One of your tourism company's most important measures for success is the quality of your network. If you have partners and agents, you can build up word-of-mouth advertising and enable your connections to sell your tours for you, thus opening up new distribution channels for your business.
Here's how to build a powerful network that is engineered to bring new advantages and opportunities to you and your business. Sneak preview: it's all about being strategic, choosing the right tools, and developing good old-fashioned networking skills.
1. Think about the partnerships that really make sense for your business
Not every partnership will bring benefits to your business, so you can afford to be picky when it comes to deciding who to pair up with. Ask yourself: what are your goals for your partnerships? Perhaps you want to strengthen your business for the long-term, reach more customers this season, or help to boost your destination marketing.
As we've shared before, when seeking tourism partnerships it's smart to start off by considering a collaboration with:
- Your destination marketing organisation (DMO)
- Fellow tour operators and activity providers in your destination
2. Think close to home
A logical choice for a partner could be a company that appears at another stage of your typical customer's trip planning process. This might be a hotel where your guests typically stay, a restaurant that you often recommend, or an activity that your customers frequently book. It may well make sense for you to partner up and promote each other, cross-sell, or even create package activities.
As Nicole Kow mentions in her 7 alternative marketing strategies, tourists view their entire stay (activities, tours and accommodation) as one entire experience. By teaming up with local companies, you can improve wider opinions of your destination and become stronger collectively and individually.
3. Cross-sell with other companies using the TrekkSoft Partner Network
One of our favourite TrekkSoft features is the Partner Network. This allows you to partner up with anyone using TrekkSoft and cross-sell tours and activities in a way that benefits you both.
This feature is designed to bring you new opportunities and drive revenue, but we also want you to retain the flexibility to create a partnership on your own terms. This means you can negotiate commissions as you wish, sell specific activities from your inventory, and structure new products with your partner.
4. Use a Point of Sale Desk (POS Desk) and let others sell for you
The TrekkSoft Point of Sale Desk, or POS Desk, is another feature we're proud of. Simply put, the interface is the easiest way for you to let agents sell your tours on any tablet, laptop, or smartphone.
You can use the POS Desk to boost your over-the-counter or agent sales, improve your efficiency, and leverage the quality of your service. The interface is also really user-friendly, and our customers give positive feedback on the built-in flexibility for custom bookings and resource management to prevent overbooking.
Read more about how agents can use the POS Desk to sell your tours.
5. Keep in mind these five tips for successful business partnerships
Olan O'Sullivan, TrekkSoft Country Manager for UK and Ireland, has shared his five top tips for building successful partnerships. We'd recommend you check out the full article, but here is a quick overview to get you started:
Network - develop a networking strategy for your business and seek out new opportunities
Offer value - always ask what others need first, then find how they can bring you value
Group up - aim to work collectively rather than individually
Get political - be visible to your tourism board, local government support, or council
Be creative - create your own opportunities and stay alert for less obvious choices
What have you found to be successful when building your own partnerships?
Hear more about the TrekkSoft Partner Network and what it can do for your business in a personal consultation and demo call:
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.