As experience providers, learning how to make tour packages is key for running a thriving tour business.
As more customers move towards online bookings, creating a variety of desirable tour packages gives future guests a way to compare a variety of options with ease.
For many travelers, being able to save time and money with different tour packages is high on their list of priorities. With an emphasis on adding value, tour packages can lead to increased revenue and a remarkable experience for guests.
By packaging tours and doing the bulk of the work for your guests, you can provide a high-value experience. As a tour operator, it can be tough to figure out what to include in your different tour offerings, so we’ve created a step-by-step process to building and creating irresistible tour packages.
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Determine who you’re creating a tour package for
As travelers explore options online, they’ll find themselves drawn to certain experiences based on details, images and previous guest reviews of each tour.
In looking at travel trends, this tourism article mentions how some guests might be seeking quality time with friends and family, while others might be highly motivated for adventure travel or the serenity of a solo escape.
When brainstorming options for a tour package, ask yourself who you’re looking to connect with. Is your tour package geared towards:
- Culturally-motivated travelers?
- Honeymooning couples
- Luxurious travelers?
- Mature travelers?
- Solo travelers
- Young families
What guests expect to see in a tour package
Your tour package pitch should speak to the customers’ travel desires. If you can create an emotional connection to your offer, you’re off to the races.
Make it easy for a website visitor to identify if an experience is for them based on your tour description. To further outline your tour package offer, consider these points:
- Age range
- Cost / Budget Estimate per guest/booking
- Is accommodation covered? If so, what type?
- How long will an experience last?
- Are there multiple activities in this package or multiple companies?
- Tour type (kid-friendly, adventurous, overnight, multi-day)?
The importance of a package tour
The importance of a package tour is how it gives guests peace of mind knowing that the majority, if not all — of their trip is being looked after by a professional. This is why guests will pay more for a tour package because the added benefit of booking a tour package is how much time a guest can save.
Take multi-day tours for example — where transportation, lodging and meals are provided, meaning all the guest has to do is show up! Most travelers appreciate having all of the information and activities laid out for them because it means they can shift into vacation mode that much faster.
Packages extending over multiple days offer more value when guests start to consider the logistics of transportation, food and value-added activities. Most travelers will pay extra for the convenience of someone else looking after the less glamorous and logistical parts of travel.
Another perk is that when guests secure a tour package, there is a sense of commitment and therefore, they may be less likely to cancel their plans. Packaging your tours with fellow activity and tour providers creates a greater sense of community while making it easier for you to increase revenue and profits.
Components of a standard packaged tour
Define what it is you’re going to provide for guests, including:
- Activities offered
- A base number of guests for the tour to go ahead
- Whether additional equipment or rentals are included
- Whether transportation is included
- Duration of the booking
- Whether it’s self-guided or lead by a tour guide
Here’s a step-by-step process for building a tour package
What are guests going to be looking for? A tour package that provides them with the most value and minimizes how much work they have to do. Be the solution for their travel desires with a thoughtfully curated tour package offer. Here are 5 steps to creating a desirable tour package:
1. Research similar tours
When it comes to starting a tour business from scratch, you’ll want to see what else is in your industry and geographic area. Base your tour package ideas on the interests of your target market and what you think will sell well given your area of expertise, competition and location.
Most tour operators will do some preliminary research and have an understanding of competitors in their immediate market. So as guests evaluate their options, assume they will also be considering fellow tour operators in your area. Consider what you can offer that will allow you to stand out from the competition, including different timing, customizable value-adds and even an option to include a meal as part of the tour.
2. Figure out timing
When creating your tours, you’ll want to take duration, departure times and tour frequency into account to make sure it’s going to be sustainable and profitable for your tour business.
Will your tour business operate from one location or can guests receive a delivery as part of their tour package for the activity they choose?
3. Customize the tour
List activities or attractions you’d like to include in the tour package. Give guests a map to go along with their tour so they can feel independent.
Offering add-ons gives guests the option to customize tour packages. You might include way-finding, routes or rental equipment or source from another local activity provider.
4. Decide on pricing
To incentivize people to book in groups, you can try offering group discounts based on a certain number of guests. This works especially well for guests to book with people they know and lets customers take advantage of group pricing.
You can land on pricing per guest or per booking, depending on what works best for your tour business. Some companies operate with a minimum guest amount to cover their bottom line, with every additional guest leading to more profits.
5. Use images
Be sure to include photos and videos to help sell your tour packages. If you can structure your package details to include all of the relevant information a potential guest would need to know about prior to booking, you make it easy for them to book.
Publish your tours with exciting photos of guests enjoying the experience and the scenery a future visitor might expect to experience. Photos allow guests to visualize themselves doing the activity, making photos essential in your travel marketing efforts.
In addition, encourage website visitors to read reviews and explore user-generated content so future guests can see how other travelers’ experiences might reflect their own.
6. Explore local partnership opportunities
You may find yourself evaluating whether to partner with fellow tour operators offering a complimentary activity.
Book their tour to see if it’s in line with what you think your guests would enjoy. For example, if you operate a bicycle rental, perhaps you can connect with a local vineyard to see if you can offer guided tours and joint tastings.
For guests, having multiple activities and tours available at their fingertips is worth paying more for since they won’t have to spend hours putting it all together themselves.
Local tour operators can offer so much more than online travel agents (OTA’s) as far as insight and in delivering a personalized experience. An added benefit of building tour packages with partners is how these relationships can drive more repeat bookings.
7. Promote your tours
When creating tour packages, lead with your unique selling point(s). Remember researching how to make your tour package different? Place this front and center in your marketing to set yourself apart from the competition.
You’ll want to build out packages and partnerships that clearly display the higher value experience you offer. The distinct advantage of having a tour package is the time-saving benefit for travelers. Use language that reflects the perks a guest can expect when they choose to book packages over individual activities.
For guests, having a vacation package designed for them is worth paying more for, so speak to the convenience and ease of booking a tour in your promotional efforts.
As a tour operator, you can improve a guest’s experience by implementing multiple touchpoints throughout the booking journey and encourage feedback to continually make your package offers better.
Here are a few examples of how to pique travelers’ interest:
- Providing the best viewpoint from [location]
- Looking for a perfect sunset paddle?
- Seeking a spectacular trail ride?
- We offer the most breathtaking helicopter tour in the [geographic location]
- Spot Black bears and bald eagles on this Wildlife viewing tour
- Explore the magic of scuba diving in the [region]
Where to find partners to sell more tour packages
If you’re looking to partner with fellow experience providers, the best approach is to explore accommodation, experience providers and restaurant establishments in your area.
Explore whether they share a similar philosophy when it comes to running their business and connect with them in person, if possible.
Take Adventure Hub, for example, they have a few different tour operators in the Kananaskis Valley offering paddles, hiking, trail rides and distillery tastings. For a guest visiting the area, this gives them access to a variety of activities all in one place, heightening the chance they’ll book more.
How to create a tour package using Checkfront
As a tour operator, your job is to paint a picture of possibility for your guests. Travelers will look to you for suggestions and ideas of how to maximize their experience, and this is where creating tour packages make it easy for guests to want to book.
If you’re looking for more insight on creating tour packages in Checkfront, follow these steps outlined in our Knowledge Base. The Package feature encourages guests to create a bespoke tour package. In doing so, it further incentivizes them to book more and save with attractive price points.
Inspire travel dreams and appeal to your target audience in a way with the types of tour packages they might be looking for. Thoughtfully curated tour packages can help you to stand out from your competitors and can lead a successful tour business.
Be a resource for your tour guests. Offer a few different tour packages and reflect back after a season to see which ones were booked most often.
Highlight your values and what guests can expect if they choose to book with you — and be sure to fulfill that promise.
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