No matter what types of tours and activities you offer, you know that you need bookings in order to thrive. As part of your overall marketing and distribution strategy, you need to maximize both your direct and indirect bookings. It’s critical to understand the difference between these two bookings, and to know why you need both types of bookings for your tour and activity company.
Direct bookings are customers who reserve your tours and activities directly through you. A person who books a tour online after seeing your advertisement in a travel brochure is considered a direct booking for your business. In addition, someone who stops by your storefront and makes a reservation is also considered a direct booking.
You can increase your direct bookings through marketing. Whether you are going to launch a social media campaign, or you prefer to go the more traditional route of print advertisements in local travel brochures, it’s important to keep in mind the return on your investment when it comes to direct bookings. Your marketing techniques should be designed specifically to increase these types of bookings. If you begin to notice that your marketing campaign is not driving additional direct bookings, it’s time to make a change.
Online advertising, e-mail marketing campaigns and travel brochures are great ways to advertise your business and increase your direct bookings. Note that you should always promote the fact that you offer easy online booking and mobile reservations for your customers, as this is the way that people want to make travel plans today.
Indirect bookings are reservations that are generated by agents who resell your tours and activities. You cannot rely solely on direct bookings, so it’s important to have a network of agents who are willing to resell your products. Agents who may help you increase your indirect bookings include OTAs, hotel concierges, and visitor information centres. When they know that you offer live availability and easy, instant online booking, they will be thrilled to work with you. The more agents you partner with, the more you can control the commission rates that you set. While you have to invest in your distribution strategy and pay commissions based on these sales, the effort is well worth it as you will be able to continue to grow your business.
Rezdy is a user-friendly online booking system that provides your customers with an opportunity to book directly through you on your website. A “book now” button encourages customers to make their reservations and add your tour to their vacation itinerary. At the same time, the Rezdy channel manager allows you to connect with indirect booking channels and encourage those partners to promote your business. With live availability and built-in commission payments, Rezdy makes it enjoyable for agents to recommend your products.