Updated September 2022 – Finding creative ways to maximize sales is at the top of every travel business’ mind. But determining the most effective route of generating bookings is a tricky task when set against the backdrop of a competitive marketplace.

In order to know how to increase sales in the tourism industry, a business must remain proactive in listening to and responding to their customers’ wants and needs. As with most business strategies, this is easier said than done.

To help you build a strong sales plan that takes into account your context, customers and competitors, here are some key issues to consider when building your business’ visibility and ultimately securing your place as a major player in the tourism industry.

7 strategies to increase sales in the tourism industry

Here are 7 simple tour operator tips to increase sales, build a strong brand presence and ultimately drive more bookings to your website:

1. Fill a travel niche

A fundamental part of knowing how to increase sales in the tourism industry is identifying a profitable travel niche.

A travel niche is a specialization that caters to a certain demographic or type of travel. They can range anywhere from something highly-specific to a broad demand shared by a majority of travelers.

For example, a travel niche could be anything from ‘luxury travel’, ‘adventure travel’ or ‘historical walking tours for business travelers who have limited time on their hands’.

Travel niches allow tour and activity operators to differentiate their services and capitalize on their interests. When brainstorming your travel niche, try to answer the following questions:

  • What are you good at?
  • What areas are you knowledgeable about?
  • Is there a specific demographic you are looking to cater to?
  • Are you planning to sell your tours for a specific price point?
  • What kind of networks do you have access to?

2. Price your tours based on your niche

The way you display your pricing can definitely have an affect on whether or not your customers will book with you. There are two main types of pricing that travel businesses can select from:

Disguised Pricing

Disguised pricing refers to pricing models that bunch together elements that you include in your tour to add value. With disguised pricing, you will most likely get a discount from all the people you’re working with (such as for meals and entry fees).

By displaying just one overall price, it disguises how much each element cost you. You should have at least 3 different elements influencing your total cost before you consider disguise pricing.

How to increase sales in travel business

Visible Pricing

What if all the included elements are a bit too pricey when added together? In that case, show customers the cost of each element in your tour, and let them mix and match what they want. They can then stick to their budget and customize the experience for themselves.

3. Promote the unique features of your tour

When advertising your tour, it’s critical that you properly represent its uniqueness.

Photographs, reviews and testimonials are all powerful ways to promote your tour in a visceral format. Provide more information in your marketing materials than just a bullet point list of sites and activities. Use emotive language to engage your audience and persuade them that your tour will provide them with an unforgettable experience that aligns with their interests.

Additionally, you can further entice your target audience by fueling their curiosity and adding interesting tidbits of information on surprises that they can expect from the tour. Don’t give it all away at once – you’ll want to describe the beginning of a compelling story that can only be finished by signing up to your specific tour.

4. Offer discounts for tours

How to increase sales in travel industry

By offering discounts, you can maintain your margins for regular sales, while also receiving extra income by selling to other customers at a discount.

It’s a smart idea to apply a discount on your products in the low season to help with yield management. During a particular time period, your customers can get more for less. The value they receive goes up, and it’s more tempting to book it in. You can distribute this via daily deal sites for quick results.

5. Add value and ‘extras’ to travel offerings

Small things can be added to your product that will give it a lot of perceived value, without much hassle. For example, offer a free drink, or work with a local attraction and offer tickets for entry along with your tour.

Working with other tour operators in your region is a great idea, because you can create an experience that encompasses all of the activities they can experience there. They won’t have to book and pay 5 times for each separate component because it’s all bundled together. This will also help solidify your unique selling proposition.

6. Build a world-class B2B supplier network

Partnering with other businesses is a valuable opportunity to expand your reach and build mutually beneficial relationships.

Local businesses aren’t necessarily your competitors. Consider reaching out to relevant local businesses and offering them mutually beneficial partnerships with your company.

Outside of local businesses, online travel agency partnerships are a great way to gain greater visibility online and reach customers that would otherwise not find your website, compared to offline travel bookings. A healthy mix of both indirect and direct bookings will work together to drive more sales.

7. Provide customers with unforgettable experiences

While it might seem obvious, providing customers with incredible travel experiences is arguably the most powerful way to boost sales. But customer satisfaction stems from more than just the activity itself: it also involves how you engage with them both prior and after their tour.

Increasing sales

Personalized automated booking confirmations are a great tool to use when trying to figure out how to increase sales in travel businesses. Both real-time availability and automated confirmations will ensure that your customer’s experience with your business begins on a positive note. Combine this with a mobile-optimized website created by a booking website builder that offers a white label experience, and you’re sure to build greater prestige through your online presence.

Maintaining positive relationships with customers will help ensure that they look back on your tour fondly and recommend it to others if the time ever comes.

How to dominate the competition in 5 steps

In addition to addressing the above 7 tips when trying to figure out how to increase sales in the travel industry, it’s also necessary to take some time to analyze your competitors. Only by gaining a bird’s eye view of your wider context can you take purposeful actions to enhance your business and customer service.

Want to build a tour and activity business that delivers where your competitors fail? Here’s your homework.

1. Research consumer needs

Before you start looking at your competitor’s websites, it’s a good idea to first learn more about your target audience when learning how to increase sales in the tourism industry.

Research what you think customers are prepared to pay for specific activities. Look at competitors – how is your pricing different? How much are customers willing to pay for this difference?

2. Identify competitor weaknesses

Everyone has weaknesses – including your competitors. Pinpointing the shortcomings in your competitor’s service allows you to identify gaps in the market that your business could realistically fill.

3. Identify your own strengths

Perhaps the easiest way to improve your business model is to capitalize on your strengths. Chances are, you’ve already incorporated some of your strengths into your tour structure.

But to make the most of your inherent advantages, try to think of creative ways to play off your strengths in all aspects of your business, not just your tour itinerary. Could you use your strengths to improve your marketing campaigns or build valuable partnerships with key resellers or other local networks? Do you have coworkers, family members or friends who offer unique talents that could open up new opportunities for your business?

4. Brainstorm pricing ideas

Think of ways to vary your tour products through applying discounts, adding value, and packaging your pricing. If you expect seasonal changes in business, consider offering discounts or loyalty programs that will encourage customers to book during less popular time periods.

5. Implement a pricing strategy with a tour operator platform

All of this strategy won’t work if you fall short when it comes to execution. While you’ll be more competitive, it will also create administrative work that limits you to your desk. Poor booking management can result in unsatisfied customers and bad reviews.

Do you have online booking software to automate the booking process? If so, can it apply discounted pricing? What options does it offer for payment gateway integration?

If you want something with this capability, take a FREE 21-day trial of Rezdy. It’s obligation-free and our customers love it. Alternatively, you can also book a demo session with our team to understand how Rezdy fits within your business.

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