Being online wasn’t a great investment few years ago. Getting tied up with as many travel agents would get more leads for package tour operators. This worked well for many tour operators. Even after sharing a small amount of profit for getting leads, the tour operators were in a good state. Unfortunately as the internet evolved, this formula became less effective.
New set of people called “Travel aggregators” evolved in the industry. These are Internet Company with all information about the tour. Like travel agents they acted as a ticketing agents with one big difference – They built a brand around it. As the brands awareness among the people increased, tour operators were forced to get tied with these internet companies to stay in the business.
This change proved the potential of internet to tour operators. All these days tour operators didn’t invest much on brand building. Now this is the only formula to stay profitable in the industry. Even today many tour operators do not have an idea on how to take their business online in order to attract the customers. This article will focus on the minimal solution required for tour operators to get online.
Domain Name: This is your brand name. Keep it simple, easy to memories for your customer.
Home Page: First impression is the best impression. Build your brand credibility on this page. Showcase pictures of few previous trips. To bring in a lead, show top 5 upcoming trips on this page.
Itinerary Page: These pages are actual point of conversion. Make sure you provide enough details about the itinerary. To impress the customer add a video or photo slider about the itinerary. Make sure people can easily contact you thru these pages – because how much ever details you provide, your customer will always have a question.
Booking Page: Ideally this page much be integrated with payment gateway. However, as a minimal solution you can just ask the customer to fill in their details and submit the form. Later you can take this actual booking process offline.
About Page: Do your company have a good history in the industry? This is the page to showcase the same. This helps your online customer to trust your service.
That’s it! The above pages must be enough to start with. Of course, your efforts to get online don’t end here. It is just a beginning. You have to improve your site almost daily. Eventually you must end up having the following – but not required for first 6 months.
- Administration dashboard to manage your site
- Payment Gateway integration
- Voucher Generation and Booking Management
- Customer Management System
- Photo Albums
- Points System – for repeating customers.
On last thing,
Many of the tour operators just copy the features of their known competitor’s site. However this won’t work well. The features of the website are direct projection of their business operation – How the business process is carried on. Making such a blind copy will make more negative impact on your business than the positive impact.
Hence the key takeaway is; build a minimal site, study your customer response, change to better and grow.