3 MIN READ What’s an Inbound Tour Operator and How Do You Partner With One?

18 Feb 2020     |    Blake Ng

In order to be a successful tour and activity operator, you need to create a diverse and varied distribution network. Your network should include many different types of distribution agents because this provides you with access to the most motivated travelers across a variety of market segments. Inbound tour operators have a unique role in the travel industry, and they can be a pivotal piece of your distribution network. Forming partnerships with inbound tour operators can help you increase your brand recognition as well as have a direct impact on the number of bookings you receive.

What is an inbound tour operator?

inbound tour operator

An inbound tour operator is a travel agent that works in the destination that is welcoming tourists from around the globe. For example, if you are a tour and activity company located in Sydney, Australia, you would want to form partnerships with inbound tour operators who also are based out of Sydney. Inbound tour operators often work with international travelers who are arriving in a destination, and they ensure that they have the local services that they need.

Tips for creating partnerships with inbound tour operators

  • Create marketing materials that explain to these tour operators why your products are appealing to international travelers who are arriving at your destination. Inbound tour operators want to make sure that they are showcasing the local region to the travelers who are visiting from another country. Your marketing materials should highlight the authenticity and accuracy of your tours and should showcase what differentiates your company from other tour operators in the region. Emphasize the fact that you incorporate the local culture and flavor into your tours, which allows international travelers to fully experience the destination.
  • Provide information about how easy it is to make last-minute bookings using the technology that is in place at your company. Inbound tour operators are often working with travelers who have recently arrived at the destination, so they sometimes find it challenging to secure last-minute bookings for them. When they know that you have the capability of accepting last-minute bookings, they will begin to see your company as the go-to tour and activity provider in the region.
  • Motivate inbound tour operators by promoting your competitive commission rates. As with all distribution agents, inbound tour operators expect to receive a commission when they book one of your tours and activities for their clients. When trying to form a partnership with an inbound tour operator, reassure them that you offer competitive commission rates and remind them that they will immediately earn that commission upon booking.

Distribution agents of all types are more likely to partner with tour and activity companies that have effective technology in place. With an online booking system like Rezdy, you can reassure your distribution agents that they always have access to your live rates and availability and that they will always earn their commission immediately after booking with you.

In addition to inbound tour operators, you can also partner with outbound tour operators. Read our blog on ‘What’s an Outbound Tour Operator and how can you partner with one’ here.

If you enjoyed this article – What’s an Inbound Tour Operator and How Do You Partner With One? – then follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and resources designed with businesses like yours in mind.

Start your free demo or trial of Rezdy today.

Want to learn more?

sell more banner

Need more tips on attracting tourists? Click here.

Read our blog on ‘5 ways to attract tourists to your tour or experience business’ here.