Let’s face it. People love to travel, and when they do, they spend money.
Whether they’re jumping out of a plane, touring one of the many beautiful wine regions, or learning to surf, travelers are providing tour operators with a direct opportunity to make money – and these “imported” dollars could provide the additional revenue needed to remain financially viable.
To attract travelers to your business, your first and foremost necessity is to get found! How do you do this?
1. Optimize your website for travelers
Your website needs to be effective, in terms of
- Content. Do all images look professional? Is text clearly written?
- Message. Is it clear what you do? What do you want from your visitor?
- Functionality. Do all components of your website work? Is there a clear and direct path to a booking or inquiry?
Remember that this is essentially your “first impression”, so be attractive! Think about using colours that compliment each other and add visual components to compliment the written sections.
While there’s nothing wrong with getting out and interacting with people, editing your website can be done from the comfort of your home, or a warm office. Your customers will find you, and hopefully stick around long enough to schedule a booking.
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2. Embrace social media
In this day and age you will struggle to become a successful and thriving business without a footprint in the social media world.
Social media provides the perfect hub to:
- Create a community of people that ‘like’ your company, provide photos of their experience, and give promotional testimonials.
- Gain vital feedback that you can take on board for improvement.
- Provide discounts and promotions to those who ‘like’ your page as an incentive. This is a core factor to attract visitors to your page.
Create a Facebook company page so you can interact with your customers one on one or as a group. If you’re stuck, download our guide to social media for tour operators. We detail exactly how you should go about each social network.
3. Know your audience
If they’re young don’t expect them to spend ludicrous amounts of money, and if they’re old don’t expect them to be thrill seekers. However, there are many older folks who would seek a thrill if approached in the right way, so be smart as there are always exceptions.
- What are their interests? Do many of your rock climbers also enjoy forest hikes? If you find a pattern amongst your audience, then you may have found yourself a new marketing channel.
- Why would they buy your experience? What makes you stand out to those travelers in particular? For example, it’s because you offer romantic tours and you know your customers tend to be couples on their honeymoon.
- What motivates them? Travelers will buy based on emotion – do you want them to feel relaxed, amazed, or thrilled?
Knowing and understanding the needs of your travelers is the KEY to getting more bookings.
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4. Be trustworthy
Trust is a huge part of any relationship, especially when you’re offering a product or service. People are more likely to purchase from someone they trust.
- Be friendly. In person, smile! And use a warm tone when talking. This vibe should shine through on your website, too.
- Speak clearly. In most cases your customer will be foreign and may not be confident speaking the language so it’s important to cater to this.
- Be helpful. Always provide a solution. If people need directions, then provide them. If they need a recommendation, then provide one. If you come across helpful and engaging then there is a high chance people will return.
- Listen closely. Take on board and utilize feedback that is given to you. Your customers are your moneymakers so engage with them and ask for feedback. Perhaps, provide a quick ‘Feedback Survey’ at the end of each tour.
When travelers trust you, they will recommend you to their friends when they get home, further boosting your bookings.
5. Fish where the fish are
In other words, advertise and market yourself in high tourist traffic areas, like iconic city sights, backpacker hostels, bars, websites for travelers, etc.
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