Like the world around us, the travel industry is incredibly interconnected – and for a good reason. Successful travel businesses capitalize on this fact by forging mutually beneficial partnerships in tourism with other businesses to reach new customers and drive bookings. It might seem contradictory to partner with the ‘competition’, but in actual fact, it’s an incredibly valuable form of marketing that can also be one of the main types of tourism distribution channels.

Here’s why tour operators and activity providers should focus on networking and developing business partnerships with others who are in the industry.

Why are business partnerships important in the travel industry?

Partnerships are important in all industries, but they play a particularly critical role in the tourism industry.

Business partnerships enable you to seek out new customers that you wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. They also are a great way to actively support the local economy and other small businesses in the area. A destination in which travel businesses all work together ultimately creates a more tourist-friendly environment. This in turn actively contributes to a thriving tourism scene that is dedicated to enhancing the experience of tourists in the region and attracting more business.

Types of Tourism Partnerships: Examples To Consider

You might be surprised to learn that examples of partnerships in travel and tourism extend far beyond just travel agents. Local strategic partnerships can take almost any form and will ultimately depend on your unique context, personal connections, and business structure.

Here are 7 key travel and tourism partnership examples that every tour and activity business should carefully consider:

Travel agents

examples of partnerships in travel and tourism

Offline agents were the original players in the travel game, making them fantastic travel and tourism partnership examples.

Concierges and retail travel agents used to be the only source of reliable information about a new destination. However, the internet has now changed the industry forever.

Now, concierges and retail agents are used all over the world to help personalize and customize travel itineraries.

By developing mutually-beneficial relationships with concierges and other offline agents, you can ensure that your tours and activities will be recommended to their guests and clients.

They are considered a trusted source of local knowledge, and your bookings will increase when they promote your business.

Online travel agents

When discussing valuable partnerships in the tourism industry examples, it’s impossible to not mention online travel agents. Developing a relationship with online agents, such as Viator or Groupon, is essential when you are a tour and activity operator in the 21st century.

Online travel agents will provide you with the online distribution you need in order to access niche markets, new travelers, and customers you never would have been able to reach prior to the advent of the Internet.

For example, you could design a promotion with the daily deal websites. This promotion would then be targeted to a specific audience that would be interested in booking your services.

It may be an investment to work with these agents and set up your channel management software to support this partnership, but the payoff is worth it when you reach a plethora of potential customers. Online agents to consider working with include online travel agents, daily deal sites, experiential gifting sites, and government tourism sites.

Hotels and hostels

travel and tourism partnership example

Providing brochures or connecting with hotel concierge agents is a great way to capture last-minute bookings. By doing so, you’ll be able to fill up those vacant spots with a quick turnaround. Hotels are generally interested in partnering with tour companies as it adds value to their guests experience.

Partnerships with hotels and hostels can be both official (such as connecting with a hotel distribution partner) and informal. A lot of hotels will accept brochures from local tour businesses that they will display to their visitors. Creating a visually-striking brochure is an economical way to improve your marketing efforts. It also puts your business right in front of prospective customers.

Local cafes and restaurants

There are lots of creative ways that tour and activity businesses can partner with local cafes and restaurants. This can include providing coupons and discount codes to travelers or visiting local cafes and restaurants as an advertised component of your tour. Visiting cafes and restaurants can further enhance your tour by providing an authentic experience that showcases local cuisines.

Local businesses

There are numerous kinds of local businesses that tour and activity providers should consider partnering with. Getting out into the local community will inevitably open up new opportunities to partner with small businesses.

Small, independent retailers are a particularly valuable partner for travel businesses offering tours and activities. After all, shopping is an important part of the travel experience. Depending on the tour that you provide, visiting local shops can improve customer satisfaction and help support the area’s economy in the process.

Travel content creators and influencers

In a world that spends an ever-increasing amount of time online, partnering with a social media influencer is particularly valuable for travel businesses as it allows them to showcase their unique selling points to a wide audience. Depending on the influencer, this partnership can simultaneously boost your business’s prestige.

But partnering with travel content creators and influencers offers more than just increasing your visibility. It also provides social media users with a deeper insight into your tour and activity. When managed properly, partnering with influencers can strike intrigue in potential customers as they view the content created by the influencer and envision what it would be like to experience your tour or activity for themselves.

Other tour and activity operators

partnership in tourism industry examples

It may seem counterintuitive to work with other tour and activity operators, but the fact of the matter is, travelers today want to book package deals. It is easier and more convenient to book a package that includes accommodations, meals, and activities for one set price.

By networking with other tour operators whose activities complement yours, you can create a desirable and affordable package for your potential customers. This partnership in tourism helps to reduce your marketing and promotional costs, and also allows you to reach a broader audience.

Someone who is interested in booking an excursion with another activity provider now knows that your company exists and that it offers complementary services that will make their holiday more enjoyable and memorable.

The best business partnerships are mutually beneficial

Travelers today want to be able to instantly book their experiences, as this is both convenient and efficient. By equipping your business with an online booking software that allows customers to self-book at their own pace, you’re leveraging your overall customer experience.

For instance, Rezdy is a travel booking software that actively helps tour and activity businesses maintain valuable business partnerships. Not only will you be able to easily manage all your admin duties from one platform, but most tasks will also now become automated with the help of a booking software like Rezdy.

Through Rezdy, you can invite your travel partners and business connections to resell your tours, excursions, and activities for commission on this unique tour marketplace platform, Rezdy Channel Manager.

Sign up with Rezdy today, and let your business partners know how this booking software will directly benefit them.

If you enjoyed this article – 7 Examples of Partnerships in Tourism and Travel – then make sure to subscribe to the Rezdy newsletter, where you’ll receive up-to-date resources from marketing tools, tour operator tips, business operations advice, and the latest industry news.

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