Tour operators both large and small deal constantly with that ever-present struggle: finding and retaining travelers. How do they stand out among a growing contingency of travel content and travel options?
Lucky, there are a number of key things that tour operators can do to make sure their online presence remains strong, engaging, and ultimately leads to consistent travelers.
1. Get more visibility
Make sure travelers have all the possible ways to find you online. Sites like Stride Travel, the largest search and reviews marketplace for multi-day tours, are providing a powerful way for tour operators to connect with new travelers. On Stride, each tour company has their own profile, trip list, and 3rd party traveler reviews.
Stride operates on a Kayak-like model, allowing consumers to search and compare tour companies using advanced filtering options. They then book directly with the tour company, allowing for full transparency on Stride, and consumer trust. Tour operators can speak to Stride about ways they can get in front of more travelers on the site.
2. Work with bloggers and influencers
Before you scoff, consider that more and more independent travel bloggers are working with tour operators these days. These bloggers often have enormous audiences, strong social media presence, and are able to reach a lot of targeted people.
On that same note, it’s a good idea to do a lot of research before choosing the bloggers you want to reach out to. Many have niche focuses, from subject matter to age group. These are important factors for ensuring the partnership will be fruitful.
Another tip would be to look outside the travel blogger realm. Consider lifestyle bloggers, mommy bloggers, and subject bloggers (such as hiking, mountaineering, or cycling).
3. Garner Online Reviews
It’s no secret that online reviews are one of the single most important factors consumers take into account before purchasing. Providing the opportunity for your travelers to provide their perspective on the tours, guides, and activities not only allows you to improve your itineraries and employee training, it also opens the door for everything from conflict resolution to praise on a public platform.
Stride Travel, mentioned above, is a great place to start. Reviews.io is a public rating system, that directly affects how you show up in Google search results, adding stars to your meta description. Also, make sure to take advantage of the reviews section on WeTravel!
4. Keep a blog
Let your travelers and potential travelers learn about your outlook on travel in a more personalized way.
A blog space can give tour operators more freedom to express themselves in a “fun” less marketing or jargony kind of way. It’s a place to tell stories, share news about upcoming trips, and provide inspiration for travelers who are maybe going between a few ideas.
Having a blog on your site also means you have another area on your site for unique content to appear. The more unique content utilizing related keywords for your business and tours, the better ranking you’ll have in Google.
5. Make sure your booking process is seamless
WeTravel makes it easy to ensure that everyone on your group tour has access to trip profiles, online payments, and itinerary information. It’s all in one place too, minimizing confusion, multiple emails, and spreadsheets.
Nothing is more frustrating for consumers than a confusing booking process. This is where WeTravel comes in with a payment platform that also allows you to create a booking page that makes the whole process simple!
Check out our Free Resources for Travel Companies for more organization and marketing tips.