New Year, New Partners: How to Get Agents To Partner With Your Tour or Activity Business

31 Dec 2017     |    Blake Ng

Partnering with agents who are willing to resell your tours and activities is one of the most powerful ways to expand your brand and boost your bookings amongst a diverse range of market segments. Your distribution strategy should focus on connecting with some of the most powerful outbound traveler markets, such as Chinese travelers. Recently, the Chinese Tourism Academy revealed that 122 million Chinese travelers spent more than $109 billion when they went abroad in 2016 — that’s a lot of tourists, and you need to motivate them to book with your tour and activity company.

As you develop and implement your distribution strategy, you should always be thinking of new and innovative ways to create partnerships with agents who can help you reach these markets. Here’s how to get started:

Make Sure You Can Accept Online Bookings

Distribution agents want to partner with tour and activity companies who make it easy and convenient to book with them. Chinese travelers, in particular, expect to be able to book online. Chinese travelers are heavily dependent on their mobile devices, so both travelers and their agents will want to be able to finalize their bookings on a smartphone or tablet.

Create an Effective Domestic Marketing Strategy

Before you establish yourself in the international market, you will want to make sure that you have a marketing strategy that is successful in your domestic market. Use social media and online review sites to create buzz about your brand and develop a local following. You also will want to partner with OTAs that focus on your specific region.

Know What International Markets are Looking For

As you start to expand to the international market and develop partnerships with new distribution agents, you will want to understand the expectations of international travelers. Chinese travelers, for instance, love luxury and they are willing to pay more for it. Be sure to create tours and activities with luxury options in order to attract this motivated international market segment.

Offer Clear, Consistent Commission Rates

Distribution agents are only going to partner with tour and activity companies that offer consistent, fair commission rates and that will pay them quickly. Avoid creating different rates for your domestic and international distribution agents, and do not offer better commission rates for last-minute bookings. You want to be seen as a tour and activity company that understands the industry standards for commission rates and that plays by the rules.

Prioritize the Customer Experience

It’s imperative that you offer high-quality tours to all of your customers. Distribution agents are trusting that you are going to deliver their customers the product that they are expecting. Consistently providing well-run tours and activities is vital to developing a distribution plan that allows you to connect with the most powerful traveler market segments.

To learn more about developing a distribution strategy that will allow you to increase your bookings from Chinese travelers, download the Rezdy China ebook today.


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