The tourism industry is booming, which means becoming a tour operator is a no-brainer, especially if you're passionate about your craft or city. Not only that, according to the U.S. Travel Association, both domestic and international travelers spent over a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone during 2019. If anything, this shows just how much money can be made in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries.
With that being said, you may be wondering how you, as a tour operator, can take advantage of these incredible statistics, and the massive amount of people who are on vacation looking for fun activities and attractions to experience. This can seem like a daunting task, however, with so many competitors in the market looking to do the same. Keep reading and discover how tour operators make money through add-ons, marketing, social media, and more!
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Tours and Tour Operators
- How Tour Operators Profit from Tours
Different Types of Tours and Tour Operators
Tour operators come in all shapes and sizes due to multiple factors including location, season, budget, and demand, just to name a few. The specifics of the tour can have a vast range in topic, covering everything from mountain climbing to watersports, depending on your location. What's consistent, however, are the generic tour types, which include the following:
- Equipment rentals
- Activities and experiences
- Guided tours
- Combination tours and packages
- Private excursions and small group tours
- Large group tours and VIP packages
- Attractions and landmarks
These different types of tours provide travelers with plenty of options to choose from to accommodate their specific needs, or the needs of the group as a whole. While having so many terrific tours at your fingertips is a major perk for travelers, providing options and convenience, it creates somewhat of a competition between tour providers operating in the same area. Tour providers, have no fear! Utilizing the techniques below will help you stand out from the herd and generate more revenue.
How Tour Operators Profit from Tours
Tour operators obviously profit from the sale of their product, but a truly successful company can’t rely solely on sales during their peak season to keep business afloat. In addition, the goal of any business shouldn’t be simply to stay afloat, but also to thrive. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways for tour operators to make money, and maximize profits year-round!
Focus on Caliber Instead of Cost
In today’s day and age, where technology reigns supreme, access to information is easily accessible through the simple press of a button. In just seconds, users have access to a practically endless source of data, with choices and options galore. In order for tour operators to make money, however, they must stand out from the herd of competitors.
Most companies will start by slashing prices, and discounting products and services to try and become the lowest priced option on the market. While this may increase sales to an extent, if other companies are doing the same thing, there’s a strong chance your company may still get lost in the crowd.
Instead of focusing on having the lowest prices, which could end up costing you in the end, try shifting focus towards the quality of your product and what makes it unique. This is a great way to make yourself visible online, and catch the eye of a potential customer. In addition, customers are more likely to book with companies who have a strong online presence, as it creates a sense of trust and reassurance.
Content and Social Media
Creating quality content like eloquent blogs and captivating marketing videos are a great way to enhance your website’s SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your website to better its ranking in search engine results, in an organic way.
When blogs on your website, for example, have quality content relating directly to the target audience, this can boost SEO, increase traffic to your site, and potentially result in sales.
Aside from that, blogs and other content can get people excited about your product. A well-written and well-timed blog about your product or service may be just what it takes to get the masses excited and booking excursions. This is where content and social media go hand in hand. Below are just a few of the many benefits of utilizing social media to promote content and your company as a whole:
Create Beneficial Partnerships
According to a recent Forbes article, one of the biggest and most common mistakes tour operators make when it comes to their business, is trying to do everything on their own. Because your business is more than likely your livelihood and passion, it’s easy to see why most people are afraid to delegate or ask others for help. While this is understandable, unfortunately, it’s not practical.
No matter how hard the work ethic, it’s impossible to do everything on your own without stretching your company, and yourself, thin. Partnering with like-minded companies, however, is a great way to get the support you need. For example, teaming up with a reservation system, like Waverez https://www.waverez.com/about/, is a great way to maximize your earnings and take some of the load off. Waverez makes selling activities and rentals, and managing your business easier than ever!
With so much attention dedicated to social media and drawing in new potential customers, it’s important to not forget your loyal/existing customers. Not only does it cost more to attract a new customer than it does to foster the relationship with your existing ones, but according to a recent article from Forbes, 65% of a company’s business will typically come from repeat customers!
Consider offering your current customers perks like discounts, loyalty programs, etc. You will more than likely be able to make the money back that you invested in no time!
Plan Marketing Strategies Based on Season
This will vary depending on your location and the services that you offer, but most tour operators will work hard during their peak season, and take it slow in the off season. While this may be a perfect situation for some, others are left with worry and anxiety about making it through the off season when business is slow. A great way to face this fear head on is to maximize sales during peak season, and plan ahead for the off season.
Introducing new packages or excursions, upselling products, and establishing a referral or loyalty program are just a few of the many great opportunities to take advantage of when business is booming. During the slow season, however, you may want to consider booking large groups or special events, providing discounts on slower days, and offering deals to existing customers for repeat visits. Either way, it’s important to do some research and map out when the slow season is for you, and be prepared.
Packages and Add-ons
One of the more obvious, but often overlooked ways tour operators can make extra money is by offering packages, add-ons, and customizable options. Exploring new ways to generate revenue with the equipment/services you already have is a win-win for both you and the customer. Below are a few add-ons to increase the value of your product or service and enhance the customer experience:
- Offer delivery services
- Provide complimentary consultations
- Create package deals combining multiple products or experiences
- Allow the consumer different ways to personalize/customize their tour/rental
- Utilize loyalty and referral programs
- Sell photo and video packages
- Create and sell merchandise/souvenirs
- Offer group/VIP discounts and packages
As you can see, there are so many ways for tour operators to make money and maximize their profits, no matter the season. Whether it’s through social media, or through strategic marketing, utilizing these techniques are a sure-fire way to increase sales and grow your business. If a new reservation system sounds like just the boost your business needs, click here to schedule a demo with Waverez https://www.waverez.com/demo/ , and discover why so many tour operators trust Waverez as their booking engine!