By Stephen Ekstrom | Fire Starter Brands
What does it take to capture a tour operator's attention?
Throughout the year, we help many destinations, museums, attractions, hotels, tour providers and restaurant companies promote special offers, highlight seasonal offerings and draw attention to new features that may appeal to tour operators.
We've found that there are three critical components your announcement must have if you want to capture the operators' attention and convert their interest into new bookings. Here they are.
What's in it for the end consumer?
Your message must explain why the end consumer would like your product. What are the features, benefits and exciting elements that the consumer will enjoy?
The tour operator can use these highlights to convince their customer to give your product, destination or activity a try.
What's in it for the tour operator company?
How does using your product or service bring benefit to the tour operator company? Do you offer great commissionable or net rates? Is your product easier to book than a competitor? Do you offer any incentives, packages or travel assistance that could help the operator create a more profitable, easier to manage or successful trip?
The tour operator can use these highlights to justify adding your company to their list of preferred vendors.
What's in it for the person who books your product?
Sweeten the deal - what will your organization do for the person who makes the decision that will benefit them specifically? Do you offer loyalty program they might use personally? Have you considered a booking incentive like a Visa gift card, specialty thank you gift or bonus program that can be used solely by your booking contact?
This type of incentive leads to building a stronger relationship between you, the marketer, and the person who is responsible for booking. This is your opportunity to go beyond saying, "Thanks for your business." Make a more meaningful impression by saying, "I appreciate you."
about the author...
Stephen Ekstrom is a well-recognized tourism marketing expert whose influence reaches over 500,000,000 travelers every year. He's been profiled by the New York Times and appeared on CBS, NBC and NY1. He is a fixture in the travel trade and has served as a board member, expert panelist, committee chair, mentor and program facilitator. Fire Starter Brands, founded by Ekstrom in 2010, manages a network of nearly 5,500 opted-in global travel trade buyers, advising and assisting smart travel industry suppliers and destination marketers. Stephen currently lives in South Florida with his two dogs, Match & Rudy.