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Competitors in tour and activity sector are constantly in a rising level. So, it’s no wonder this has become a common question that more and more tour operators ask. There are distribution channels that work for every travel company, regardless of the kind of activities provided. Before we list them all, hear this out:
No distribution channel is great enough to just list your tours and activities there and let it be. The absence of marketing efforts will lead to less or no online booking of your tour packages. To avoid that, list your tours and activities on multiple distribution channels.
Make Sure Travelers See Your Tours
Sometimes, in order to get your tours and activities sold out, you need to make them more visible. The more people see your tour packages, the more will buy them.
How to allow a lot of people to find your tours and activities?
- Website. Needless to say, every tour company should have a website. A website is the best place to start with the promotion of your tours and activities.
- Social media channels. Is there a better way of promoting a tour business than through social media channels? All your customers are on online. That’s why your tour company should be there too.
- Partnership with foreign inbound tour operators. Many travel agencies partner with inbound tour operators. That way more of their tours and activities got booked. Inbound tour operator gets a commission. It’s a win-win for both.
- Review sites. Reviews can either make or break your tour business. Make sure you manage them and turn both positive and negative into your advantage. It’s possible, learn from the best, beat tourism companies who’ve been doing it for years. Or read our checklist with tips to increase positive reviews.
- OTAs, online retailers or online distribution companies, call them as you wish. Basically, online travel agents (OTAs) allow travelers to book various tour packages through their websites. They are 3rd party agents reselling tours, trips, vacation packages, etc. provided by tour companies.
Online Retailers Where Tour Providers Have to List Their Tours
Great online distribution companies understand the travel trends. Nowadays, more and more people book tours on their cell phones. To serve these customers, a lot of online retailers developed mobile apps.
To help you choose an online distribution company to partner with, we compiled a list of the biggest ones. Picking one of them is a great starting point.
Expedia has 72.53 million monthly visitors, which makes them the biggest online travel agent. However, their visitors are looking for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. Tours and activities are among that. So, not each person among the 72.53 million people will be interested in the online booking of tour packages. But, it doesn’t matter because that leaves a plenty of people interested in your tours and activities. Expedia takes a commission for each online booking of tour packages. The rate can range between 20 and 25%.
Like other online retailers, Viator can put your tours and activities in front of a much larger number of people than you can. Working with Viator will get you access to TripAdvisor’s audience and all of their affiliate websites, too. The audience of 11.53 million travel enthusiasts a month! If only 1% of them buys your tour package, you’d be totally sold out. Registration is for free. 25% is the minimum commission rate Viator charges on successful sales.
3. Get Your Guide
GetYourGuide receives, on average, 6.65 million visitors per month from all over the world. They are the strongest in its offerings for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, which are under-represented by other companies. Registration is for free and commission is paid per successful booking. Some say Get Your Guide’s commission rate is up to 30%. But, Get Your Guide explained there are no fixed commission rates. The percentage depends on your region, the size of your tour company, and the types of activities you offer. What you maybe didn’t know, it also depends on your negotiation skills.
Online retailers usually make money only when you do, which means there is a commission on successful sales.
Above all said, Expedia, Viator and Get Your Guide provide mobile applications for online booking of tour packages. So, you can reach people searching for a new adventure everywhere, anytime.
The Ways to Increase Online Booking of Tour Packages
Don’t forget to actively promote your listings on OTAs because there’s competition. Many other tour companies list their tours and activities there, too. As I said before, sales can hardly come without promotion. It’s much more likely that they won’t come at all.
If you need more advice on the ways to increase online booking of tour packages, join our LinkedIn group Tour and Activity Operators Online and Growing, where we’re having a discussion on this topic. Feel free to share the experiences you have.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.