If you are a tour operator and offer day tours and city tours such as a Blue Mountains tour or a Phillip Island tour, getting business from a range of hotels will be very important. Hotels are not your only option. However, there are a number of issues we should think about when we want to market to travel companies and hotels. This will be a huge source of your business if you can do it right. Here is a look at some of the issues you should be thinking about.
- Presentation. Travel, tourism and hotels related business means presentation is paramount. From your company website, to your uniforms and especially your business, your presentation must be the best. Packaging your company and brand to match the high standards of hotels, while having a fun and friendly image should be your goal.
- Unique. There may be other operators that offer similar tours at a similar price. You must ask yourself what makes your tour unique. Do you have an eco-friendly angle to your operations, or do you offer more detailed educational information? Defining your tour as special and unique will make it a better product for travel agencies and hotels to sell on to their guests.
- Networking. There is nothing like knowing the decision makers directly. Meeting these people through informal settings or through industry related social occasions will help you to get your foot in the door. There is nothing like personal relationships to boost your chances of getting business. If someone knows you and likes you, it will be easier to book an appointment to give that all important presentation.
- Training. A tour guide and driver should have more skills and knowledge than they need. For example, having first aid qualifications and other skill sets that can be seen as beneficial for guests are always an advantage. Having your own in-house training programs, such as customer service, and emergency training will add value to your entertainment and relaxation products. Language abilities, for example, can really reduce the number of competitors you may have for a particular market share.
- Numbers. The more range of tours you can offer, the better. It is easier for any hotel or travel agency to deal with a single operator that offers a range of tours. It just makes economic sense.
- System. Hotels and travel operators will have systems they use for booking. Instead of trying to impose your deal on them, it is better to integrate into the way they already do business. Invest in listening to what they are looking for and accommodate them.
- Online Marketing. Online marketing is very effective for attracting tourists before they reach a destination. Many of them will be looking for as much information as possible before they arrive. By having the best content and information that can be found easily by potential tourists, they will also be looking for you. Creating a system for them to communicate directly with you is very important. By creating your own popularity you will also force the travel companies and hotels to approach you. This form of indirect pressure can be very effective.