Check them out and you might find interesting conferences near you. As they playfully said on their website – Be Part of Something Massive!
3. Social Networks
Social media is a big deal these days. Unlike previous two options, social media doesn’t have geographical limitations so it allows you to meet any tour operator, anywhere in the world. Participate in discussions involving others you want to connect with.
- Facebook. There are many Facebook groups, but rarely are active as Tour Operators United. It’s an exclusive community of 9,440 tour and activity operators from all over the world, where great industry related content and advice can be found.
- Linkedin. The Tour and Activity Operators Online and Growing group is worth mentioning. It’s made especially for tour operators to discuss best online practices and emerging trends. There, tough questions are being asked and creative answers are being given.
Do you attend events for tourism professionals in your country? Feel free to share awesome tour operator networking places with us, right here in the comment section.