By Taz Bareham — 26 Aug 2014
If you’re not already partnering with other tour operators in your destination, you’re losing out.
Why? Because packaged tours are attractive to travelers, especially first-time visitors in your area. In fact, Travel Weekly reported that the percentage of packaged-tour customers who booked through big-box retailers tripled from a year earlier, from 5% to 15%.
So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of packaged tours and how you can start partnering with local operators to offer them.
For your customers, packaged tours offer plenty of benefits:
For you, partnering with other tour operators who offer complementary products is a smart way to reduce your promotion costs while making your package more appealing.
The key concern is quality. How can you make sure that you offer a high quality tour package (besides making sure to partner with only the highest quality operators)?
What makes your destination unique? What motivates them to come visit? You need a distinct theme for your package, be it eco-tourism, relaxation, or adventure-sports. You can even center your package around a particular event that’s taking place in your destination.
Of course, this depends on the target market you choose. Often, senior citizens want very different experiences from backpackers.
Make sure the name you choose for your package perfectly captures the theme of that experience.
What cost saving or free perk are you giving them?
You will probably have a lot of elements like attractions, accommodations, and other tours that are involved.
They are usually more than happy to partner with you and offer your customers a discounted rate in exchange for the guaranteed business.
Every operator involved wants their cut. Factor that into the price of the package so you know it’s sustainable.
For example, you may decide that you only want to offer scheduled departures during the during low season because it’s more profitable for all the operators involved.
The most popular type of package is one where everything (accommodation, meals, sightseeing, activities, and transport) is included.
Special interest tours. Tours that focus on a special area of interest, like arts, food & wine, or sport, are hugely successful package deals. You can even get an expert to head the tour as a mentor.
Adventure tours. These types of tours are more physical in nature, and typically require a certain level of fitness. Examples include diving, cycling, or rock-climbing trips. So if you’re a diving operator, and there’s another diving operator nearby, package a tour together which includes diving in those different locations.
City tours. These are the kind that take you to historic, religious, and culturally significant places in a destination all in one day. There’s typically a fixed itinerary, with meals included.
At the end of the day, your destination is competing with other areas nearby. So instead of competing with other tour operators in your destination, work together to promote it!
The more attractive you can make your destination, the more tourists will flock to it, because there’s so much more to do there.
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