Photo sales helping tourism business recover (A Picthrive guest blog)

There’s no doubt about it, 2020 has been a strange year. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit and business owners around the world are scrambling to find ways to make it through. Discovering means to bolster your business is essential to long term survival.

We have some awesome news for adventure tourism operators. This season PicThrive saw its customers increase their photo revenues and exposure, helping them to better weather this difficult time.

Guests love photos of themselves, especially those of them performing adventure activities. I mean who doesn’t love an epic action shot! Including professional photography as part of your tour or activity and giving guests the chance to buy once-in-a-lifetime pictures is an excellent income stream. It’s a revenue source that the biggest and most profitable operators have added to their offering.

We talked to tour operators using the PicThrive adventure tourism photo platform to find out how they adjusted to a COVID world and saw increased sales.

Adjusted How They Sold Photos

For most of 2020, businesses have had to quickly adapt and change the way they do business. This included how activity and tour operators offered trip photos to their guests.

Some of our partners chose to move their photo sales purely online after the experience. With PicThrive, this option is super easy. The software makes it simple for guests to view, select, and checkout with their photos and have them delivered instantly to their device— all without any physical contact.

Other partners found that using methods such as QR codes, follow up emails, or links on their website worked well for them. The advantage to all these methods is that guests can easily access their photos without having to make contact with a staff member.

For other adventure tour and activity operators, a retail environment still worked well. They set up a safe space where health protocols and social distancing etiquette were followed. This allowed guests to safely purchase their photos on the spot and for them to capitalize on the excitement and enthusiasm from completing your activity.

PicThrive helps in the retail environment by allowing businesses to send photos directly to the customer’s device, immediately after an experience. Businesses don’t have to give their guests a physical object, allowing them to ease guests’ concerns and provide them with instantly shareable photos.

Our survey showed that our customers adapted quickly and saw an increase in photo sales this season helping to bolster their business.

We also found it interesting that some businesses had reduced staffing because they had planned for a slower season with fewer guests. However, even with a smaller team, our partners managed to increase their photo sales!

Guests who were limiting activities during the season made sure they had their photo or video memories to chronicle their amazing time. And you better believe that they were sharing their trips on social media giving their followers serious FOMO!

Additional Reasons Why Sales Went Up

Of course, we think it’s pretty awesome that our customers’ photo programs are thriving. We’re also not wholly surprised because we know how thrilling your tour and activities are and how our software helps in delivering your memories. But we were curious to hear what our customers also attributed to their boost in photo sales this year. Here is what they told us.

Limited Vacations

Everybody has been getting cabin fever from being cooped up in their houses all these months. Those that ventured out for a vacation this year typically only went on one vacation. Rather than going on a few mini-vacations, they went all out for one trip before holding back up in their homes.

So vacations this year were a bigger deal. If people were only going to take one trip they darn well were going to enjoy it!

Photos, as always, are an important way to record and cherish memories of an event to look back on. Many people only have a few happy memories to file away for 2020 and their one vacation is where they make a lot of them. It’s the one time where families and friends got to spend time together, doing something fun, and forgetting about the stress for a few hours.

Easy Decision to Buy

A photo tells a personal story. When a unique photo is taken that a guest can’t get of themselves, they are demanding it. They want to hold onto and share that moment. When viewed in the context of how much their whole vacation cost from transportation and lodging to food and adventure activities, buying photos was just a drop in the bucket.

Most guests were more than happy to spend money on one-of-a-kind photos and support businesses. Now they have proof that 2020 wasn’t all bad!

Not All Photos Are Equal

Unfortunately, not every tour operator can improve profitability with photos. You definitely have to be selective when choosing the type of photos you take and try to sell to your guests.

Very few people will want to pay for a photo of themselves chowing down on fine wine and cheese. On the flip side, few people pass up the opportunity to buy a photo of themselves zipping along high up in the trees or braving the river rapids.

For example, a food tour or walking tour will have a difficult time selling photos. After all, photos of people walking around or eating are similar to what a selfie can capture. However, if you’re running a zipline, whitewater rafting, skydiving, snorkeling, or another type of adventure tour, people are going to be excited to buy those photos because they cannot get it themselves.  They will actively be asking to buy it.

Adventure tour operators taking people on thrilling adventures can have a great auxiliary revenue stream from photos, that’s easy to manage, if they know what they’re doing.

Automated Software for Selling Photos

That’s where PicThrive comes in. Our software automates the tour picture and video selling and delivery process and just makes everything so much easier. This saves you both time and money because you’ll need fewer resources and less training to handle the sales. This way they can focus on delivering a world class experience!

Guests can buy the photos on the spot and have them delivered to their devices. They can also get their photos if they change their mind and purchase easily online after they’ve returned home.

On top of that, people LOVE sharing their adventure photos. Encourage your guests to tag you in the post and voila! Instant, free advertising! Plus, people who absolutely loved their experience, picture-buying included, will be more likely to drop you a 5-star review on TripAdvisor, Google, or other review sites. We all know what that can mean for your business!

Ready to try it out? Once you see how easy it is to take advantage of picture sales, we’re sure you’ll be hooked! Sign up today to learn more and get started!

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