This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
When talking about offline channels, these usually refer to word of mouth and recommendations from local businesses. Posters and flyers become handy tools to give potential customers, while business partnerships take on greater importance.
You can build partnerships with all sorts of local businesses, but among the best are these four types of accommodation providers. How many are you currently working with?
Tourism companies who provide mid-range to high-end services. When promoting your tours to hotels, expect to run more private tours for families and couples.
- Since hotels need activities to recommend to their guests, they need you. Feel free to drop off some fliers and tell the hotel manager about your tours or activities.
- Hotel guests are likely to have more money to spend, but this depends on the type of hotel you're working with.
- Hotels often have low staff turnover, so you know that the effort you put in to build those business relationships will last a while.
- Be prepared to pay a commission as an added incentive for hotel staff to promote your tours.
- Hotel guests are likely to have pre-booked all sort of tours and activities before arriving at the hotel. This is because people who stay in hotels are working adults who tend to have limited vacation time (unlike young backpackers). They want to make sure they squeeze as much as they can out of their vacations, so they are likely to pre-plan a lot of their vacation time.
Authentic tours and activities that run in small groups and want to maintain a personal touch. Companies that allow customers to customise their tourism services will be a great extension of the experience.
- Like hotels, B&Bs also need activities to recommend to their guests.
- B&Bs are likely to be easier to work with because they are mostly family-owned and run. They also tend to have a nice personal touch, which can make them great companies for you to partner with.
- Again, be prepared to pay a commission. It's not always required but it's a good incentive for other businesses to promote yours.
Alternative tours that provide the "real" experience of living like a local wherever you may be. Check out this article I wrote a while back on how to work with local Airbnb hosts to promote your tours.
- Ratings mean everything on Airbnb. A happy guest experience in-destination means good reviews for the Airbnb host, so they want to be able to recommend the best tours or activities to their guests.
- Airbnb hosts might be picky about who they work with, as they want to deliver highly localised and authentic experiences.
- More and more Airbnb operators also offer tour packages. You might end up in competition with them, so be sure to do your research before speaking to them.
Companies who run cheap activities like pub crawls and free walking tours. Also great if you are starting a tour company and need to find people to test out a route, trail or new activities.
- Easy to work with if you are a young entrepreneur, as most hostel staff and guests are young adventure seekers.
- Hostels are perfect partners for tourism companies that like to work with independent travellers. This means you don't have to worry about transportation or the logistics of getting customers to the meet-up point.
- Hostels usually attract backpackers who don't always have a lot of money to spend on tours or activities.
- High staff turnover in hostels means that the relationships you invest in don't always last long.
Turn your new-found business partners into resellers with TrekkSoft's Agent Desk. Leverage your partnerships by allowing partners to book directly with you, cutting out all that paperwork and extra phone calls.
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