As a tour and activity operator, you’re always looking for ways to stand out and sell more experiences. Here are five unique ways to do just that, based on insights from industry experts and successful operators.
Everyone wants to keep memories of amazing experiences, and it never hurts if those memories are captured by a professional photographer that goes along the ride to catch all those ‘in action’ moments.
Connecting with a local photographer or even just amateur photo enthusiasts, can bring you a lot of extra cash.
We’ve seen it work very well when you hire them on a per job basis, agree on a price per trip, then upsell customers on this package as an option during checkout. This is such a win, win, win.
Customers love the option to do this, and often will pay $100+ to capture experiences. You as an operator will love this easy way to increase revenue, and your company will love all the extra customer reviews with photos and social media posts that people will create now that they have such beautiful photography to use.
One way to sell more experiences is by personalizing your tours to meet the needs and interests of your customers. The use of storymaking is a powerful marketing tool that is completely underutilized. This not only creates a more memorable experience but also increases the likelihood of repeat business and positive reviews. Consider asking customers about their preferences before the tour and customizing the experience accordingly. This can include anything from preferred activities and foods to personalized recommendations based on their interests, and is an easy way to increase revenue.
For example, a tour company could offer a “Choose Your Own Adventure” option where customers can select from a list of activities, such as hiking, wine tasting, or historical tours. This allows customers to create a unique and personalized experience that caters to their interests.
Another way to sell more experiences is by creating packages and bundles that offer additional value to customers. This can include discounts on multiple tours or activities, add-ons like meals or transportation, or exclusive access to special events. Bundling experiences together not only adds value for customers but can also be another way to increase revenue.
For example, a bike tour company could offer customers the option to rent an electric bike for an additional fee, or a whale watching company could offer a private boat tour for an additional cost. By offering these additional options, operators can increase revenue while providing customers with a more tailored and memorable experience.
When creating packages and bundles, tour and activity operators can combine different activities and experiences into one cohesive package. For example, a tour company could offer a “Wine and Dine” package that includes a wine tasting tour followed by a gourmet dinner at a local restaurant. This creates a seamless and convenient experience for customers, while also increasing revenue for the operator.
More and more travelers are looking for authentic and local experiences that allow them to immerse themselves in the local culture. As a tour and activity operator, you can tap into this trend by offering experiences that showcase local traditions, cuisine, and customs. Consider partnering with local artisans, chefs, or musicians to create unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else to increase revenue.
Partnering with local businesses can create a mutually beneficial relationship for both the tour operator and the business. For example, a tour company could partner with a local brewery to offer a beer tasting tour, or a kayaking company could partner with a nearby restaurant to offer a lunch or dinner package. By working together, both businesses can attract new customers and increase revenue.
Social media and influencers can be a powerful tool for promoting tours and activities. For example, a tour company could partner with a local travel influencer to showcase their tours on Instagram, or run a social media contest to engage with potential customers. By leveraging the power of social media and influencers, tour operators can reach a wider audience and increase bookings.
Technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing the customer experience and selling more experiences. This includes everything from virtual and augmented reality experiences to mobile apps that provide real-time information and personalized recommendations. By leveraging technology, you can create immersive and engaging experiences that keep customers coming back for more, which is always the perfect way to increase revenue.
Virtual reality can be a great way to enhance the customer experience and offer a preview of what the tour or activity will be like. For example, a tour company could offer a virtual reality tour of a popular attraction, or a hiking company could offer a preview of the trail through virtual reality. By using virtual reality, operators can create a more immersive experience for customers and increase bookings.
Chatbots can be used to provide customers with personalized recommendations and answer frequently asked questions. For example, a tour company could use a chatbot to recommend tours based on a customer’s interests, or provide information about pricing and availability. By using chatbots, operators can provide customers with instant and personalized responses, while also freeing up time for staff to focus on other tasks.
Another easy way to increase revenue is by offering flexible booking options can be a great way to sell more experiences. This can include everything from online booking and payment options to last-minute availability and customized scheduling. By offering convenient and flexible booking options, you can attract more customers and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
Imagine a busy professional who wants to take a weekend trip to explore a new city. They have a packed schedule and can only commit to specific dates for their trip. However, they come across a tour company that offers flexible booking options, including the ability to customize the schedule based on their availability. This is a game-changer for them as they can now fit the tour into their busy schedule without any inconvenience. The convenience of being able to book online and pay in advance makes the process even more seamless. As a result, they not only book the tour but also recommend it to their colleagues and friends who are also looking for flexible travel options.
In another scenario, a family is planning a vacation but is hesitant to commit to booking tours and activities in advance as they are unsure of their exact schedule. However, they come across a tour operator that offers last-minute availability and the ability to book tours and activities even during their vacation. This flexibility gives them peace of mind, knowing they can change their plans and still have access to the experiences they want. They end up booking several tours and activities during their trip, and the flexibility of the booking options leads them to become repeat customers for future vacations.
By offering flexible booking options, tour operators can cater to a wider range of customers with varying schedules and preferences. This convenience can lead to increased bookings, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
As travelers become increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, offering sustainable experiences can be a great way to appeal to this growing market and an easy way to increase revenue. This can include anything from eco-friendly tours and activities to responsible transportation and waste management.
You might consider offering a sustainable snorkeling tour that emphasizes the importance of protecting the local coral reefs. Your guides could share stories about the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem and the measures that can be taken to reduce human impact. You could also offer reusable water bottles to guests to reduce plastic waste.
Another example could be a hiking tour in a natural park. You could make an effort to use electric or hybrid vehicles for transportation to and from the park. During the hike, your guides could highlight the importance of Leave No Trace principles, such as packing out all trash and minimizing disturbance to the environment. You could also work with local partners to provide sustainable snacks and meals, such as locally-sourced produce or plant-based options.
By embracing sustainability in your tours and activities, you can not only appeal to conscious travelers but also contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural resources. This approach can also attract positive attention from media outlets and increase brand reputation, which can lead to more bookings in the long run.
Creating limited-time offers and exclusive experiences can generate a sense of urgency and exclusivity that can be an easy way to increase revenue. This can include anything from seasonal tours and events to private tours with VIP access to exclusive attractions.
Gift certificates can be a great way to increase revenue during slower periods or as a last-minute gift option. For example, a tour company could offer gift certificates for a specific tour or activity, or a general gift certificate that can be redeemed for any tour or activity. This allows customers to give the gift of an experience, while also providing the operator with additional revenue.
Offering exclusive experiences can be a great way to stand out in a crowded market. For example, a tour company could offer a private tour of a popular attraction, or a behind-the-scenes tour of a local brewery. By offering unique and exclusive experiences, operators can create a sense of exclusivity and increase revenue.
There are many easy ways to increase revenue and sell more experiences as a tour and activity operator. By personalizing tours, creating packages and bundles, offering authentic local experiences, leveraging technology, and offering flexible booking options, you can attract more customers and increase revenue. By also collaborating with other local businesses, embracing sustainability, and creating limited-time offers and exclusive experiences, you can differentiate yourself in a crowded market and drive even more sales.
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