In 2016, there will be a lot more millennials exploring the globe compared to the generations before. While not everyone is quitting their 9 to 5 desk job to “find their passion through travel”, there are a lot more people planning week long trips to Mount Fuji or a weekend getaway in Bali.
This is mainly because the cost of travel has decreased incredibly in the last few years, making it possible to travel the world on a budget. There are budget airlines, budget guidebooks and budget travel blogs to get you to budget friendly destinations with budget hotels and budget restaurants. It should be pretty obvious by now that budget travel and budget-minded travellers are a growing segment and should not be ignored.
Here are 5 ways to adapt your tours for a budget traveller while remaining profitable.
1. Be present online
A budget friendly product is all about the numbers. To keep cost per person low, you need to attract a large amount of customers. The best way to reach out to a large number of people without breaking the bank is to establish your presence online.
There’s a huge chance that budget travellers will come across your company online through searching and comparing the best offers available. Having a great website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram account is just the beginning.
You should also get your company listed on other review platforms and online marketplaces like Viator, TripAdvisor and TrekkSoft’s very own TrekkMarket. You need to work on your rankings on these online marketplaces to be easily discovered through search engines. It's a great way to get your company noticed. What’s more, it’s completely free! Such listings do not need to take all day so long as you have your content ready.
2. Be part of a team
Why not pool your resources together with other businesses to share overhead costs like rent, office amenities or even administrative costs? You could team up with other businesses to share an office space, share a subscription for service or share valuable information.
You could even cross promote products with non-competing partners who offer products or services who compliment your offerings. This could be mutually beneficial as you will both gain access to each others’ customer base, offering you more exposure.
There is also great value in sharing knowledge and best practices with other businesses as it allows you to innovate to remain competitive in a market that is constantly demanding more. You could join an existing network like ETOA or AOA to stay updated with the latest trends.
3. Be informative
Budget travellers believe that they can craft out a unique experience without having to break the bank, and they usually do so pretty well thanks to the internet. Just as there is value in sharing information with other businesses, there is also value in sharing information with your customers.
When I explored Krakow on my own, I joined a free walking tour around the Old Town. At the end of the tour, each person was given a free handout which included a few useful Polish phrases and a map with all the best restaurants, museums, look out points, parks and gift shops marked out.
Each recommendation came with a short but detailed description of what I would find and what Polish specialities I should look out for. On top of all that, I was also able to redeem a free drink or dessert or get a discount if I showed these businesses my handout. Talk about a value add!
It’s been months since I went on the tour yet I’m still raving about the amazing information they provided and how their handout made my experience in Krakow that much more incredible. Is there something similar your company could do? Perhaps start with a few blog posts highlighting your local cuisine or great hiking trails. Get creative.
4. Be tech savvy
Budget travellers are incredibly tech savvy and usually travel with either a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or all of these. Chances are that they’d rather book a tour or activity online and save a copy of the booking in PDF on their phones or tablets than pay €1 to print it out in a hostel. Why not make the most of technology around you and leverage on the useful habits of your customers?
Having an automated system in place can help keep costs down and reduce the amount of admin work you need to do. So much can be done from a laptop that it doesn’t make sense to put your customers through the headache of printing out a booking or making them pay you in cash.
5. Be awesome at what you do
Budget travellers are budget conscious, but that does not mean they’re cheap. They will spend their hard earned money on a tour or activity if they are convinced that it will provide them with a great new experience.
A great way to convince people that your company is worth it is by getting other people to talk about you for you. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing your company could ask for, which is why peer review sites like TripAdvisor have become so popular.
So what can you do to make sure that great stories about your tours or activities are shared around the world, online and offline? Be awesome at what you do. Deliver your promises. After all, that’s what your customers paid for.
Great businesses go above and beyond to provide a great experience for their customers, why shouldn’t you?
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Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.