11 Tips on How to Increase Sales in a Tour Company

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February 13, 2024

8 min read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

11 Tips on How to Increase Sales in a Tour Company

In today’s dynamic travel industry landscape, tour companies face many challenges, from fierce competition to changing consumer preferences. As the market rebounds from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, increasing sales has become crucial for tour operators seeking to regain momentum and achieve sustainable growth. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 11 strategies and tips to help tour companies enhance their sales performance and take advantage as the effects of COVID wear off slowly.

Understanding the tour sales landscape

Before diving into specific strategies, it is  essential to grasp the nuances of the sales landscape within the tour industry. Tour companies operate in a highly fragmented market characterized by diverse customer segments, evolving travel trends, and a wide range of competitors, including traditional agencies, online travel agencies (OTAs), and niche tour operators. Taking care of all these moving pieces to create a successful sales strategy requires careful planning and creativity. Here are some tips and tricks that can be added to your strategy to uplift your sales. If you are adding all these to your overall sales strategy we can guarantee that you are staying ahead of the competition.

1. Sell through destinations with affiliate links

Sell tour bookings at destinations

Did you know you can sell tours and activities to guests at Airbnb locations using affiliate links? Simply select Airbnb locations to promote your tours. Guests can scan a QR code to make bookings, and commissions will be automatically calculated in Zaui. Here’s all you need to create a listing on Airbnb:

  • Tour and activity description
  • Location
  • Details of what you’ll provide and what guests should bring
  • A few photos of your experience
  • Age group for the activity
  • Level of guest activity and skill
  • Minimum and maximum group size
  • Time details of the activity
  • Price per guest.

This is especially beneficial if you are using booking software like Zaui that offers unlimited free agent logins, which isn’t usually the case.

2. Focus on the unique benefits of your tours and encourage your customers to leave reviews

Improve Guest Communication with Zaui

Effective sales strategies hinge on communicating the distinct value your tours offer. Rather than solely highlighting features or destinations, emphasize the transformative experiences and advantages that make your tours stand out.

Draw inspiration from customer testimonials and reviews to create narratives that resonate with your target audience. By showcasing the emotional and experiential aspects of your tours, you can captivate potential customers and increase conversion rates.

Reviews play a significant role; how often have you checked reviews for a restaurant before dining there? Travelers increasingly turn to social media for peer approval on destinations and activities, illustrating the influential power of reviews in purchasing decisions.

Indeed, genuine customer reviews translate into increased business. So, how can you gather more reviews? You can prompt satisfied customers to leave feedback through automated guest communication.

Enhance your review process by providing links to your TripAdvisor page or Google Business in your guest communication emails. For an enhanced experience, consider including a downloadable link to tour group photos through our integration with Fotaflo, a photo marketing platform. This personalized touch adds value and encourages customers to share their experiences, bolstering your reputation and attracting more business

3. Optimize your online booking processes

Are you still relying on phone or email for bookings? While it might feel like you have full control, the reality is that you could be missing out on a significant portion of your business. Many potential customers prefer booking online, and not having an online booking system means you’re not meeting their expectations. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should opt for an online booking system

Investing in an online booking system not only saves you time and resources but also allows you to accept bookings 24/7. This aligns perfectly with today’s consumer expectations, as the way people book tours has changed significantly. Offering a seamless and intuitive online booking experience has become essential for tour companies.

An online booking software offers more than just the ability to take bookings online. Advanced functionalities can include real-time availability updates, instant confirmation emails, secure payment gateways, connections with OTAs and other resellers, dynamic pricing options to increase profitability, integrations with other platforms, automated guest communication, and much more;  a  robust booking software can have a significant impact on your overall profitability.

Furthermore, ensure your online booking system is optimized for mobile devices. With more travelers preferring to book on-the-go, mobile optimization is crucial. By streamlining your online booking processes, tour operators can minimize friction, boost conversion rates, and capitalize on the growing trend of digital transactions.

4. Create social proof

It is a human instinct to trust recommendations from others rather than solely relying on advertisements. This is why customer reviews, referrals, and recommendations hold immense importance. As a tour company, it’s crucial to recognize that when a customer chooses to trust you, they’re investing their time, money, and expectations. Hence, they seek firsthand experiences from other customers as social proof.

Your social media strategy should encompass three key aspects of your business: Discovery, Marketing, and Peer Approval. Potential customers turn to social media for inspiration and seek authentic reviews to inform their decisions. Utilize user-generated content, such as photos and videos, to showcase the real-life experiences of past travellers. By amplifying social proof across various touch-points, tour companies can establish credibility, foster confidence, and inspire trust among prospective customers.

5. Effectively manage your distribution

Effectively manage OTA connections with Zaui

In addition to your website, you can leverage other distribution channels to expand your reach and attract new customers. One effective method is to partner with popular OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) such as get Your Guide, Civitatis, Viator, etc. to sell your tours and activities. However, deciding how much of your inventory to allocate to OTAs requires careful consideration. Most OTAs charge a commission fee ranging from 25% to 35%, which means you’ll need to sacrifice a portion of your profits to work with them.

The optimal approach to managing your distribution involves utilizing a booking software with a powerful channel manager. Zaui’s Channel manager enables you to effectively oversee your distribution channels and it also offers 0% for OTA bookings.

Furthermore, apart from collaborating with OTAs, you can enhance your visibility on Google surfaces through Google Things to do. Did you know that by participating, you can receive an official site badge? This badge not only helps you compete with OTAs but also boosts your direct bookings at no extra cost.

6. Data-driven insights for personalization

In today’s data-driven era, tour companies have access to a wealth of information that can inform personalized sales and marketing strategies. It’s crucial to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Continuously analyze your reporting insights to discern effective strategies for your business. Utilize customer data to segment your audience, identify emerging trends, and tailor offerings to individual preferences. Leveraging advanced analytics tools can provide actionable insights into customer behavior, booking patterns, and market dynamics.

By delivering targeted promotions, customized recommendations, and personalized experiences based on these insights, tour operators can significantly enhance customer engagement and drive higher conversion rates. Keeping a close eye on data and adapting strategies accordingly allows tour companies to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

7. Use AI assisted customer interaction chatbots

The travel industry is undergoing a digital renaissance, with travel chatbots at the forefront of this transformation. AI chatbots are increasingly common, offering seamless and stress-free experiences for travelers worldwide. From efficiently managing bookings to providing real-time updates, these chatbots are evolving beyond virtual assistants; they’re becoming the architects of enriched travel experiences in a post-pandemic world.

Imagine having a tool available 24/7, understanding your preferences, speaking your language, and guiding customers through every step of their travel journey. These chatbots act as travel wizards, transforming each trip into an unforgettable experience. However, selecting a chatbot that can genuinely enhance the customer experience can be challenging. It’s crucial to choose wisely to avoid alienating customers.

To understand how AI chatbots can benefit your tour business, we recently conducted a webinar with TOMIS, a leading organization in Tour Marketing Intelligence. TOMIS is pioneering the integration of AI chatbots for tour operators. Explore our webinar below to learn more about leveraging AI chatbots to elevate your tour business.

AI Chatbot Best Practices for Tour Operators
Click to access webinar recording: https://offer.zaui.com/webinar-recording-tomis-ai-tools

8. Use dynamic pricing to get more sales

As we know, the travel market is constantly evolving, with various factors like demand, weather, customer expectations, and seasonality influencing pricing. Keeping up with these changes and constantly adjusting pricing can be challenging in the tourism market. However, dynamic pricing can provide a competitive edge in this scenario.

Dynamic pricing, offered by some booking systems, allows you to update your pricing in real-time based on predefined rulesets and parameters. It is slowly becoming common in the tour and activity businesses and can significantly impact profits. Implementing pricing strategies like time-of-day pricing and demand-based pricing can be complex, but dynamic pricing automates this process with minimal effort on your part.

Here is a list of parameters you can adjust using this functionality. Dynamic pricing streamlines pricing management, enabling you to stay competitive, optimize revenue, and increase bookings in the dynamic tourism market.

9. Embrace technology for operational efficiency

Innovative technology solutions play a pivotal role in driving operational efficiency, streamlining processes, and enhancing the overall customer experience. Invest in tour operator software platforms that offer comprehensive functionality, including booking management, inventory optimization, and customer relationship management (CRM). Leverage automation tools, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning algorithms to automate repetitive tasks, personalize communications, and optimize pricing strategies. By embracing technology-driven solutions, tour companies can streamline operations, reduce costs, and focus on delivering exceptional customer value. Book a Demo with our team to learn about areas you can improve with an advanced booking software.

10. Choose a booking software that helps you grow your business

Choosing the right booking management platform is crucial for tour operators, as it requires significant resources to implement or switch software. When evaluating options, it’s essential to carefully consider each platform’s unique pricing plan to ensure it aligns with your business goals.

Some tour operator software platforms offer tiered pricing structures that may change after a certain number of bookings or charge additional fees for multiple agent logins, potentially inhibiting your growth. Look for a solution that supports your business growth without constantly adding costs. For example, free unlimited agent logins can facilitate promoting tours at multiple destinations or Airbnb locations through affiliate links and QR codes.

Additionally, consider how well the booking platform supports your distribution strategy, especially if it involves selling through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Get Your Guide or Viator. Invest in a system with a powerful channel manager that effectively distributes your inventory without charging extra fees.

Furthermore, assess the availability of advanced features such as strong integration with Google Things to do, dynamic pricing capabilities, and advanced reporting functionalities. These features can help minimize operational costs and provide comprehensive booking capabilities for your business.

If you’re seeking a booking software that facilitates business growth without significantly impacting profits, consider booking a demo with Zaui. Explore how their platform can work for you and support your business objectives effectively.

11. Cultivate a culture of improvement

Successful sales strategies require a mindset of continuous learning, experimentation, and adaptation. Encourage a culture of innovation, creativity, and agility within your organization. Foster open communication channels, solicit feedback from customers and employees, and embrace a data-driven approach to decision-making. Continuously monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), track sales metrics, and iterate on strategies based on real-time insights. By embracing a culture of continuous improvement, tour operators can stay ahead of market trends, anticipate customer needs, and drive sustainable growth in an ever-changing landscape.

Final word

As the travel industry evolves and consumer preferences continue to shift, tour companies must adapt and innovate to remain competitive. By implementing advanced sales strategies and leveraging technology-driven solutions, tour operators can enhance their sales performance, drive customer engagement, and discover new growth opportunities. Embrace the emerging ResTech tools, improve guest communication, gain  social proof, and form strategic partnerships to differentiate your brand, captivate your audience, and create memorable travel experiences that resonate with customers. With a proactive mindset, a customer-centric approach, and a strong commitment tour companies can thrive in an increasingly dynamic and competitive market environment.

Need a tour operator software? Get in touch with Zaui experts through requesting a demo.  Zaui is not a simple booking platform, it’s an all-in-one system designed to transform the way you run your business!

 

 

 

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