December 20, 2007

Activity Pre-booking? Who Does It?

Have you found that booking an activity or tour is the last step in a tourists' travel plan? Quite often, independent tourists will wait till they arrive at a destination before they consider what activities and tours they want to take.

Is this changing? Are people now pre-booking their tours and activities before they depart to a destination?

There are large online travel agencies (OTA) sites like and now gives tour suppliers the opportunity to add their tours and activities to the websites. While this will definitely help the tour company with distribution, it will also lower their margins. I posted some research in August that really put this in perspective.

While it may be difficult for companies to sell directly to consumers, there is a growing trend towards direct booking with a co branded online reservation engine. (Predicted to be 62% of all bookings by 2008) Small tour companies have to realize that the money payed in commissions to online travel agencies could go to driving traffic to their own websites, this would lower margins and give the tour provider greater control of their inventory and advertising message.

What distribution channels have you found to be the most useful? Are you selling your tours through Expedia or Travelocity?


Claude said...

as hotel booking market, inbound suppliers need to have multichannel strategy.
Hope you can help them with rezgo and futur interface.

Merry Christmas