In many respects, the tours and activities sector has always been the odd man out. Travel companies and OTAs focus on selling consumers vacation packages that include hotels, flights and transportation, but they don’t always incorporate the tours and activities. For years, travel giant Expedia has been expressing interest in the tours and activities sector, but it seems the excitement always fizzled before any progress was made.
Now, though, the company is getting serious about shifting its focus toward tours and activities. Here’s a few changes that prove Expedia is serious this time around:
The advertisements showed real examples of tours and activities that can be booked from the Expedia mobile app, and it encouraged customers to truly get out and explore the destinations that they choose to travel to. It was one 30-second advertisement, but it was played more than 6,000 times on the largest TV networks in the United States.(source)
The transition to mobile booking that is taking place encouraged the company to move forward with its commitment to the tour and activity sector. Travelers across the globe use their smart phone and tablet devices as their portable tour guide, and mobile booking continues to skyrocket. The app allows people to find tours and activities that are available in their destination, and gives them the chance to book them immediately.
With this feedback system, customers who book through Expedia receive an e-mail immediately after their activity is complete. Using simple smiley-face symbols, customers can rate their experience and they also have the opportunity to provide additional feedback. Expedia notes that it relays this information to the tour and activity provider, which gives them an opportunity to improve their services or promote what is working well for their business. The feedback system is modeled off of a similar real-time feedback system that is available for hotels booked through the Expedia website.
Its focus on tours and activities is good news for tour operators across the globe, who are striving to reach a larger, broader audience in order to increase their bookings and grow their business.
The trick is being able to capture the attention of Expedia in order to allow them to promote your products. One way to partner with Expedia is to implement an online booking system that also has a Channel Manager. Rezdy is the premier booking system for tour and activity providers, and Expedia is active on its Channel Manager.