Oct 10, 2018 |

How a partner network can bring destination success

We’ve been writing a lot recently about marketing for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). You can check out our free eBook ‘The Destination Marketing Handbook’, which is filled with useful tips on how to market your destinations and experiences.

Skift recently published a blog titled '4 Trends Defining Tourism Marketing in 2018.' Dan Peltier wrote, ‘We’ve seen a lot of tried-and-true marketing tactics from destinations this year, but we also saw some newer, smarter strategies on how to use the masses of content and opinions available these days, thanks to social media.’

One trend in the article stood out as an excellent marketing strategy for destinations. It's easily achievable, makes business sense, and surprising that more destinations are not utilizing opportunities to collaborate.

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Published by Lucy Fuggle | Apr 28, 2017 | | 4 MIN READ

Spotlight: Terrandes Adventure, a DMC offering personalised tour experiences in Ecuador

This Spotlight article was originally published in Spanish by María Eugenia Coppola.

Paradisaical beaches, unique landscapes and lush nature. Generous people, rich history, and delicious gastronomy. It's almost impossible to say what's the best thing about Ecuador because every visitor falls in love with something different.

That's how Terrandes Adventure was born four years ago. Gabriela Cordero, Sales Manager of the company, caught up with us to share how they have managed to position themselves in the industry with a strong emphasis on customized experiences.


How and when was Terrandes Adventure born?

Terrandes Adventure is a DMC tour operator that was brought to life four years ago by our team of entrepreneurs, seeking to offer made-to-measure tours. Our goal has always been to encourage more and more people to come to our country to enjoy our culture, biodiversity, climate, unique food, landscapes and, especially, its kind people.  



This photo is courtesy of Terrandes Adventure. 


What do you most enjoy about being part of the company?

I love that people gain enjoyment from my work, that is, from the travel packages I spend time creating, the trips that I organise in new destinations. We try our very best to make our customers' dreams come true.

“We all dream every year of experiencing a unique vacation, and it's my job to plan every last detail for our customers.”

In the end, my greatest satisfaction is when customers go home happy.


What is the key to creating a great custom-fit trip? And why do you think your customers value this service so much?

For me, every client is important and each deserves special attention. I think the key here is the dedication and time it takes to create each trip - the customer values these things.

There are clients who already know what they want, which makes the job a little bit easier, but there are others who just want to travel. That means you have to work a bit harder to understand their tastes and offer the best option to them.


Can you give us an example of a custom-made experience you've offered to a client?

Imagine a family of six looking for a cruise next July in the Galapagos. As there are more than fifty different cruises on offer, each with different itineraries, how do you know which is the right one?

First I have to talk to the family and work out their tastes, know their ages, any potential travel dates, and if they're drawn to any of the islands in particular. We'll also start talking about activities (here I'll start thinking about budget). I'll get their opinion on several options and then, little by little, we'll get closer to making a final decision. That's what it's often like.


What experiences and feelings do you want clients to take away from Terrandes Adventure?

One experience we always try to offer is the relationship that comes through personalised services, the attention that we offer goes beyond sitting behind a desk and satisfying your requirements.

Technology now makes everything so much easier. We try to break down barriers and engage over new forms of communication, be it Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. We try to solve any doubts by always being available. When our clients return home, the sentiment they share with us most often is one of appreciation for the services they've received.


You offer a great many options to clients... which ones are most requested? 

We get most bookings for the "Avenue of the Volcanoes", the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands.



This photo is courtesy of Terrandes Adventure. 


What niche market are you targeting?

The truth is, we don't have a defined niche market. People of all ages, from children to seniors, have travelled with us. It's part of how we offer such tailor-made trips.


What obstacles have you faced and how have you overcome them? Any words of wisdom?

The biggest obstacle is competing with large tourism companies that are well-positioned in the market.

"I think that the biggest advantage of being small is that we can give personalised treatment to each and every client."

When you're learning, there are always obstacles and falls to keep overcoming. Having a team of young and dynamic people has allowed us to keep developing fresh and innovative ideas that ensure we're always growing.


How did you hear about TrekkSoft and why did you choose our booking software compared to others? What impact has it had on your business so far?

We heard about TrekkSoft through Anthony who visited Ecuador and met with us to explain how the software worked. TrekkSoft was exactly what we needed, and we were surprised at how quickly your team – who are all very friendly and attentive – made the changes on our website.

The impact of the software has been positive as well, especially since our clients can now make their payment online.


Do you see any challenges ahead?

Every day brings its challenges, and 2017 will come with new products and surprises. We're working hard now to meet the expectations of our future clients.



This photo is courtesy of Terrandes Adventure.

- - - - - 

Apart from the dedication to their work and their clients, Terrandes Adventure demonstrates the importance of connecting with consumers to remain competitive. Here are a few ways you can achieve the same for your tour or activity company. 


1. Discovering what makes you stand out

In a highly competitive market, you must identify the unique selling point that makes your company special and of value to consumers. Could it be the personalised way you treat your customers? Unique routes? Stories that no one else knows? Once you find it, communicate it clearly.


2. Use social media to get closer to your audience 

The era of unidirectional large-scale messages has ended and been replaced by an era of dialogue. If you don't know where to start, we recommend you check out our Ultimate Social Media Guide for Tour & Activity Providers.


3. Get creative

The world keeps changing and adapting, and so should your business. Pay attention to new trends in your industry (look at our Travel Trends Report 2017 for starters) and your consumers' interests. A great example of adaptation to change is the case of Pokémon Go, which encouraged the creation of new tours to catch them all in various tourist destinations.


4. Accept bookings online

Incorporating an online booking system on your website allows you to be available 24 hours a day to consumers around the world. This is how many people now prefer to book, while it streamlines your organisation and management too.

If you run a tour company that specialises in custom tours, make sure your booking software includes features that allows you to add custom fields to your inquiry forms to speed up the inquiry process. Ideally, it should also allow you to create custom activities to manage the booking efficiently and even generate guests manifests with all the unique customer information essential for your tailer-made tours.


To better understand the transition to an online system like TrekkSoft, you can arrange a call with our team now.


Speak to the TrekkSoft team

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Lucy Fuggle
Published by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy spent three years building TrekkSoft’s content strategy and inbound marketing approach. She now helps companies to find their voice, kick-start projects, and bring in processes that actually work for them. Lucy writes and shares her solo adventures on lucyfuggle.com.
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