As an experience provider, sharing what makes your tour worth booking is all in how to promote your tour packages online.
As more travelers explore available tours and activities online, it can be challenging to know where to focus your efforts. You’ll need to meet your future customers where they’re at which means being able to connect with them on the fly, in their social feeds and via their mobile devices.
While your tours might be amazing, the struggle is real with learning how to turn your tour promotion ideas into real live bookings.
How to promote tour packages online
Marketing travel packages starts with knowing your target audience. If you can create buyer personas or define who your target customers are, it’s easier to connect with what guests want in real life.
Start by taking a look at your audience’s demographic. Are you attracting the 55+ or are you focused on attracting millennials?
Your target audience type will affect which tour promotion ideas will work for your business. For instance, older travelers might be more inclined to go on Facebook, Youtube and view tours through OTAs.
Instead, if you’re directing your attention towards a younger demographic, it might be worth establishing a presence on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok.
Define your goals when marketing travel packages
Before marketing travel packages online, one of the first things you need to do is decide on your goals.
As a tour operator, a few focal points should be to increase your revenue and inspire guests with incredible experiences. Sounds simple enough, right?
It’s easy to get caught up with having too many options. Thankfully, marketing travel packages is all about sharing the benefits you provide to your guests. And luckily, as a tour professional — this is an area you’re already well-versed in.
Sure, creating a memorable tour is likely at the top of your list, but there are ways to attract the right type of guests and it all starts with how you inspire guests to book with you.
To minimize feeling overwhelmed with how many online options there are for which to promote and sell your tour, just start with one or two that you find easy to navigate. Selling tours to travelers means you’ll likely switch up your strategy a few times per year to see which tour promotion ideas stick.
What’s included in promotional tour packages
You have to get comfortable with sharing what makes you an awesome tour business. Guests can only book if they know you exist and they need you to walk them through all of the steps to make this happen.
In the digital age of researching and planning trips online, guests crave human connection. Your website acts as a direct line of communication and inspiration. This allows you to provide travelers with a sense of confidence along with key information that helps them to book.
Look at promoting your tours as a way of informing future travelers that you have what they want. Start by asking a few questions like:
- Do you want guests to book more than 6 months in advance?
- What type of guests do you enjoy the most?
- Do you prefer direct bookings or prefer having an OTA promote your tours?
- Are large groups your jam?
To further maximize your promotional efforts be descriptive and visual when promoting your tours online. Weave in reviews and quotes from customers so future guests can easily imagine themselves immersed in the same experience.
As a result, you can hone in on marketing travel packages with ease. So, if guests book what you offer — congratulations, clearly customers believe that your tour promotion ideas are compelling.
Later in this post, we’ll share the different opportunities and you can choose which platforms work best for your business. In other words, we’ve got you!
Strategies for marketing travel packages
With more travelers booking online, you can increase your reach to prospective customers by promoting your tours online as well.
When marketing travel packages, you’ll want to hone in on describing what guests will get out of the experience. Treat your website visitors like future guests. Sell your tours with descriptive offers and enticing photos to inspire travelers to book.
Lower prices tend to lead to higher volume bookings. While raising prices means a heightened expectation for the quality of the experience. You’ll find that certain seasons will yield better results depending on how you tackle marketing travel packages.
Let’s say, for example, that you invest 10% of every booking into your marketing budget. This might lead to an increase in direct bookings through your website. The alternative is to publish and promote tour packages online with destination marketing organizations or DMO’s.
As you evaluate how to market travel packages, make sure you are speaking to the guest’s core desires. Ask yourself:
- Is the customer looking for a deal because they’re booking off-peak or shoulder season?
- Are your trips designed for families?
- Does your tour or activity suit group bookings?
- Can you incentivize guests to stay longer with a tiered pricing strategy?
- How do you feel about last-minute discounts?
As a tour operator, you may be looking for ways to encourage more guests to book once-in-a-lifetime experiences. And your seasonal marketing strategy should be centred on trying to remain front of mind for future guests.
In addition, as travelers find themselves daydreaming about beach vacations, you can entice them with travel tuesday deals. Some tour operators are motivated to book in advance. This is how an early bird pricing strategy can encourage guests to book early and get a better deal.
Marketing travel packages can target people dreaming of their next trip along with eager travelers already in the midst of planning. In this new-age travel industry, customers expect to be able to book 24/7. But, how do you discover which promotions work well with your audience?
Here are some tactics for how to promote your tour packages online with easy-to-use marketing tools:
1. Build an amazing website
If you can create a website you believe someone from age 8 – 80 can use, you’re off to the races. Include big buttons with easy-to-find calls to action. Think of it as a map, and you’re the guide. The goal of your website should be to present enough information that site visitors feel excited, informed and ultimately, ready to book.
One of the best ways you can support your customers in making a booking is by making your website user-friendly. As a result, customers will appreciate the simplicity of booking directly through your booking system.
In addition, ensure your pricing is set to encourage people to book through your website. People will be more inclined to book through you if they believe they are getting the best price. As the tour operator, not having to pay an extra 10 – 30% in commissions to OTAs means better profit margins for your tour business.
2. Start blogging (even if it’s a handful of photos)
Think of some of the most common questions guests ask. Inspire visitors by openly sharing your knowledge and thinking about the types of questions you’re commonly asked by guests.
By educating visitors you’ll automatically give the impression that you care about guests and their experience. A blog also enables travelers to learn more about different activities and tours before booking.
Blogging regularly with, useful content can help with SEO which allows more people to spot your business in a search. Google appreciates fresh content and so do your visitors which is why your website acts as an accessible and valuable marketing tool.
Plus, as you publish more posts, the internal linking will help boost your search rankings. Blogging demonstrates that you’re excited to share what sets your tour business apart and want to have a personal connection with your guests.
3. List and maintain your business on Google
On your Google Business listing, include the tours and activities you offer, along with your correct location. It’s also a smart idea to include a few photos on your Google business listing so guests can tell what you offer from a quick glance. Since Google favours active businesses, you’ll want to keep a close eye on what comes up when guests find your tour business online and always respond to reviews.
4. Be social
Some tour operators find success with highly visual and short-lived platforms like TikTok when exploring ways of selling tours.
Establishing a social presence gives your tour business brand authority which supports your marketing efforts. While influencers previously dominated social media, now there’s more value in creating personalized interactions with regular guests. Assume all of your customers are VIPs and your treatment will be reflected in their reviews of your tour business.
Travelers and social media users love contests. In fact, these promotions spread like wildfire and can increase your following overnight. And while they don’t take an intensive amount of resources to produce they can be short-lived in the spotlight.
Create a contest or giveaway that motivates your audience to follow your tour business, like and share. It’s one of the easiest ways to get more eyes on your tour business and expand your marketing reach.
5. Explore Facebook ads
Facebook ads allow you to promote your tour packages online based on specific targets, set demographically and geographically. With a photo or a short video, a Facebook ad is designed to attract your target audience with a call-to-action directing visitors to your website.
For more insight, check out this Tourpreneur article on whether Facebook ads can help you sell more tours, compiled from a study of over 1600 different Facebook ads.
Ensure you have a Facebook page with your business listing so visitors can connect and book directly, without leaving the platform.
6. Challenge yourself to share photos
Photos are one of your strongest assets when it comes to marketing travel packages. It’s easy to see why photo souvenirs are so popular — they are a timeless capture of a memorable experience.
Both photos and videos help travelers to determine whether the experience is right for them. People are drawn in by visuals which create an emotional connection to the experience.
7. Dive into YouTube Videos
YouTube videos are designed to act as long-form content, meaning anything beyond 30-60 seconds. Consider this platform useful for educating and allowing your audience to get to know you. Providing helpful content with short videos is another method of promoting your tour business online since videos can also help boost your search rankings.
8. Take an interest in Instagram
Brand authority matters when marketing your tours. People will naturally gravitate towards tour operators who are active and open on their social media. This is a driving force behind the success of influencers on the platform.
By giving a sneak peek into their lives, they inspire people to explore and take action. They want to know what they can expect when they book an experience. This is where you can bring your tour promotion ideas to life.
Social media users appreciate first-hand guest experiences, so this is one of the most valuable tools for marketing travel packages. Plus, when guests share their experience on social media with a photo, you can reuse some of their positive feedback along with photos to help inspire future guests.
9. Stake a claim on TikTok
When it comes to short-form videos, travelers are looking for eye-catching and inspiring content. See what kind of engagement you experience if you dedicate an hour per week to sharing some behind-the-scenes videos.
The tour businesses that are looking at marketing travel packages in creative ways are winning out. While you might think there’s no point in sharing some videos on Instagram, people appreciate real, unscripted videos. If you can highlight your personality and demonstrate that you care about your audience, followers will feel more compelled to connect with you.
10. Develop partnerships
With no shortage of options for publishing your tours, you’ll want to focus on what works best for you. One of the biggest benefits of promoting tours through online travel agents is the increased visibility for your tour business. With massive marketing budgets and millions of visitors per month, why not take advantage of getting in front of more of your target customers?
Another way of increasing your bookings by promoting your tours is through partnerships with local businesses and hotels. You’ll also find 10 of the best places to promote your tour in this Tourpreneur article.
Different tour promotion ideas
By using keywords that people are searching for in specific locations, your tour company can populate higher in search results.
Digital marketing has transformed the way travelers explore, plan and book their trips. This is why why photos/videos are vital to your success, because they trigger they emotional side of trip-planning.
When it comes to strategies for your tour promotion ideas, you’ll want to explore what works best for your business. For instance, hotels use a whole range of pricing strategies to book up their rooms. And, some of these tour promotion ideas work just as well for tour and activity operators.
Consider using group pricing in marketing, where customers can enjoy a better person-person rate with more guests on the same booking. This also works in your favour since you can book up tours quicker, with a more close-knit group.
In addition, as you approach the festive season, gift card campaigns are an easy way you can increase revenue. Plus with Checkfront as your booking software, you can enable customers to purchase digital gift certificates, making it a perfect option for holiday gift ideas.
Successfully selling tours online to your audience means clearly communicating the value-added experience guests can look forward to.
If you’re having a challenging time costing and pricing your tours, check out this downloadable Tour Operator Costing Sheet that helps you estimate sales and look at your profit margins.
It’s worth exploring a few creative options with your tour promotion ideas. Besides, marketing travel packages might look different each season, depending on your tour business.
Give yourself the freedom to explore a few tactics at a time. This might look like focusing on one social media platform while investing in detailed tour descriptions and quality photos for use on your website and OTA of choice.
How you promote tour packages online will help sell more tours to your target audience. Be candid, honest and helpful and your guests will value what you have to offer.