5 Tour Operator Tips to Increase Your Sales
According to the National Tour Agency survey from 2021, most tour operators are feeling optimistic about the future of travel as we transition out of the pandemic.
While postponed trips and reduced travel characterized much of last year, the skies are opening up and one third of surveyed tour operators reported increased travel interest for 2022.
That’s good news if you’re a tour operator. As you emerge and recover from the dark days of COVID-19, increasing your sales is a top priority. Expanding your services and capabilities is crucial, and a travel ERP system is essential to accomplishing these goals.
Below are 5 tour operator tips to increase your sales in the coming year.
1. Use social proof
While well-written advertisements and value-packed podcasts can help your business grow, one of the most powerful marketing tools is social proof. It’s human nature to follow what other people are doing. That’s why customer reviews, referrals and recommendations are so important.
Especially in the travel industry.
Reach out to your customers and ask them for testimonials regarding their experiences with you. Ask them to post positive reviews on travel sites like Tripadvisor. Then, upsell your customers and attract new ones by posting these reviews on your website and on social media.
Tour operator software significantly streamlines this process by making client communication easy. Using the communication portal, you can easily connect at scale with your clients via SMS or email to advertise your services using reviews and testimonials.
2. Transition to online booking
By 2026, 74% of total travel and tourism revenue will be generated through online sales. Accepting reservations through your website is the key to staying competitive.
Web-based tour operator software connects to your website, enabling online booking. But it does even more than that. For example, online booking software stores customer data, analyzes booking trends and provides you with insights to help you improve your business strategy.
You’ll get more transparency into your clients’ decisions by knowing which trips are most popular in which cities, which promotions have brought in the most customers, and which regions you need to further target.
3. Connect with your clients through new channels
Reaching out to your clients and staying connected is easier than ever before. While printing ads and mailing promotional materials were the primary communication channels in the past, nowadays, emails and SMS are fast and easy methods of sharing new products, sales and updates. With the click of a button and little investment, you can advertise your tour operator business and keep it in the forefront of your client’s minds.
With a tour operator management system, you can further expand your reach with omnichannel marketing, promoting your products and services across all channels, devices, and platforms with minimal effort. You can also build tailor-made proposals, itineraries, and bookings, and sell them through multiple channels.
4. Build strategic partnerships
Networking with other vendors offers incredible opportunities to create new and innovative tours and products for your customers. By thinking out of the box with others in the industry, you can build new partnerships and provide your customers with exciting new adventures both domestic and international. For example, you can team up with a cooking guru to create a food-themed tour or partner with a yoga expert to build a niche tour for yoga enthusiasts. Partnerships inspire creativity and innovation which result in products that attract new clients.
5. Expand your B2B Network
Business travel is returning albeit slowly. Still recovering themselves and having replaced face-to-face meetings with video calls, executives appreciate the cost-savings of reduced travel. Nevertheless, they still value the benefits of in-person meetings and conferences. There’s nothing like shaking a hand or sharing a meal with your business prospects.
Reach out to businesses and provide them with the added value and encouragement they need to return to business travel. A tour operator system streamlines your workflow on both the front and the backend, freeing you up to think and imagine new tours to address the needs of today’s companies. It also enables you to more easily customize business travel and communicate with new leads.
As the global population begins to board planes and trains to finally travel again to distant lands, you’ll need to put on your sales hat. Gather up your testimonials, reassess your target population and their needs, and reach out to new partners. With extra effort and the help of automated cloud-based travel software, you’ll increase your profitability and scale your business in a way you never thought possible.
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