For Tour Operators, increasing sales and improving profitability is critical – off-season or in peak season. There are significant impacts beyond your control, like weather and travel issues. White water rafting tours, for example, like the one pictured above, are easier to book in good weather. But there are a few things you can do to help improve your bottom line over the year.
Here’s our six tips for improving profitability. (And making your experiences even better!)
Guests book when you have a great mobile experience
Wherever you are right now, look up and you’ll see someone scrolling on their smartphone. It’s a mobile-first world and we’re just living in it.
Delivering a great mobile experience is more important than ever. According to Formstack, 57% of those surveyed said they wouldn’t recommend a business that had a bad mobile website. Having a great mobile experience can help you increase bookings.
How do you know your adventure tour has a great mobile experience? Grab your smartphone, bring up your website and use this quick checklist:
✅ Make sure your website supports smartphone browsers.
This is the most important thing you can do. If your website looks exactly the same on your smartphone as it does on your laptop, your site isn’t mobile-ready. Website building tools like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify make it easy for you to build your own tour site. They also make it easy to make your site look amazing on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
✅ Are your tour’s phone number and email address on your homepage?
This might seem pretty common sense, but it’s one of the most overlooked things. Your future guests might have questions about your adventure tour. Make it easy for them to get a hold of you.
✅ Is it easy to make a booking?
Your future guests are visiting your site. You’ve got their attention. Get them into your booking system with a “book now” button at the top of your mobile site. You can have more “book now” buttons further down your page too. Make it as easy as possible to get their adventure started.
So you’ve got a great mobile experience to increase bookings. Next step, make sure that your social media accounts have your website in the description. Make a clear call-to-action like “Book your adventure of a lifetime at www.adventuretour.com now!” If you want to share more than one link, you can use a service like Linktr.ee or Linkin.bio to give your guests more options. Both services let you create small web pages. These pages have links to your website and content that can help turn visitors into guests on your tour.
Sell direct and build a relationship with your guest
Bookings through travel agency partners are great at increasing sales. But those bookings come with some costs. First, you’re losing some revenue with the fees the travel agency charges you. Second, you’re a step behind in building a great relationship with your guests.
You know how to sell your adventure tour better than anyone. The only things that come close are your website and social media accounts. Direct bookings through your website let you start a conversation with your guests. It’s a conversation that will get them excited about your adventure tour. It’s also a conversation that will get them sharing your tour with their friends.
Building that relationship with your guests from the beginning can also help you ask for a great review after your tour. Not sure how or when to ask? Check out our previous post on the best times and ways to get that five-star review.
Upsell with unique experiences
Everyone loves an upgrade. You can offer personalized services or equipment upgrades for your guests to maximize revenue on your adventure tour. Partnering with a transportation provider is a great way to make a guest feel like a VIP. Upselling a return trip to and from their hotel, hostel, or Airbnb to seal the booking. Transportation providers are also great references for your adventure tour.
If it’s an option for your tour, offer your guests equipment upgrades or personalized equipment for sale. Rafting tours get wet and wild. Many tour operators offer wetsuits, splash jackets, or river shoes for rent. Selling branded splash jackets or towels can be great at increasing sales for your tour.
If you ask us, the best way to increase revenue for your adventure tour is by offering photo and video packages with PicThrive. You can even have an upgraded option by offering GoPro camera rentals. Make your packages more valuable with the photos and videos you capture plus first-person video from GoPro cameras. You can add value to your guests’ experiences and your revenue stream.
When they go low, go high
Competing on price with other adventure tours can be a race to the bottom. It’s tempting to lower prices or offer discounts when bookings are slow. But doing that lowers your profitability. If your adventure tour closes down for the off-season, your peak season revenue needs to be able to cover the gap.
Engaging with future guests on social media and storytelling through your site are great ways to prove the value of your adventure tour.
Make your off-season work for you
There are a couple of ways adventure tours can build new revenue streams in the off-season. Don’t leave equipment sitting idle in the off-season. Look to see if other businesses might have a need that you can help with. There are services like Dozr that let you rent your unused equipment to other businesses. It’s a great way to capture increasing sales, even when your tour is on break.
Corporate groups looking for new spaces can be a great way to add a revenue stream to your adventure tour. You could offer a company retreat or team building package in your off-season. Here in Ontario, a lot of our summer camps offer company retreat packages over the winter.
Drive revenue with photo and video packages
As we said earlier this year on the blog, your guests are your best advocates for your adventure tour. Photos and videos from their experience can help motivate them to share on social and share with their friends in real life. They’re also great reminders to write a glowing review on Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor or Google.
There’s never a bad time to offer photo and video packages to your guests. You can offer them before their tour when they book. You can catch your guests at their most adrenaline-fueled moments after your tour. You’ve got an awesome mobile-friendly website. Your social game is strong. Keep the conversation going with your guests after they’ve gone home. There’s never a bad time to stoke your guests’ memories and offer a photo and video package.
In uncertain times, having a flexible revenue stream is important. That’s where photo and video packages through PicThrive come in. We’re here to help – get in touch today to learn more about increasing sales.