Your tour company is located in a great destination. You have the pictures to prove it. You know that travelers are going to flock to your destination all year round. But that’s not enough.
People already know that your destination is great, that’s why they’re going there in the first place. What they don’t yet know is why you are the best that the destination has to offer. You want your visitors to see your website and think it would be a mistake to book a tour with anyone else.
To ensure your website visitors choose you over your competitors, it is crucial that you spend as much (or more) time marketing yourself, as you do marketing your location. It is no longer enough to solely show off the beautiful wonders of the town, city, or country that your tour company is based in. Everyone has that. Your website needs to be a place which shows potential customers what you are about, and why they should go with you.
Below is an example of what is almost certainly an incredible tour of Italy, but the way they are marketing it makes it seem like Italy is doing all the work, not the tour guides.
People already know that Italy and the region of Veneto are magnificent, that’s why they’re going there. The photo on the homepage doesn’t captivate visitors. It is no different from any photo you might find if you simply googled Veneto. In fact, nothing about this website suggests that anything they offer is unique. Instead, you are presented with a generic look at the region, and you come away feeling that there are hundreds of tours that would offer exactly the same thing. Sure, Italy looks beautiful, but why take this tour?
You want to use your homepage as an opportunity to show off your tour company and the experience that you’ll provide travellers with. Show them photos of your customers having an adventure. Include a video of your guides interacting with groups. Anything that makes you stand out and shows that this isn’t just any other tour.
For their site, we could have just gone with photos of Nicaragua’s beautiful oceans and waves (and they are included), but instead we focused on the real action and experience that the tour operator offers. The photos show people actually surfing the incredible waves. If the photos aren’t enough to completely convince visitors of all that Surf Tours Nicaragua has to offer, the homepage also tells them directly. Below I have underlined key words and phrases that do a great job of marketing the tour company, not just the destination.
The wording leaves you in no doubt that they approach what they do with experience and enthusiasm. They say directly that their “guides and staff are the most experienced and professional in all of Nicaragua.” They also show you that they offer something that others can’t: secret surf spots and the knowledge of where and when the best waves will be. They are all about giving you an experience that is normally only enjoyed by those who know the region and ocean well. “We know the right formula….to get you on the best waves Nicaragua has to offer every day.”
Surf Tours Nicaragua goes on to explain why you must book a tour with them, and why you won’t get the full Nicaragua experience elsewhere. You won’t be able to find the best waves on your own, and you may be at risk of “police shakedowns” and getting lost. Book with them, and you’ll be given “a smooth yet culturally rich” experience. The website definitely does a great job of convincing surfers that Surf Tours Nicaragua would provide the best experience.
Another great way to stand out is to come up with a unique theme for your tours. Paris Polaroid Tours captures this concept perfectly.
They provide guests with polaroid cameras to take photos of themselves in the city to take home as souvenirs. Who doesn’t want to fill their fridge or dorm room with polaroids from their incredible trip Paris? This is a simple, but highly effective USP to help separate them from their competition.
Overall, you need to remember that people are checking out your tour site and comparing it against countless others. If they can’t differentiate between you and other tours in the area, they have no incentive to book with you. But if you can show them why you offer a true adventure or a unique twist on a great destination, they’ll book right away!