Updated November 2021 – As you build your distribution network and perfect your online distribution strategy, you will want to make sure that you are working with travel wholesalers. Wholesalers can be a powerful partner in selling your tours and activities, but you need to strike the balance between motivating them to work with you while also preserving your own profit margins.

These tips will help you develop relationships with the top wholesalers in the industry:

Understand the role of wholesalers

If you want to target wholesalers as a distribution partner, then you need to know exactly what they do within the travel industry. The role of the wholesaler is unique, in the sense that they don’t work directly with travelers in the marketplace. Rather, a wholesaler will sell your tour products to retail travel agencies. In addition, they work with inbound tour operators to manage the specific details of itineraries. Essentially, wholesalers help create all-inclusive packages for travelers to book. More and more travelers are now searching for comprehensive travel packages that include all of their experiences. By engaging with travel wholesalers, it will be a valuable distribution channel for you to focus on.

Promote your products as unique experiences

Wholesalers are frequently searching for tours and activities that are both unique and authentic. These are the types of experiences that travelers are craving, and they want to be able to customize the itineraries. Not only that but having unique experiences will also be appealing to retail travel agents to better market the activity. According to Arival’s Path to Purchase September 2021 edition, the demand for unique experiences in 2021 has increased at drastic levels. More travelers are now searching for an experience that stands out and they’re willing to spend more for it.

When working with travel wholesalers, use online marketing techniques to showcase your products. Be sure to emphasize any value-added features that you include with the booking rate. Building unique experiences can be as simple as adding extra elements that your competitors might not do. For example, Offering lunch or dinner options along with a tour maybe that extra bit that will seal the deal.

Make it easy to book your tours or activities online

Given the nature of their job, wholesalers will almost exclusively work with tour and activity operators who offer online booking. They are not going to have the time available to make phone calls or wait for e-mail responses. To attract the best wholesalers in the industry, you should implement an online booking system that simplifies the booking process. In addition, your online booking system should allow them to automatically earn their commission. This is, understandably, a priority of wholesalers.

For instance, an online booking software like Rezdy allows you to integrate and connect with multiple distribution agents. Once connected, they’ll be able to see live rates and real-time availability that allows them to book instantly. This removes the need to get in touch with you in order to process the booking. Once a booking has been processed, the commission rate you set will be automatically distributed to the agent. 

With a system like Rezdy in place, it’ll help both you and the wholesaler save time spent on processing orders. As a result, it will allow you to allocate your resources to more important areas of your business. To see if Rezdy is right for you, you can start signing up for a FREE 21-day trial or book a free demo today.

Always set consistent rates for your products

It’s imperative that you set consistent rates for your tours and activities, regardless of who is selling or booking them. For example, you can’t charge OTAs (online travel agents) one rate for your tours while switching up the prices on your website. When working with wholesalers, it is important to note that the commission rate may vary from one wholesaler to another. This may impact your profit margins, but it is beneficial to work with a diverse range of distribution agents.

Treat each wholesaler individually

Each wholesaler is different and the services they provide may vary from one wholesaler to another. As a tour operator, you’ll be working with multiple wholesalers located in different countries and regions that provide different services to different types of travel communities.

It’s important that you treat each wholesaler individually and build a personalized partnership. By doing so, it will help maximize your bookings and give you ideas for future marketing strategies.

Meet your travel wholesaler in person

Building a strong relationship with your tour wholesalers is crucial in ensuring you continue to have a smooth ongoing partnership. Being able to build trust and likeability with them allows for a more personalized venture that benefits both parties.

To communicate with your wholesaler via email gets the job done, however meeting them in person or over video -call will add that personal element. You will see that communication and negotiations will flow much easier once you have met them face-to-face.

Tips on working with travel wholesalers

Connect with your travel suppliers on social media

Social media is currently one of the strongest platforms many businesses use to communicate with their customers and followers. In this day and age, many businesses – big or small – have a social media page that they will use to promote their business or provide updates.

You can use social media to your advantage by engaging with your wholesalers on multiple platforms. When you’re able to show support and promote your partners on social media by following, sharing, and engaging with them, they will likely return the favor. 

When other businesses promote you on their social media page, this will open you up to a pool of viewers that may not be aware of your business. Consider it as free publicity.

Treat your travel wholesalers as if they were your own business

When you apply to partner up with a travel wholesaler, it’s best to do some research about the company and approach them personally. Partnering with a travel wholesaler is more than just signing up to become one of their suppliers, you need to treat them as if they’re your own business. After all, they are providing you with another stream of income.

When working with a travel wholesaler, make sure you inform them of the latest updates, promotions, and opportunities. This will ensure that their staff is up to speed on the latest information that they then can share with their customers.

Keep track of the bookings

It’s important to be able to measure the success of the partnership between your business and the travel wholesaler. After all, you want to know what’s working and what’s not in order to cater and strategize for the best possible outcomes. 

Keeping track of the bookings that come through from each distribution agent will allow you to have a better understanding of each market. This can then help you create marketing strategies catered towards these markets in order to boost your bookings.

With an online booking software like Rezdy, it allows you to create partnerships with the best distribution agents in the industry, including wholesalers. This is because Rezdy offers its customers an innovative channel manager platform that simplifies the process and ensures that all distribution partners have access to your live rates and availability. Start your FREE 21-day trial or request a free demo from our friendly team today.

If you enjoyed this article – Working with travel wholesalers: A guide for tours & activities – then follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and resources designed with businesses like yours in mind.

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