If not on TripAdvisor, where else should you focus on building customer reviews?

Published by Nicole Kow on Jun 20, 2018 | 3 minute read

In the last few months, we've been hearing reports from tour and activity suppliers that TripAdvisor has quietly removed contact details from their company's listing and replaced it with a "Book now" button that leads to their Viator listing page. This step encourages customers to book from Viator, now know as TripAdvisor Experiences, rather than directly with suppliers. This change can cost suppliers a 20% to 30% in commission, a rather steep price to pay for a process suppliers have no control over.

In my own inbox, I have also received messages from TrekkSoft customers who have had their rankings changed over night for no clear reasons. When rankings fall from #1 to #5, it can dramatically affect a business' bottom line, especially for companies who rely heavily on their TripAdvisor reviews to bring in new bookings.

Clearly, TripAdvisor is tripping up its suppliers with no warnings or explanations and with no clear future direction, this uncertainty can be daunting.

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SEO IN 2018: Everything tour and activity operators need to know to drive website traffic

Published by Nicole Kow on May 28, 2018 | 4 minute read

Last month, we hosted a webinar all about SEO in 2018. The webinar was delivered by Marcelo, our in-house SEO expert who deals with spreadsheets and Google Analytics all day. He also has extensive experience in the area, having previously worked with brands like HSBC and Volvo.

It was our largest webinar to date, with over 600 signups. It was a great session and I thought it would be great to share some insights from the session.

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5 things you need to know about TripAdvisor

Published by Stephanie Kutschera on May 16, 2018 | 6 minute read

Over the last several years, tours, activities, and attractions have been the travel industry’s fastest growing sector. Online sales continue to increase at a rapid pace according to Phocuswright’s definitive study, and as such, there is a visible shift in the marketplace. Big players TripAdvisor acquired Viator and more recently Bókun, Airbnb launched ‘experiences’ and Expedia created ‘Things to do’, plus startups have raised more than $250 million in the last 15 months.

In 2017, guides and operators added 30,000 new experiences on TripAdvisor alone, increasing the number of available tours and attractions by 50%. CEO, Stephen Kaufer, commented at the 2016 Skift Global Forum that they are “looking forward to profitability in the non-hotel segment. And it would be fair to point to attractions as a very big and very interesting growth driver in that non-hotels category.”

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How to reach a new market by partnering with online travel agents

Published by Danielle Aniceto on May 16, 2018 | 3 minute read

This is a guest post by Musement, one of our distribution partners. Join our upcoming workshop with them to learn more about diversifying your sales channels to make sure you're reaching the right customers to get more bookings. 

Reaching a new audience is no easy feat, especially when there are language barriers and cultural differences that good ol’ Google Translate cannot help with. This is where working with an online travel agent can give your company the edge it needs to successfully break into a new market… especially when they have a strong presence in the market you’re interested in.

Musement is a good example of this. We’re a travel company with the goal of becoming the ultimate travel companion, allowing travellers to book tickets for activities, iconic attractions and events worldwide.

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How to run a FAM trip and get the media coverage you deserve

Published by Kyle McCarthy on May 3, 2018 | 4 minute read

This is a guest post written by Kyle McCarthy, editor for My Family Travels. You can find more of her work here

We know every travel destination wants publicity, and every tour operator and supplier wants their services recommended. Like most media outlets who cover travel, I’ve grown up with some rules about how FAM trips work. The trouble is, those rules keep changing, and travel hosts are often not aware of it.

You can avoid misunderstandings by building and maintaining a relationship with local media. Attend conferences, trade shows, and events to meet people. Send out email press releases to vendors, partners, newswires, and websites that cover your destination, and of course, don’t forget to share news on social media. Most importantly, follow up on any requests for information. This way, you’ll have some media ‘friends’ to invite on your next FAM trip.

If you’re inviting media you don’t know, here are some strategies for making sure a trip you host is well covered in the media.

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): A checklist for tour and activity providers

Published by Franziska Wernet on Apr 17, 2018 | 6 minute read

You might have already heard of GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation - a European regulation that was already adopted in 2016, but will be effective from May 25th on.  

There is a lot of talk/rumors about this regulation, so we at TrekkSoft want to give you an update on what GDPR exactly means and how it will affect your tour & activity business.

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OTA giants: Viator vs Expedia Local Expert comparison

Published by Nicole Kow on Apr 4, 2018 | 9 minute read

Working with online marketplaces is a good idea for tour and activity companies who would like to expand their reach and establish a "professional" online presence. 

Large marketplaces like Viator (now renamed to TripAdvisor Experiences) and Expedia have long established their presence in the travel industry and are doing a fantastic job at growing their virtual presence, and even successfully bridging the transition from online to offline, real-world customer experiences. 

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Channel Manager 101: How to connect to online marketplaces to reach a larger market

Published by Nicole Kow on Mar 12, 2018 | 4 minute read

A Channel Manager is a feature offered by many booking systems on the market, including TrekkSoft. It's a term widely used in property management systems for hoteliers, but the term has yet to catch on in the tour and activity sector.

So this article aims to break down what a Channel Manager does, and how it can seriously help you run your business better.

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Tourism Success Q&A: How does a museum about the American Civil War appeal to younger and more diverse crowd?

Published by Nicole Kow on Feb 6, 2018 | 2 minute read

Another way we like to engage with the readers of our blog (a.k.a. you) is via our live webinarswhere we answer your questions. We often get questions about marketing your trips or attractions, which are great. However, this question we got from a museum employee was particularly interesting because of the political and social backdrop that this museum is rooted in.

Hi Nicole,

I work in a museum that has a reputation for appealing only to the “old white guy” as a huge part of our museum is on the American Civil War. As times are evolving and a new generation is employed here, we want to rebuild bridges that were burned long ago and move past the “old white guy” perception. How do we move with the times and rebuild those bridges that were destroyed? I would love to market to the LGBTQ community as well as African Americans. What trends are you seeing that can help me attract them? How can we also appeal to a younger crowd (mid 20s)? What can I do for outreach?

Museum Staff

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Tourism Success Q&A: What can destinations and operators do to survive the low seasons?

Published by Nicole Kow on Jan 25, 2018 | 5 minute read

Here's our second edition of our Tourism Success Q&A. I'm excited for this becoming a regular feature on our blog and newsletter. Make sure you don't miss out on great tips and advice by signing up for our newsletter!

 

Hi Nicole,

I live and teach in Bend, Oregon, where we have a very big shoulder season. With 9 months of a shoulder season, I have challenged my students (I work in Oregon State University) to look at other areas in a similar situation. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Maeve

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