There is no scientific formula for creating an effective distribution strategy. Tour and activity operators have to consider several factors that are unique to their own businesses in order to decide on a distribution plan that will work best for them. Even still, once a distribution strategy has been created and implemented, it cannot be considered a complete project. Your distribution strategy will need to grow and develop along with your company, and should consistently evolve throughout the course of time.
Distribution Strategy Changes that May Arise as Your Company Grows
- Newcomers to the tour and activity industry should begin the process of distributing their products through self-promotion. Social media is the most effective way to increase your brand presence and develop an online reputation amongst your target audience. Popular social networking sites for businesses in the travel industry include Facebook and Instagram, as these are visual social networking platforms that encourage users to post live feeds, videos and vivid photographs.
- Once you have established your identity as a tour and activity company, you will want to be sure to increase your direct bookings by offering online booking capabilities to your customers. An online booking engine allows you to accept direct bookings on your website, and also allows you to maximize the revenue that you generate per booking.
- Now that you have an online booking engine for your tour and activity company, you will want to expand your distribution networking by partnering with various types of agents. When you utilize an online booking engine that also includes a channel manager, you can manage your distribution channels effectively. By offering your live availability and automatic commission payments, you will attract both large and small distribution agents. Begin by partnering with OTAs, retail travel agents and local agents in order to develop a well-rounded network.
- As your business grows and you are able to expand to different market segments, consider partnering with niche agents. Corporate travel agents, agents who specialize in group travel and those that work with independent travelers can help you market your products and increase your bookings amongst travelers you may not otherwise have access to. This is a great way to diversify your customer base and also boost your brand recognition within the industry. You should never feel like your distribution network is complete. You should always be searching for new agents who can help you increase your bookings for your tour and activity products.
Developing your distribution strategy is an important part of managing your business, particularly in a highly-competitive industry such as travel. You need to consider the unique needs of your own tour and activity company, and identify the type of traveler who will be most interested in your product. This will help you get started as you build your distribution network. In order to understand the power of an effective distribution network and to learn more about partnering with new agents, you will want to download the Rezdy online distribution ebook today.