Consumers plan and book their own travels directly and this is continually made easier by digital means however the Travel Trade also remains a significant part of the planning and booking process for many. This varies from market to market but we know visitors coming from long haul destinations tend to use an agent to plan and it is well recognised that around 55% of US travellers and 65% of German travellers book through their trusted Travel Trade agent or tour operator.
There are clear benefits in growing your business through a multi-channel approach. The Travel Trade provide ways to reach travellers through a range of distribution channels in the domestic market but also offer access to international markets.
Operators you may work with will be packaging offers, making promotions to their clients world-wide, investing their own marketing spend with commercial determination to make sales and bookings. Their global reach will far exceed any marketing budget available to you and they will have an established trust in their brand. Working through the intermediaries can be a very cost-effective way to build some solid, repeat business.
Key benefits of working with the Travel Trade, in summary:
1. Business on the Books
The trade can bring you:
- Advance bookings
- New and repeat business
- Off peak volume and revenue
- Increased revenue – international visitors spend more
- Overall business growth
- Balance of client base, different markets = reduced risk
2. Enhanced Distribution
- Additional routes to market particularly when there are global economic, political and climate challenges can help mitigate risk and create a healthy business.
- One operator sells to many channels for example translating content and distributing to many countries.
- Cost Effective Marketing
- Your product offer can feature centre stage where holiday choices are being made – in the right place in the right language, sitting alongside other major famous places and top destinations. Good for your brand and your reputation.
- A diverse offer of quality product (accommodation, experiences and attractions) good for the city = good for destination Edinburgh.
4. On territory expertise
- Operators can bring you market insights and awareness of new trends. They can be receptive to new ideas and destinations and test product ideas out on their market which can in turn help you develop new product.
Do you want to work with the Travel Trade?
You must consider:
- What are your capacities and available space? Are you suitable for FIT, small or large groups? You decide your minimum and maximum group size.
- Are you interested in series of regular bookings, weekly, monthly etc. Or are you best suited to one off bookings?
- Do you have times of the year, days of the week where you are less busy? Could this operator provide that much needed business?
- What market or type of customer is your product offering relevant for? Do you have a particular offering or theme that will appeal to a certain nationality or interest?
- High value bookings, have you a luxury or deluxe option that you want to promote?
- Is your product niche but could appeal to that specialist interest from around the world, bringing in a much wider audience?
By exploring these areas you can start to identify what type of business you want from the trade and identify the right partners.