Tour Operator Tips: The Best Practices of Working with Wholesalers

Tour Operator Tips: The Best Practices of Working with Wholesalers

Creating a well-rounded distribution strategy requires you to partner with different types of agents. Wholesalers are a valuable distribution channel that can help you increase your bookings while also allowing you to generate the revenue you need to grow your business. So, here’s a few tips for working with wholesalers.

What is a Wholesaler?

Wholesalers are distribution agents within the travel industry who generally market travel products to retail travel agents. In most cases, wholesalers are looking for travel products — including tours and activities — that can be packaged into an itinerary and sold to a retail travel agent. This is due to the fact that most travelers who work with retail agents are looking for all-inclusive packages for an affordable price.

What are the Best Practices of Working with Wholesalers?

  • Market your products to wholesalers. This requires you to know what types of travel products wholesalers are looking for. Generally, you will want to promote your tours and activities as unique and authentic experiences that would complement a complete travel itinerary to your destination. Promoting the fact that your products can be customized to meet the needs of individual travelers can be an easy way to get wholesalers to notice your tour and activity company.
  • Understand their role in the distribution process. Wholesalers expect that you understand what they do and who they market their own products to. They are not working directly with travelers, but rather, they sell travel products and packages to retail travel agents. In addition, wholesalers often work with inbound tour operators as they piece together the details of the itinerary they are crafting. By understanding their role and recognizing the types of products that wholesalers are most interested in, you will be able to partner with many of these powerful distribution agents.
  • Offer a fair and competitive commission rate. Like most distribution channels, wholesalers expect a commission when they sell your products to retail travel agents or inbound tour operators. While you need to adhere to industry standards and offer a consistent commission to all wholesalers you work with, you also can create a competitive commission rate that will motivate wholesalers to work with you versus another tour and activity brand. However, remain vigilant and be sure that you are still able to generate the revenue you need after you have paid the commission to your distribution partners.
  • Allow them to book your products easily with an online booking system. Wholesalers have to fit together a variety of pieces in order to make an itinerary work, so they will be more apt to work with a tour and activity company that offers convenient online booking. Remind wholesalers that your online booking system will instantly calculate and distribute their commission, and they’ll be sure to continue booking your products well into the future.

Wholesalers are an important piece to your distribution puzzle, but they certainly aren’t the only component to an effective distribution strategy. To learn more about distributing your products and growing your brand on a global scale, download the Rezdy online distribution ebook today.

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