Throughout the planning, development and execution of your distribution strategy, you need to recognize the importance of connecting with a diverse range of agents. This allows you to maximize your exposure on the global market while increasing brand awareness with a variety of travel segments. There are benefits to working with different types of agents. For example, when it comes to customer payment and booking confirmation, partnering with large agents can be advantageous. Large agents often have the ability to accept multiple types of currencies, allowing you to book your tours with international travelers. Individual suppliers may have a hard time accepting these different currencies, so this is a pivotal partnership to create within your distribution network.
The payment and booking confirmation process is an important component to consider when it comes to finalizing your distribution strategy. The average traveler may not be considering whether they are booking with an agent or booking directly through you, as their top priority is typically getting the best deal possible on their tours and activities. Their experiences will directly impact your business, whether you are responsible for the payment and booking confirmations or not. Ownership of this process is a pivotal part of the branding process.
Factors to consider when determining who has ownership of your customer payment portals and booking confirmations:
It’s okay if you discover that many of your agents have ownership over your tours, but it’s critical that you make sure that they are delivering the standard that you want for your business and for your customers. In many respects, the agents are an extended branch of your business. If they are not treating your customers right, then that is going to reflect poorly on your brand. Showcase what your brand is about to the agents that you network with, and verify that they meet all of the same standards.