As a tour operator, a large majority of your business is undoubtedly coming from travelers. Here’s what you need to know about them.

1. They will shop around

With so much information at their fingertips, it’s only natural that travelers will be online comparing you to your competitors.

Amadeus reports that they do this because they feel like they are “making a hasty, potentially regrettable decision if they do not shop around.”

So where are they going? Well, according to new research, the majority of both business and leisure travelers highly recommend TripAdvisor for travel planning.

Tour operators need to make sure they are listed on TripAdvisor (or other popular sites that appeal to their target market) and accumulate reviews there.

2. They want to hear from you

Contrary to popular belief, contacting travelers with marketing messages will not annoy them. In fact, they want to hear what you have to offer.

A study conducted by Exact Target reports that consumers want you to invest in your email, your website, and a better Facebook experience:

  • 49% of consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message.
  • 21% of consumers report that they have made a purchase as a result of a message they saw on Facebook.
  • 46% of consumers follow brands on Twitter to receive advanced notice about new products.

So don’t worry about coming off as being too spammy.¬†As long as you’re not bombarding them with emails it shouldn’t be a problem – especially with inbox filters such as GMail’s Promotions tab, which lets them access marketing messages when they feel like it.

3. They want to book online

Whether it’s through online travel agencies or directly via your website, travelers are keen on doing the research and booking it in themselves.

Tnooz reports that trips are now managed principally on a traveler’s smartphone or laptop, with paper-based itineraries serving only as a backup when access cannot be obtained.

According to Sapient, when most of their employees plan business trips they self-serve because the company employs a low number of admin staff.

So make sure that you work with OTAs and other channels to distribute your products online, in addition to having an online booking system set up on your website.

This will mean that travelers get more convenience, as they are able to check your availability and lock it in right then and there without the unnecessary back and forth that typically occurs with a manual booking system.

If you would like to see what that looks like, take a free trial of Rezdy:

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For more research on what travelers want, browse our related blog posts.

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