Not sure which are the best management and online marketing tools for small business tour operators to be working with?
We have put together a list of some of the top (free and paid) tools tour operators can use for online business management, digital marketing, and communication purposes. With the right ones in place, you can boost productivity, increase efficiency, and streamline your processes!
It all starts with a website. Pretty much everything is done in the online space now. So, without a website, there is no way for travelers to easily find your business or book your tours.
WordPress is one of the more popular platforms as it is easy to get to know, and it provides a great deal of functionality and features through its various plugins.
Design is made simple too, with a library full of themes and templates to choose from, which will give your travel website a unique look.
Online Business Management Tools for Tour Operators
Booking and Online Payment Tools
As a tour operator, you need to be able to offer online bookings in real-time. Being available 24/7 means you can take more tour reservations as confirming them is no longer limited to office hours.
Of course, online bookings go hand in hand with online payments. We think that our very own WeTravel payment platform is a great solution for this! Not only can you easily offer online payments, but you can also create beautiful online booking pages to send to clients or embed directly on your website.
Historically, excel has been a popular choice among tour operators and travel businesses for managing bookings and keeping track of payments. However, the lack of collaboration, lack of automation, risk of error, etc. means that your business is not necessarily operating as efficiently as it could be.
This is where WeTravel can help you once again! A simple management panel gives you and your team an overview and access to your bookings. From here, you can manage various aspects of organization such as reconcile payments, as well as send reminders and information to clients.
When organizing your tours, you will probably need to share files online with specific team members.
Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Apple iCloud are a few of the popular choices suited to this purpose. Typically, you get a certain storage allocation for free, and over and above that pay a subscription.
Most allow for online editing as well, which means that documents can be stored and accessed from a central place. This is often essential during the tour organization process when more than one person needs to work from a single document.
As an online tool, Google Calendar is a good all-rounder to set reminders, create events, organize meetings, or even plan your day.
If you are looking for a meeting scheduling tool, Doodle cuts out the back and forth of comparing schedules and integrates with Google Calendar.
With so many business activities done online, passwords have become an everyday reality to protect your information.
Digital Online Marketing Tools for Small Business Tour Operators
Digital marketing in any form; whether email, social media, content, etc. requires a lot of effort and measurement to be successful. Of course, there are online marketing tools for small business tour operators to use which will help with this.
Setting up Google Analytics is key to tracking metrics which indicate your website’s or blog’s success. And you can use Optimizely’s AB testing tools to track the success of different versions of your website or page and optimize accordingly.
Photo and Video Editing & Stock Media
You are going to want beautiful images and video for your travel website. Options include hiring professionals to produce the content for you, which is a great idea if you want to showcase your tours.
Alternatively, for blog content not specifically related to your tours, you can search copyright free libraries on websites such as Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay. These have a wealth of beautiful and inspiring travel images and videos available for download. Simply verify the license agreement of the content before using it.
Social Media Management Tools
The best social media online marketing tools for small business tour operators can schedule social media posts and measure their success (Hootsuite), as well as track brand mentions (Mention) on the platforms.
Social media is all about engagement, so managing the platforms effectively can help you grow your travel brand.
Chat and Communication Tools
Chatting With Clients
Messaging apps such as Messenger and Whatsapp can be integrated with Facebook to connect people on social to your business. They are particularly useful as a customer service tool, to respond to inquiries, or communicate during targeted paid advertising campaigns on the platform.
If it is a chatbot that you are after, tools like Streamchat work in Messenger to provide a basic automatic out of office response. Chatfuel is more advanced, but still provides a simple interface and easy integration with messenger.
For internal communication with the team, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Slack are popular choices. You can hold video meetings and chat using the built-in messenger on these apps. Set up groups such as tour operations, marketing, and sales to communicate with relevant teams quickly and efficiently.
And there you have it! We hope these tools help you to increase productivity for your tour operator business.
If you are interested in finding out how to use the WeTravel platform as a tool to manage your payments and bookings, watch the short video below. You can also try it out free, or contact us on live chat if you have any questions.