The tourism industry is one of the most competitive, the range of offers far exceeds the level of demand (which is already very high). If we add to all this the complex circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the entire tourism sector is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history.
According to data presented at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (reported on July 1), the global tourism sector could lose at least $1.2 trillion, or 1.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), after being paralyzed for almost four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At present, there are fewer constraints on tourism, but the backdrop is no less challenging than it was in early March or April.
In today’s world, selling tourism has become a tricky business, one that requires greater specialization and expertise capable of capturing new customer demands, as well as exploring different sales channels.
There are many examples of travel agencies offering tour packages that combine a variety of tourism services. The design and sale of tour packages is an exercise in innovation and continuous improvement, for example, analyzing the life cycle of a tourist destination is a factor that should be taken into account to stay ahead of the competition and offer a package that is appealing to new customers after the pandemic.
The first thing to consider is to understand how the process of selling a tour package works. From there it is possible to add different management and sales models.
How does the process of selling a tour package work?
A tour package is one of the most complex products in terms of its creation and development, but one that provides the greatest satisfaction to the parties involved.
A tour package offers a complete experience for a specific customer niche. Each item and detail that defines the tour package will be linked to the needs, expectations, requirements and desires of the selected target customer.
The sales process of a tour package is linked to the customer’s buying cycle. As such, we can discern three distinct phases:
- The phase prior to the purchase of the tour package. In this phase, the customer creates expectations about what they want. They research and acquire information about what they want according to their criteria. The experience of other customers becomes fundamental to increase the attractiveness of a package.
- The phase when the package is being enjoyed. Here, the customer builds their experiences, which will define the final impression of the package in qualitative terms.
- The phase after the tour package has been taken. The experience enjoyed is fondly remembered and recommended. Here the much-coveted factor of brand and product loyalty is solidified.
As you may have noticed, the life cycle of the customer’s purchase of the tour package strongly influences how tour packages are sold. The first phase in particular is crucial for success.
Digital marketing is established as the driving force to increase and improve sales of tourism products. Let’s take a closer look.
How do you sell tour packages over the Internet?
A tour package created to suit the needs and desires of the selected customer niche will not sell itself.
The online world is a great place to optimize sales, but it is also another very competitive environment where you have to press the right keys to get greater visibility for your product.
The tourism sector is always looking for the best and most innovative ways to reach its target audience and adapt its range of offers to gain a competitive advantage that makes all the difference.
Digital marketing has become the ultimate tool for travel agencies to increase sales of online travel packages. If what you are looking for is to personalize your message, digital marketing provides a tailored experience to customers, ideal for selling travel.
Here are some tips that will help to give greater visibility to the online promotion of tour packages:
- Register on the leading tourism platforms. It is a good way to publicize your offers.
- Online travel agencies require SEO optimization of their content, capable of placing the page in the top positions. The more specific the content is, the more effective and easier to rank.
- It is particularly important to incorporate keywords in the text related to the main qualities of the tour package, in order to improve the relevance of the website content for users.
- Social networks have replaced traditional communications, we have entered a new interactive era where the tourism sector can take advantage of social networking tools to promote the business at lower costs, attract visitors and generate public interest.
- Reviews are essential for booking vacations. According to a study by Tnooz, more than 95% of travelers read around an average of 7 reviews and spent an average of 30 minutes prior to booking. Tripadvisor, minube, etc. are sites that can make a difference to the success of your tour package.
- Negative reviews should be dealt with quickly. To avoid a major controversy, the default strategy is to respond in a professional and empathetic manner.
- The use of social media and video are the main trends that offer credibility and user outreach.
Whether you are a major agency or a small business, Digital Marketing is essential to provide effective and meaningful visibility of your tour packages.
Is it possible to sell tour packages over the phone?
The telephone has traditionally been the central point of contact for any business transaction. Nowadays, telephone sales are not very well received, especially due to the overexposure to telephone sales of various products (energy, telecommunications, etc.).
Focusing on the tourism sector, telephone calls can be a good source of building customer loyalty.
Contacting satisfied customers by telephone can yield very positive feedback and results:
- Identifying and learning about new requirements.
- Possibility of offering discounts for being a customer.
- Easier to make appointments in physical offices.
- Stimulate bookings for future trips.
Selling, as they say, a tour package door-to-door is a pipe dream if your brand image is not recognized..
Tips to sell more of your tour packages
As we have already discussed, in the tourism sector, competition is tough. Small details can be the trigger for success.
Here are some tips that may come in handy for your tour package sales strategy:
- Highlight the benefits of the product. Instead of trying to compete, focus on pointing out the unique benefits of the service on offer. Requesting a review from satisfied customers, highlighting all the positive aspects of the experience they have had with your agency is a good course of action.
- Interact with customers on social networks. Travelers of all ages use social networks, where they talk about travel products, share experiences or express their preferences. The travel agency has to be part of this social environment, which will lead to highly advantageous two-way feedback.
- Deliver an experience. The more complete the activities and services of a tour package, the more positive the customer’s experience will be. Explore all the alternatives that each package can offer.
- Establish a target market. The more specialized the travel agency is, the more attractive and complete its tour packages will be. Niche travel means that you are selling something that no one else sells and that the product is different.
Selling tour packages means embracing new technologies and carrying out an innovative strategy of continuous improvement.
Getting to know your customers and planning a tourism product based on their requirements is the first big step to professional and optimal sales.