Marketing your brand to all of the travelers who may possibly be interested in booking with you can be daunting. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to do it on your own. In order to properly and effectively reach the maximum number of potential travelers, you will need to create a distribution strategy that allows you to connect with a variety of distribution channels.
What are Distribution Channels?
Distribution channels are utilized in a variety of industries, as they allow one business to work with a chain of other types of businesses until they are able to reach their targeted consumer. For tour and activity operators, distribution channels allow them to access travelers from different market segments who they may not otherwise be able to reach.
5 Essential Distribution Channels for Tour Operators
- Visitor Information Centres — Most tourist destinations have visitor information centres, or VICs, located near the center of the city or in the heart of the destination. The agents who work at these VICs provide travelers with recommendations and information about things to see and do in the area. By partnering with VICs, you can allow these agents to resell your tours and activities, which gives them a chance to earn a commission while you enjoy a boost in bookings.
- Destination Websites — Local, state and national governments recognize the power of the tourism industry, and many have created destination websites to help drive visitors to their area. You can work with these destination management organizations to offer your tours and activities as part of their packages. This valuable distribution channel can help you reach both domestic and international travelers.
- Daily Deal Sites — Voucher sites and daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social are a great way to reach budget-savvy travelers who want to score a promotion on a unique experience. It’s an affordable distribution channel, but be sure that you craft your promotion carefully. Always limit the number of vouchers that can be sold.
- Online Travel Agencies — Known throughout the industry as OTAs, this is one of the most powerful distribution channels available to you as a tour and activity provider. OTAs like Viator and Expedia will do your marketing for you, and can help increase your bookings significantly.
- Hotel Concierges — This is a traditional distribution channel for tour and activity operators, but still one of the most reliable options. Allow hotel concierges to book your tours and activities and earn a commission, and they will start recommending your products to their guests.
In order to manage your distribution channels, you will want to invest in an online booking system that offers an innovative Channel Manager. Rezdy is an online booking system designed for tour and activity operators, and its Channel Manager allows you to connect with all of the essential channels and provide those agents with your live availability and current rates.
To learn more about creating and implementing a distribution strategy for your tour and activity company, download the Rezdy online distribution ebook now.