Jul 18, 2019 |

Quick Guide: API connections for tour operators

Online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia Local Expert and Get Your Guide present opportunities for tour operators and activity providers to access new consumer markets and strengthen their position in existing ones. The influx of OTAs in the last few years affords suppliers the luxury to pick and choose who to work with. 

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Published by Stephanie Kutschera | May 1, 2019 | | 2 MIN READ

Would you pay for a Google Business listing?

For a business of any size or sector, a Google Business listing is important. But, for Tour Operators, not having a listing could heavily impact 'in-destination' sales. 

Phocuswright found that 38% of tour bookings are made on the same day or two days before a trip is made. This is because mobile devices have lead to a greater propensity to book at the last-minute. Google Data also shows that travel-related searches for “tonight” and “today” have grown over 150% on mobile, over the past two years.

Would_you_pay_for_Google_Business?

Think of it this way - 1 out of 4 people on your next trip are already in-destination.

In fact, they’re probably walking around town or furiously searching on their mobile phones looking for things to do right now, and Google Business is a great way to reach them. 

But you better act quick as there is a prediction that Google may start charging for business listings due to a recently sent survey. 

Here are 5 tips for having a lead generating Google Business listing:

1. Make sure your address is registered

Having a registered address on your listing is how you will reach users searching on Google Maps. If you don't have a listing yet, or your listing is not registered with an address then you need to do this first. For Tour Operators, this is where it can be a little difficult as to verify your address Google will send a verification code by post, therefore you can not use a 'meeting point' address unless it has a postbox that you have access to. 

Google_Business_Listing_Address

If you already have an address on your listing, check it's correct and shows in the right place. Sometimes there can be an error with coordinates or it could be linked to your HQ and not your sales office.  

2. Showcase your brand

With mobile advertisement, images are extremely important at building trust and converting users to your website. You will need a selection of professional photos that really sell the experiences you offer. These should be eye-catching or engaging for travellers so they want to find out more. 

google_business_listing_photos

You'll also need a description that makes users want to find out more.

  • What do you offer?
  • What can they expect?
  • Why should they choose your tours?
  • Why should they book now? 

Related reading: Standing out from your competitors in the digital era

writing handbook

3. Include your contact information

There is nothing more frustrating than someone taking the time to visit and finding a closed sales office, so make sure you have the correct opening hours, especially for in-destination travellers. You can also add different opening hours during public holidays. 

google_business_opening_hours

For in-destination bookings, you don't need these bookings going through an Online Travel Agent. Include a physical address to purchase tickets or find out more information, including your website link, add a phone number but also a valid email address. As most people are travelling, they may prefer email to the phone due to roaming costs. 

4. Boost your listing with customer reviews

Nothing sells a business more than 5 star reviews on a Google Business Listing, and it's a very easy thing for past customers to do themselves. When you send your feedback email after each tour, just add a link to your Google Business Listing review page asking the user to rate your tour. 

More reviews and a higher rating of stars will push your ranking higher on Google Search results too, which is an extra win for your business and costs nothing (for now). 

Related reading: How to manage negative reviews

google-business-listing-reviews

5. Track your conversion

As with any marketing effort, make sure to continuously track your conversion to see how your business listing is performing and how many in-destination travellers are finding your company through Google. 

Tracking return of investment is an important step in your strategy, especially if you might have a choice to make whether to pay for a Google Business Listing or not. 

 

Read more about how travellers are using mobile in-destination:

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Stephanie Kutschera
Published by Stephanie Kutschera
Stephanie is Head of Marketing at TrekkSoft. She has worked in marketing for over 8 years in various business sectors across the UK. She loves exploring and taking part in tours & activities around the world.
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