Every tour operator wants more direct online bookings, because they are convenient for everyone involved.
For you, all you have to do is sit back and watch the bookings pour in, with your booking software doing all of the work. Plus, if you’re using Rezdy, they’re 100% commission free! For your customers, it’s easy to learn about you without any pressure, at their leisure, and they can self-serve to lock in their booking.
While there is still a gap between those who find businesses online and those who actually book online (Forbes reports that 97% of people prefer to find business online), the shift to booking online is consistent. Over time, more and more people are choosing to book tours and activities online, directly with the tour operator.
In fact, almost 40% of all tour and activity bookings are being made online, based on an analysis of our database of roughly 1000 tour and activity operators at the end of 2014.
Drilling down on this data, we can see that of all direct online bookings, 30% are made on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).
So how can you maximise direct online bookings in 2015?
Web design is a fast moving space, where trends get old quickly. The technical and aesthetic aspects of your website need to be on point in order to keep up.
Here’s a snippet from an infographic posted by Chris Torres:
Keep in mind that while your site should definitely be aesthetically pleasing, usability is more important and should take priority. For more tips download our website checklist.
Mobile devices are highly relevant for tours and activities, because busy travellers like to book on the go. Our statistics show that people are increasingly comfortable making online transactions. The failure to adapt on your part can hurt your revenue.
For more tips download our Mobile Strategy eBook.
Content like photos, videos, and customer testimonials are highly effective at getting people to book. However, it can be tough to keep your site updated with a stream of fresh, interesting and exciting content.
One type of content to keep an eye on and make more of is video. Not only can videos help you appear first on Google searches, but they easily and quickly give people a feel for what you do.
Content you post must at once relate to your business and compel your prospect to act. You sell an experience in the form of a tour or activity, meaning that your customers come to you with a desire to which you must appeal, be it for relaxation (unwind with a wine-tasting tour), education (learn a new skill with a martial arts class) or excitement (experience that adrenaline rush).
For a complete range of tips (including examples), check out this blog post.
If you enjoyed this post, why not download our online marketing ebook?
We also have an online distribution ebook where you can learn how to get more agent bookings online.