Cash flow is the lifeblood of a tourism and travel business. To keep it moving, you need to get as many bookings as possible. And since there are many factors that can affect the number of your bookings throughout the year, it is your job to find other sources of cash flow. Luckily, there are many income streams options out there for tour operators.
Here are some great ideas for additional income streams for your tour operator business:
Offer different packages that appeal to different types of tourists
Packages are one of the many ways to make your tours and activities more appealing. They are convenient, practical, and valuable as they give people the best bang for their buck. They’re also quite easy for travel agents to market. However, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all type of package.
Remember, your guests can come from different parts of the world, with different preferences and interests.
The more diverse your packages are, the more chances you have to appeal to different types of tourists. With that in mind, you can design a tour package that appeals to unique segments in the market, such as families, families with seniors and/or children, a group of friends, couples, and solo travelers.
Study your target market. Know their interests and preferences. This will enable you to craft unique packages that appeal to them. Be creative.
Create a buzz with special promos and seasonal products
While you can offer tours and activities year-round, you can attract more attention by offering special tour packages and/or discounts on certain days and special holidays. You can offer candlelit dinner by the beach or romantic tours for couples during the Valentine season, among other ideas. Each season brings a ton of possibilities that you can exploit.
Allow other agents to resell your tours
Direct bookings are good. People outside your company who help advertise and market your tours and activities, and accept bookings on your behalf.
This is what agents and resellers are about. Allowing them to resell your products is like adding people to your sales team. While you have to pay them for the commission, that’s still cheaper than adding in-house staff to your existing sales and marketing team. Also, these agents and reselling companies often have access to market segments that you may not be able to reach.
Make sure you make it easier for these resellers to accept booking of your tours and activities. If possible, you can give them access to your booking software.
Offer tour upgrades
Make your tour and activity flexible by offering upgrades for an additional fee. This is a good strategy to encourage your guests to spend more. Obviously, you have to make the upgrades enticing and worth the additional fee. Some common upgrades include exclusive access to unique or popular locations, luxurious amenities, equipment rental, photography services, private experiences, and meal bundles.
Loyalty and reward programs for repeat customers
If people love your services, they will tell their friends and families about it. People want to have the best experience. And with that, they ask around for other people’s recommendations. You can reward these people with referral points that they can use when they come back.
From there you can have a valuable reward system for repeat customers. Do you see what’s going on here? You’re making a chain of customers from referrals and reward programs.
Have a souvenir shop
Travelers love to bring something back with them as gifts to their family and friends or souvenirs from their travel experiences. This is why souvenir shops thrive. Having a brick-and-mortar souvenir shop can give you a quick and easy source of extra income.
Also, you can set up an online version of the Tourism Accelerator in your souvenir shop. That’s another extra source of income.
Being creative with how you can generate more income streams during a difficult time is important. But these strategies are recommended not just during times of pandemic as they can also improve the cash flow of your regular business operations.