Your tour and activity company’s distribution strategy needs to include many different types of distribution channels. These channels provide you with access to a diverse range of travelers, allowing you to boost your bookings and discover new market segments to target your products to. One essential distribution channel is Inbound Tour Operators, or ITOs. ITOs are sometimes referred to as destination management companies, and they are responsible for promoting an entire tourism region to international travelers. ITOs are often spoken about in comparison to Outbound Tour Operators. The main difference between Inbound Tour Operators and Outbound Tour Operators is that OTOs typically take travelers overseas from their home country.

So, now you know that you need to work with ITOs and how the internet has changed the distribution of tourism services, but how do you get started? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you out:

Evaluate your tour products and make sure they are “export-ready.”

ITOs specialize in providing their distributors with “export-ready” products, so you need to make sure your products fit this description if you are going to form a partnership with these agents. Your product should have the following qualifications:

  • It should be an established product that has existed for at least a year.
  • It should be an affordable and valuable product.
  • It should be a product that you can deliver with consistent quality.
  • It should be offered on a regular basis.
  • It should be a unique experience that can’t be found at just any tour and activity company.

Prepare marketing products that ITOs can utilize.

You need to provide the ITOs with marketing materials for your tours and activities. This may include traditional marketing products, such as brochures and flyers that include both photographs and tour descriptions. It also may include multimedia marketing materials, such as videos that can be shared or slideshows that showcase the products you have available. Since ITOs often market to international travelers, it’s important to create marketing materials in the native language of the market segment that the ITOs and their distributors work with.

Develop a commission sheet to present to ITOs.

You need to have an inbound commission rate sheet available, and your commission rates should coincide with industry standards. You need to make your terms and conditions as clear and concise as possible.

Connect with ITOs at networking events.

Once you have prepared your products for ITO distribution channels, you need to make it a point to connect with these valuable agents. ITOs often have a presence at industry events, such as trade shows and conferences. Plan to be at several of these events throughout the year in order to meet and greet with ITOs who can connect you with niche markets around the world.

Your distribution strategy should always be a work in progress. You should continue to strive to connect with new types of agents and discover unique distribution channels. This is the only way to continue to ensure that you will increase your bookings and boost your revenue at your tour and activity company.

To learn more about creating an effective distribution strategy, download the Rezdy distribution ebook today.

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