Contest, Sweepstake & Prize Ideas for Tour Operators Running a Watersport Business - WaveRez
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Contest, Sweepstake & Prize Ideas for Tour Operators Running a Watersport Business

| January 26, 2022 | 6 Min Read

| January 26, 2022 | 6 Min Read
Attracting travelers to book your boat tours or jet ski rentals always becomes trickier during the off-season. While tour operators find many ways to generate revenue, such as finding a perfect location for their watersport business, launching interesting and fun tours, or even simply knowing 5 things before starting a watersport business, other ways often get overlooked. One of those is hosting a giveaway, which we’ll discuss in this blog post.

Why Watersport Operators Should Host Giveaways

Contests or sweepstakes are a perfect way to introduce your watersport rental and tour offerings to your audience. Whether you’re trying to grow your watersport business via Instagram or promote your water-based activities to senior citizens, giveaways can provide a good incentive for travelers to book with you vs. your competitor. Here are the key reasons to allow vacationers to join a giveaway:

Now let’s find out the best sweepstake ideas, reward ideas, and how to determine a winner (Spoiler: some of this info might surprise you!).

Contest Ideas

Hosting a sweepstake is actually a no-brainer – no previous experience is required, nor will it take too much of your time and effort to host one. Let’s take a look at some examples that will potentially drive a vacationer’s interest in your watersport business.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Your customers appreciate knowing that their opinion matters, especially if you provide them with an incentive to share their feedback on the recent trip they took with you. Sending a link to customers to a survey via emails and text messaging with a chance to win a prize will boost participation rates. Customer feedback shared in answered questions will not only provide you with deep insight into your success delivery rate of rentals and tours but will also engage them.

Themed Shareable Content

Are you running out of ideas on how to impress your customers? Arranging a shareable content contest can be a game-changer! Ask your social media followers what they would like to see in your watersport business offerings or anything else of interest, share all candidates to your Instagram Stories, and let your followers choose the best one via quizzes. Voila, you now should have a good idea of what you should do next. 🙂


Unlike with other types of contests, the giveaway’s winner gets picked randomly. Create eligibility requirements for joining, such as ask your social media followers to comment under the giveaway post announcement, and ask to start following you. Once the deadline has passed, go live on Facebook or Instagram, go to a website like Comment Picker, and do the screen share to demonstrate the randomly picked winner!

Prize Ideas

There are many prizes you can come up with that will work perfectly for all kinds of contests; here are some examples:

  1. Discount on next pontoon boat rental: Renting a 20ft pontoon boat and bigger for free to the customer can be too expensive for some tour operators; that’s why providing a discount can be a more affordable solution. If a contest winner has previously booked a different activity with you (e.g., jet ski rental), it will give them a good introductory discount to other offerings you have.
  2. Your watersport company merchandise: Besides being an awesome prize, giving away your company merchandise can also be a good way to deal with difficult customer situations. Selling merchandise is also an excellent way to maximize your profits with your watersport business, so you definitely don’t want to underrate this company operations aspect.
  3. Free add-on option to offering: If you offer add-ons (e.g., inflatables) for your watersport rentals and tours that you usually charge for, you can waive that fee and offer it as a reward. In case you’re working to sustain a great relationship with your marina management, which we highly recommend, another prize idea could be offering a discount at a local restaurant. This will help make sure not only will your watersport business benefit from the contest that you host, but also another business on site.

Determining a Winner of Contest

Determining a winner can be based on a random pick as we suggest for giveaways or based on your audience’s opinion, as we recommend for themed shareable content. However, there are just a couple more things to be aware of to host a successful contest.

What Should You Do if It’s Easy to Choose a Winner?

The question pretty much contains the answer in it – all you have to do is base that selection on your personal preference. However, the critical thing to bear in mind is to explain your choice to your audience. Don’t take risks in letting participants think that the whole contest was staged and the winner was already predetermined.

What Should You Do if It’s Hard to Choose a Winner?

If you can’t base your choice on your preference, you could try asking your colleagues in the marina and to see what they think. Cross promoting your marina is yet another great way to sustain a great relationship with property management.


As we found out in this blog, hosting contests and sweepstakes is absolutely a must for watersport tour operators for a bunch of reasons. And if you feel like you don’t have that luxury of time or simply don’t want to juggle your booking management with extra things to do, then let us help you with that. WaveRez is the reservation software designed by water sports veterans and industry experts who used to run their own jet ski rental company. Schedule your free demo, or drop us a line to learn how to start taking advantage of our software solution that will take your watersport business booking flows to the next level.

About the Author

Greg Fisher

Greg Fisher is the Co-founder and CEO of WaveRez, a leading platform revolutionizing watersports and activity reservations. With a passion for innovation and a keen understanding of the tourism industry, Greg has been instrumental in driving the company's growth and success. Under his leadership, WaveRez continues to set new standards in customer experience and operational efficiency.
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