By Blake Ng — 19 Feb 2020
The key to expanding your brand on a global scale and generating more revenue for your business is simple: You need to sell more tours at your tour and activity company. While marketing campaigns can help generate buzz and targeted email campaigns can keep your brand front-and-center with your target market segment, you also need to rely on your distribution network.
This year, having strong relationships with resellers and distribution networks that focus on local and domestic travel in your region, country or area will be key to recovery Expand your distribution network by taking advantage of these six tourism distribution channels in 2020:
Visitor information centers are valuable in-destination tourism distribution channels. The fact remains that many tourists wait until they have arrived at their chosen destination to book their tours and activities. This allows them to be spontaneous and to get a lay of the land in the destination before they finalize their itineraries. Capturing these last-minute bookings can be particularly valuable for your business as it allows you to maximize the revenue you generate per tour. Contact the local visitor information centers in the surrounding region, and make sure they have the latest information about your new tours and packages for 2020. Encourage them to recommend your brand to visitors who stop in, and show them how they can book with you directly.
Tools like Bookeasy in Australia can help you streamline the process. Find out how to connect with Bookeasy in Rezdy and to increase your visibility to these resellers.
Known as DMOs in the tourism industry, these organizations are comprised of tourism industry business representatives who want to promote the region as a whole to travelers around the world. By working directly with a DMO, you can have an impact on the marketing campaigns that are used to bring an influx of travelers to your region. In some cases, you can allow travelers to book directly with you when you advertise on the DMO website.
While you likely have a professional network filled with a variety of tourism professionals who work in your region and around the globe, you may not think to partner with other local business owners. Nearby shops, restaurants and other businesses can actually become your most valuable tourism distribution channel. For instance, you can partner with a local restaurant owner to create a tour package that includes dining. The restaurant owner can advertise this package at their location and book it directly through your Channel Manager. They earn a commission, and you earn a booking that you may not have otherwise had.
Learn how to add your own resellers and agents in Rezdy. You can even invite local businesses that are not traditional travel resellers within our platform as private agents. This feature within Rezdy enables you to more easily manage your availability and invoicing.
Social media is one of the most powerful forces of our time, and you should certainly be leveraging as many social platforms as possible as part of your distribution strategy. Enabling online booking on your social profiles like Facebook and Instagram can help drive direct bookings, and you can set up promotions with daily deal websites to encourage consumers to grab a great deal with your brand.
Find out how to add a ‘Book Now’ button to your Facebook page via Rezdy
Hotel concierges and accommodation travel desks provide travelers with personalized information about the best activities and tours in the area. With the right booking system in place, you can allow hotel concierges to book directly with you and instantly earn their commission. This system will encourage them to recommend your products and book with you rather than send travelers to the local competition.
Read our blog on how to connect with hotel concierges.
Online travel agents are perhaps the most integral tourism distribution channel in the tour and activity industry today. OTAs like Viator and Expedia are used by travelers around the globe. Each OTA has its own target market segment, so you will want to know which OTAs are most used by your travelers. For example, if you book a lot of tours with outbound Chinese travelers, you will want to partner with Ctrip. Each individual OTA will have its own agreement, but you can generally expect a pay-per-click format. It may not be the most cost-effective distribution partnership, but it is the easiest way to get your name out there.
Read our set-up checklist article for working with OTAs using Rezdy.
Before you begin expanding your tourism distribution channels and connecting with new agents to resell your tours and activities, you will want to make sure that you have the right technology in place. An online booking system that includes a channel manager is essential. Through the channel manager, your agents have access to your live rates and availability, which eliminates the risk of overbooking your tours.
If you enjoyed this article – 6 Tourism Distribution Channels a Tour Operator Should Consider in 2020 – then follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and resources designed with businesses like yours in mind.
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Read our blog on ‘5 ways to attract tourists to your tour or experience business’ here.