You delivered your first group trip and it was a huge success! Hooray!
You created an itinerary for another destination, and it went well as well. Your travelers are highly satisfied and keep asking for more adventures. You know you need to grow and do it fast, but thoughts of doing it manually one trip at a time make your head spin, so what do you do?
Well, here are some expert tips from successful group leaders in YouLi community.
1. Partner smart
Decide if you want to share marketing costs. Joining a travel marketplace that gives you exposure in exchange for some booking fees or promoting them using your own network? That’s the question you should ask when thinking of scaling your travel business. To find the answer, you may consider your travel target audience, existing and potential connections, and research the market. There is no universally right answer, only the one that is right for your business model.
Network. You know community matters, so remember to network through local meetups, tourism conferences, and various events relevant to your target audience. In other words, hang out where your potential customers hang out, on- and offline.
Picking the right travel influencer is hard work. Hours of research on matching the audience, setting up the KPIs, checking analytics.. But if you get the right one, you giving yourself a significant boost, so do the work and compare available options.
Eliminate unnecessary financial risks. Yes, you want to give your travelers all the time they need to make a decision, but if they change their mind the last minute you shouldn’t eat up the cost, so align your cancellation policy with your vendors.
Your group trips are not for everyone! Don’t make the most common mistake in the travel market by trying to advertise to everybody. Set the tone of your transformational group trip – adventure, tour, retreat, journey, program – whatever you are calling it. Visualize every detail, then look for participants who resonate with your leadership. Qualifying applicants before on-boarding them will make your life and success so much easier.
Leverage the community. Word of mouth advertising is the #1 marketing tool in the travel business. You want your travelers to be your brand ambassadors and recommend you openly and proudly within their networks. You’ve done the job – provided extraordinary travel experiences. Now it’s time to create the ripple effect. List all the benefits you can offer as part of the loyalty program (discounts, exposure, freebies, etc.) and launch a marketing campaign to support referrals.
Invest in travel tech that allows you to apply lessons learned from past trips and minimize labor hours spent on administrative tasks, like payment reminders, document exchange, tasks set up, and so on. Of course, you want to provide a personalized experience, but (!) you already have a route and main vendors panned out! Use that as a template, then personalize details according to new travel group expectations. That is exactly why YouLi set up “Create Template” feature, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
Whether you are running cultural tours, adventure trips, educational program, retreat or a bootcamp – YouLi can power your unique travel business as you scale your online presence.
Signup for a free premium trial and then request a free consultation where we show you how YouLi can be easily configured for your business.
P.S. If you’d like to join our conversation discussing challenges and successes of group leaders in group travel business, sign up for a monthly online Community Meetup where you will hear stories from the community members and share yours.