Every traveler has their own preferred way to book a vacation and enjoy their time away. The dreamers love to spend the months and weeks leading up to their getaway researching their options and completing their bookings in order to create the perfect itinerary. They thrive on organization and details, and will spend time hunting for the best deal. The doers are more spontaneous. They might wake up one Wednesday morning and decide they need a last-minute trip for the upcoming weekend. They are going to use online review sites and travel apps in order to make short-term bookings, sometimes just hours before setting off to enjoy it.
As a tour and activity operator, you need to recognize that you will have customers that prefer either long-term or short-term bookings. It’s important to consider the differences between these types of bookings and adjust your distribution strategy accordingly.
Short-term bookings are considered to be reservations that are made less than 48 hours in advance of the tour or activity. Most short-term bookings are completed less than 24 hours prior to the experience. Travelers who enjoy spontaneous bookings are often looking for a good deal, and they will rely on mobile technology and short-term agents in order to learn about the options available in their chosen destination. For example, they might read the reviews for your company on TripAdvisor while en route to your destination. Upon arrival, they may head to the visitor information centre in order to get more information about your products and your availability in the near-term. This means that you need to implement an online booking system that allows hotel concierge staff members and representatives at the visitor information centre to access your live availability and book instantly with your company.
Long-term bookings are made weeks, months and even years in advance of the actual tour experience. Travelers who book well in advance of their trip often look to different distribution channels in order to get information about the options that are available. They also may take the time they need in order to scope out a great deal on their tours and activities. In order to secure long-term bookings, you will want to partner with OTAs and other large distribution channels. OTAs often work with travelers who want to book tours and activities well in advance of their trip. By using an online booking system that also has an effective channel manager, you can provide OTAs with real-time information about your availability and allow them to easily book your tours for their prepared clients.
Understanding the various types of distribution agents and the channels that you need in order to maximize both your short-term and long-term bookings is critical to your continued success in the competitive travel industry. If you want to learn more about short-term bookings and long-term bookings, as well as which types of agents you should incorporate into your distribution strategy, download the Rezdy distribution ebook today.