What to Do When You Don’t use 100% of Your Capacity

3 Apr 2016     |    Taz Bareham

Your sailboat is your pride and joy. It’s a real beauty, and you love to showcase it to the tourists and visitors who book your sailing excursions along the coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui. You can fit 12 people on this striking vessel, but the problem is, it’s never filled to capacity. While you love to offer an intimate and personalized experience to your travelers, you also want to increase your bookings and boost your profits. Here’s a few tips to help you along the way:

Connect to Agents who Can Resell Your Tours

You can’t do it all on your own, and agents can help you sell your tours quickly and easily. Not only can you partner with local agents, such as the visitor information centre or hotel concierges, but you also can connect with large OTAs (such as Expedia and Viator) who can promote your business across the globe. These agents earn a commission when they book your tours, and you enjoy an increase in bookings from customers you might not otherwise be able to reach. It’s a great way to grow your business and promote your brand throughout the industry.

Implement a Real-Time Booking Form on Your Website

Online booking is not just a novelty anymore, it’s a necessity. You need a real-time booking form that provides customers and agents with your actual availability at any given moment. A simple, easy-to-use form will ensure that all of your customers and agents can make their reservations quickly. Not only should your website be optimized for online bookings, but it needs to be optimized for mobile bookings as well. More and more people are making their travel reservations on smartphones and tablets, and you don’t want to be left behind as an antiquated tour operator without this capability.

Partner with Competitors who have Overbookings

It might sound strange to make a partnership with your competitors, but there is a way to make it beneficial for all parties. If you have direct competitors who may routinely overbook their tours, you can provide them with a last-minute option for their travelers. Encourage these competitors to send their customers to you, and you will pay them a commission for booking your tours. They don’t lose out on income, and you see a boost in your own bookings. Of course, you can do the same in return. This is a great way to address your own concerns about filling your boat to capacity, while also networking within the local industry.

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