Published May 10, 2017
A tour operator has crafted the perfect itinerary to see the Northern Lights in Iceland specifically for your group. You might think that the tour operator’s job ends for awhile while you promote the tour they created.
Many travel planners feel they are responsible for their own trip’s promotion. However, tour operators can not only create a tour, but help you sell it for free. Today’s tour operators customize promotional help for travel planners with personalized tours and marketing tools both online and off.
See It to Sell It
Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful weapons a travel planner can use to sell a trip. Listening to someone describe a recent zip-lining excursion is always more interesting and compelling than reading about it.
That is why familiarization tours (FAMs) remain a great way to sell a destination. Tour operators are often glad to send you on one of their trips so you can come back home and convey the experience like nothing else can.
This knowledge of the tour can help when a potential traveler presents a concern about a certain trip’s safety or difficulty.
For example, a group member might worry that your next trip to Costa Rica will involve too much walking. After going on the trip yourself, you can honestly say how much walking is involved by recounting your firsthand experience.
Enthusiasm can also sell a tour like nothing else can. Telling a group about how your eyes filled up with tears when you first beheld the Grand Canyon will make your members yearn for the same moment.
Choose Your Own Marketing Tools
If you can’t get your face in front of your group members, a stellar picture can also quickly catch their attention. Instead of using your personal photos, which may be dark or out of focus, ask your tour operator for access to one of its high-resolution, professionally shot images.
High-quality photography and well-crafted fliers not only draw the eye but also send a message of professionalism that can reassure your group members. In travel, like everything else, first impressions matter. So your dark photo of the inside of Notre Dame will not be near as convincing as a stunning image taken by a trained photographer.
You can choose what types of promotional materials will best serve your purposes. If all you need are some high-resolution images, many tour operators offer photo libraries for you to pick from. Or let the tour operator do all the work and have customized flyers, postcards and emails sent.
Tour operators also offer additional options, such as large posters, Web links for social media distribution, marketing-themed webinars and even copy for any advertising you might need.
If you feel additional aid might still benefit the number of passengers on your tour, some tour operators will even come to you in person for slideshow presentations where the sales manager can answer your group’s questions with first-hand knowledge.
Every travel group is different. Some barely pay any attention to their computers, and other barely pay any attention to their mail.
To ensure that your group receives the type of marketing materials you need, many tour operators are developing online promotional tools for group leaders. Some offer personalized Web pages that allow you to upload the details of your tour with a Web link to send to potential travelers.
Online fliers with itinerary information, answers to questions and other information such as air costs and transfer information can all be found on the group website.
Travel planners can also upload their logos, write special notes to their travelers, include reservation information and receive alerts when someone is ready to sign up for the trip. You can link to the page using social media or emails for your tech-savvy travelers.
Marketing tools from tour operators can also serve you well after the trip. Some tour operators offer online ways that the passengers can use to upload pictures from their phones to a sharing site. The tour operator can take the photos and create a DVD video slideshow for each of the passengers.
These after-tour DVDs or photo slideshow are a great thing to distribute at a post-tour picture party. It can ensure passengers make a deposit right then and there for the next tour.