Are you asking the right questions when partnering with your tour and activity resellers?
Make sure you vet potential distribution partners by asking…
There’s no point in partnering with an agent that has zero reach.
If it’s a brick and mortar agent, like a Visitor Information Centre (VIC), then ask them how much foot traffic they get. If they’re online, they may be able to share the amount of visits they usually get per month.
You can also do a bit of research by searching for keywords on Google and seeing if ads come up. For example, if you run a food tour in Hong Kong, search for “food tours Hong Kong” and see if they’ve paid for any ads, or even better, rank organically for the keyword.
Find out which locations they are strongest in, and whether they have strong sales of tours and activities in your area.
If you have a very niche offering – for example, if you are an eco-tour who solely targets bird watchers – does their audience match yours?
You will find that some have access to very different markets – and that’s a good thing!
For example, one agent can give you access to young backpackers, and another can give you access to retirees. You can then tailor your tour products to match each audience, increasing your bookings and your revenue.
It’s time to assess your partner for their financial stability and business processes.
While they probably won’t be prepared to share their revenue statement with you, some great indicators of this are:
Tour operators should also consider how their business fits into the agent’s overall product/service mix.
How well they are able to answer these questions will show you how interested they are in your business. It will prove they have put some genuine thought into it.
How they market to their customers will also impact their ability to send bookings your way.
Your agent should also be able to describe what return they have received from each of their marketing investments.
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