So you’ve decided that you want to start running tours. But now, you’re stuck on exactly how to approach your tour operator business.

There are a lot of moving parts in any tour operation. You need to know:

  • What market you’re working with. What are their demographics, where do they do their research before they decide what to do at your destination?
  • How much capital you need. You may require a significant amount, as it can take up to 5 years to establish a recognised presence in your destination.

The answer to these questions will rely heavily on the structure you choose for your tour operation. Small Business WA provide an excellent description of the various types you can choose from:

Full & Half Day Tours

These tours are run within a day or less. Tourists love them because they can experience a destination easily and without much hassle.

Extended Tours

Also known as multi-day tours, they have 2 or more day tours linked together with overnight accommodation stops. They generally use coaches for transport, with included accommodation at a hotel or motel.

They have regular departure dates that can be pre-sold to individual customers well in advance of the date of travel.

You shouldn’t confuse these tours with safari tours who use four wheel drive vehicles and camping or budget accommodations. Those are slightly different in nature (more on that later).

Group Package Tours

Specialised groups will jump on organised one-off itineraries that are aimed at their demographic. For example:

  • Overseas/interstate tourist groups
  • Pensioners groups
  • Schools
  • Sporting clubs

The tour package is similar to that of extended tours.

Safari Camping Tours

These are extended tours which are aimed at small groups of people with similar interests. Using a four wheel drive or coach, those interested in adventure or eco-tourism experience will camp outdoors or use budget accommodations. There is often a communal approach to preparing camp sites and meals.

Passenger Charter

Unlike the previous tours we mentioned, this type of tour operation provides vehicles for general hire by individuals, sporting clubs, social groups, and school groups.

Small Charter Vehicles

These are vehicles used to provide limousine services and personal tours. You may have to obtain a license to do so.

Regular Passenger Transport

You may want to offer point to point transport. This means that you will probably cater to many locals as well. You will have regular timetables, routes, stops for set down and pick up, and fares.

Marketing your tour operation

Once you’ve organised yourself and you have hashed out all the details of your itinerary, it’s time to distribute your tour to the masses.¬†However, this can be a bit tricky – especially for brand new businesses.

If you would like a free guide to online marketing for tours and activities, feel free to access it by clicking the button below:

Tour Operator eBook

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