If you are one of those tour operators who are struggling to make online marketing work - you have come to the right place.

We will not be talking about strategies that you already know - running ads, being on social media, joining consortia and travel groups, you name it.

Instead, let us help you fast-track success, outsell your competition, and create a torrential downpour of clients. All by helping you DO THINGS RIGHT.

Are you on the right track? Let us see.

"Everyone talks about the right marketing"

I browsed through Google and typed in the query: "how to get clients for a tour company", and this appeared:

how to get clients for a tour company

I am sure you have seen this list of marketing strategies too because everyone talks about them.

  • Social media marketing
  • Social media groups
  • Building a website
  • Running ads
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing strategy

But what if you still don't get results? Many of you are already tired of throwing money down the drain with PPC advertising. You might have tried to leave business cards in coffee shops but it didn't work.

What if you've done everything you can but can't get the sales you want? You might have spent a lot but not made a name for yourself.

97% of marketers fail at digital marketing.

You are not alone. Statistics say that a staggering 97% of internet marketers fail.

But you don't have to stick with them. It's not too late to join the 3% who succeeded.

So in this article, we will help you discern why your tour business marketing efforts fail. We will break down 5 key areas of travel marketing you might be missing.

Ready to do a marketing audit? Let's start with social media.

1. Check how you do social media marketing

marketing strategy for travel agency

Whether you're a startup or a seasoned pro, social media is important for anyone in the tour business. With it, you can showcase your tours to more people for less money.

However, we know it's a challenge. Not all companies succeed on social media.

It doesn't mean social media is unwise; it just means you have to use it correctly. So how can you do social media right?

How to do better on social media

The good news is: you can improve your social media game.

Here are some tips to remember.

Be consistent in your branding

Make sure your tours look good on social media. This includes your brand logo, color palette, and tone of voice when posting.


Branding can:

  • Help your customers recognize you.
  • Make you unique from your competitors.
  • Help customers trust you as a professional in the field.

Next, have a content plan

Having a plan for what you'll post on social media helps a lot. Plan out what you'll post, when, and how it connects to what your followers like.

A content plan can:

  • Help you prioritize topics and build brand authority.
  • Help you organize different types of content and publish them at the best times and days.
  • Help you keep track of your progress.

Are you making these SMM mistakes?

Here are some common mistakes in social media marketing and how to avoid them:

  • Overly dependent on automation: It's helpful to use tools that help you post, but don't let them do everything. Your posts should still feel personal.
  • Posting randomly: Your social media should have a purpose. So know what you want to achieve and how you'll get there.
  • Posting too much and not much: If you post too little, people might forget about you. But if you post too much, it can annoy them. Find a balance in frequency. This is why you need a content plan.
  • Massive targeting: Avoid being too general about your target market. Make sure you understand who your audience is, so you can post things they'll like.
  • Not responding: Social media is for talking back and forth. So, answer questions and join conversations. If someone mentions your company, say thank you or respond. It's a chance to talk more and connect with your followers.
  • Monotonous content: Use pictures, videos, and different types of posts to keep things interesting. People get bored if you post the same things again. Keep things fresh.

Your tour company can get a lot more attention and new customers if you avoid these mistakes.

Remember, it's not enough to just be on social media. You need a strategy - be smart, helpful, and creative.

2. Avoid general marketing

targeted marketing tour

Stop marketing to a general audience at once. You might think it will give you more chances of winning, but in reality, you lose more than winning.

General marketing is like trying to talk to everyone in a big crowd but not really connecting with anyone. In the same way, marketing with no clear audience will not produce results.

Consider these costly consequences.

Results of wrong customer targeting

You might end up with these consequences if you don't define your audience:

  • Wasted resources: If you don't know who you're trying to reach, you'll waste time and money on marketing that doesn't work.
  • Lack of engagement: You can't create content that engages your audience without a clear target market. As a result, you'll have low engagement on social media and your website.
  • Ineffective communication affects growth: It's hard to reach people's hearts when you sound foreign to them. Because of this, you cannot convince them to trust you and book your tours. This can limit your growth and make it difficult to attract new customers or retain them.

Overall, defining your audience is important for painless marketing. With it, you can create targeted and powerful campaigns that work for the right people.

Here's how to find your best customers

You need to understand who wants to go on your tours. Think about these questions.

  • Who: What's their age? What do they want from a tour?
  • Pain points: What’s wrong with the trips they've been on? What can you do to make your tours better?
  • When they're online: What times are they active on social media?
  • Right timing: When are your tours best for them?

Knowing these things helps you talk to your customers on a personal level.

When people feel like you understand them, it's easier for them to trust you and book your tours.

3. Don't waste your money on DIY ads

seo for travel agency, ads

You might have heard that advertising campaigns are a great way to get more customers. So you decide to run some ads yourself.

But here's the thing: not knowing how ad campaigns work can lead to you spending thousands without seeing results. It's like hitting a target in the dark. You keep trying, hoping something will work, but you might just waste your efforts and money.

What a good ad strategy can do

A clear marketing strategy is essential. Think of it like playing chess; you can't just make random moves and hope for the best.

The same goes for ad campaigns. Without a well-planned strategy, you're unlikely to succeed.

Instead, here's what you can do

If you're not an expert in ads and don't have time to become one, it might be a good idea to ask for help. Depending on your budget, you could hire a freelancer or a marketing agency to manage your ads for you. They know what they're doing and can help you get better results.

If you really want to do it yourself, many online courses can teach you about advertising. You can also use SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to audit, strategize, and analyze campaigns.

But, let's be honest, if you're running a tour company, time is probably tight. So, getting help from professionals is often the best choice. They can take care of your ad campaigns while you focus on what you do best—running your tours.

4. You are doing everything by yourself

backend support, stress

Many tour operators try to handle every aspect of their business themselves, from booking management and marketing to customer service.

While this might seem like a good way to save money, it can actually lead to many problems.

What's wrong with doing it all

Managing everything on your own can be overwhelming. It can lead to burnout, mistakes, unhappy customers, and inefficiency. When you're stretched too thin, it's nearly impossible to do anything well.

Efficiency is everything

Efficiency is the key to any tour business. When things run smoothly, you'll have more time for your clients, leading to better service.

Here's how to get more done

Instead of doing everything yourself, consider using booking software. This kind of tool can help you handle reservations, communicate with guests, work with other companies, and manage payments—all in one place.

TicketingHub can help

If you're dealing with mistakes, unhappy customers, and inefficiency, it might be time to change how you run your tours. TicketingHub is a booking system that can help you.

For a small 3% fee per booking, you can manage your tours easier. It gives you a dashboard to oversee everything and tools that let your guests manage their reservations. This means less work for you and no waiting for your customers.

5. You lack connections

how to get clients as a travel agent, partnerships

If you're just starting in the tour industry and finding it tricky to attract clients, networking can open doors to new connections and opportunities.

Going to travel trade shows, conferences, and other industry events can benefit your business. These events keep you in the loop with the latest trends and updates in the travel world.

More importantly, they get you in front of potential clients and partners. When people meet you and learn about your tours, you'll stick in their minds. This can lead to referrals and business opportunities down the line.

What networking can do for your tours

Networking is crucial for several reasons. Building relationships, learning from others' experiences, and discovering new paths for growth are just some of the benefits.

It's also an effective way to build your tour brand and increase awareness of your attractions business.

How to find the right networking events

There are many networking events out there, depending on where you live and operate. Look for trade shows and events like Skift, Arival, and World Travel Market.

Get your calendars ready for these 2024 travel trade shows and conferences.

If you can't attend in person, check out online webinars and virtual conferences—they can be just as valuable.

Getting the most out of travel trade shows

Here's what to do at a trade show or networking event:

1. Be Prepared: Know what you want to achieve at the event. Have your business cards ready, and if possible, a quick pitch about your company.

2. Listen and Learn: Use the opportunity to gain insights from others. Ask questions and be genuinely interested in what others have to say.

3. Follow-up: After the event, follow up with the people you met. A quick email saying it was nice to meet them can go a long way to building lasting connections.

4. Stay Positive: Not every interaction will lead to immediate business, but staying positive and open to new connections is key.

5. Be Yourself: Authenticity comes a long way. Be honest about your business and what you want.

By attending the right events and approaching them with the right mindset, you can get more connections and grow your tour business.

Networking is not just about handing out business cards; it's about building relationships that lead to meaningful business opportunities.

Tour Business Self-Assessment Checklist

how to travel agent marketing checklist

Find out if your tours and activities are working to get more clients. Here are some questions to help you assess your tour business.

Social Media Marketing

  • Content Strategy: Do I have a clear content plan and strategy customized to my tour business?
  • Platform Goals: What am I trying to achieve on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?
  • Profile Optimization: Are my social media profiles optimized to encourage conversions (e.g., bookings)?
  • Branding Consistency: Is my branding (logos, color schemes, tone of voice) consistent across all platforms?
  • Posting Schedule: Do I publish content when my target audience is most likely to be online and engaged?
  • Engagement: Are there any comments or mentions I haven’t responded to?
  • Hashtag Usage: Do I make use of branded hashtags effectively to increase visibility?

Targeted marketing

  • Audience Demographics: What is my target audience's age range?
  • Platform Presence: Which social media platform does my target audience mostly use?
  • Interests and Preferences: What interests my target audience? Are there any aspects of tours they don't like?
  • Competitive Advantages: How can I enhance my tours to outperform my competitors?

Ads and marketing

  • Ad Knowledge: Do I understand how advertising platforms work and use them effectively?
  • Audience Targeting: Am I accurately targeting the audience most interested in my tours?
  • Time Management: Do I have the time to monitor and adjust my ad campaigns, or should I consider professional help?


  • Industry Connections: Who are my current travel industry connections?
  • Partnership Opportunities: What opportunities exist to partner with other tour operators, brands, and local businesses?
  • Event Participation: Which travel industry events have I attended, and what were the outcomes?

Efficiency and operations

  • Personal Well-being: Am I stressed or burned out from managing everything?
  • Customer Feedback: Have I received complaints from customers? If so, what are the common factors?
  • Booking Experience: Are my customers satisfied with their booking experience? Are there issues with overbooking or double bookings?
  • Staff Management: How effectively am I managing my tour guides and other staff members?

Use this checklist to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement within your tour business. These points can enhance customer satisfaction, improve operational efficiency, and increase business growth.


You can get more clients while stressing less. That is if you market and manage right.

  • You don't get your followers raving about your tours just because you have a Facebook profile and Instagram business account.
  • To be effective, you must know who you are selling to. Know what they want and what they're struggling with. Then be where they are. Engage when they are active.
  • Investing in ads? Sure, they're worth it. Just make sure you're doing it right. If you don't know how, why not ask someone? If your budget doesn't allow it, hire a freelancer or enroll in an affordable online course.
  • You might not have noticed, but you really are behind. Try out a networking event a year and you'll find like-minded people who'll inspire and help you get there.
  • If you're always stressed out and feeling like your customers aren't happy - you need help. Booking software like TicketingHub can do all the heavy lifting for you while helping you improve customer service.

Check out the checklist above. Audit your tour company and improve one area at a time. Trust the process.

As a travel agent or tour operator, we hope you'll use this guide to get more clients, have less stress, and skyrocket sales. Happy touring!

To help you be more efficient, try TicketingHub. Check out a demo to see back-office efficiency in action. We'd love to grow with you.

Relevant FAQs

How do I market myself as a travel agent?

To market yourself as a travel agent, start by highlighting your travel agent skills. Display these on your personal website and social media channels. It's also essential to define your niche market and tailor your travel services to meet their specific needs.

Increase your credibility by engaging in training programs. This can enhance your expertise and give you access to industry trends. This positions you as an authority on travel, making it easier to generate leads and build your customer base.

On your travel website, be helpful by sharing travel tips and insights to showcase your knowledge. In this way, you can build your customers' trust and attract new clients for your own business.

What is a tour marketing plan?

A tour marketing plan is a comprehensive strategy designed to promote your travel business and attract new clients.

It outlines your goals, your target market, and tactics to reach potential customers. This can include creating special offers, leveraging social media to share travel tips and package deals, and engaging in lead-generation activities.

A successful plan also focuses on building a strong brand image and utilizing word of mouth from satisfied clients to grow your client base.

Are there free ways to get clients for a tour company?

To find clients for your tour company without spending money, leverage social media platforms to share engaging content, travel tips, and special offers related to your travel packages.

Use your personal and business networks to spread the word about your services. Offer incentives for referrals to encourage word of mouth from your existing client base.

Additionally, participate in online forums and groups where travel agents, travel professionals, and potential clients gather. This can help you promote your business and generate leads organically.

What are the best ways to market a travel business online?

Promoting your business online involves several strategies.

  • Start building your presence on websites and social media platforms where your target audience spends their time.
  • Share valuable content, such as travel tips, destination guides, and information on travel packages, to attract interest.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages to build a relationship.
  • Offer incentives, such as discounts or special deals, to first-time clients.
  • Utilize email marketing to keep in touch with your client base and inform them of new offers and services.
  • Create a blog on your tour company's website to showcase your expertise and the advantages of using a travel agency.

By combining these approaches, you can effectively promote your travel business online, attracting new clients and retaining existing ones.

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