Are you a tour operator looking for ways to make your tours and activities business stand out? TripAdvisor Experiences may be the solution.
This recent addition to the world's most popular travel review website allows individuals and companies alike to create original, interactive experiences that can not only help visitors find exciting activities to do while they're on vacation but also provide significant revenue opportunities.
But is a TripAdvisor listing really worth it?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the key features and benefits of TripAdvisor Experiences, as well as some drawbacks that you should consider before taking the plunge.
TripAdvisor Experiences: What is It?
TripAdvisor Experiences is TripAdvisor's new travel sub-platform that reimagines the way travelers book tours and activities. It offers travelers the opportunity to directly book tours, hotels, and experiences from local experts all over the world with just a few clicks - without ever leaving TripAdvisor.
Through TripAdvisor Experiences, travelers can enjoy highly vetted tours and activities from top-notch local experts who provide insider knowledge and unique perspectives on the places they fell in love with.
Whether you're offering a sunset boat tour for two or an adrenaline-pumping skydiving class, TripAdvisor Experiences is the place to sell products of experiences and adventures. This is why TripAdvisor Experiences has quickly become one of the go-to platforms for travelers wanting direct access to curated experiences around the globe!
What Makes TripAdvisor Experiences Unique?
For tour operators looking to maximize their investments, TripAdvisor Experiences is quickly gaining traction.
Compared to other platforms such as Airbnb Experiences which mainly focus on offering exclusive tour experiences, TripAdvisor allows a much wider selection of tours and activities to be sold due to its expansive user base, consisting of millions of people from all around the world.
Selling tours and activities through this platform can provide great opportunities for producers and suppliers, allowing them to promote their services on one of the most popular travel directories on the internet.
- A wide distribution network: sell products to millions of people across the globe
- Sells all types of tours and activities: as of 2022, over 140,000 tours, adventures, attractions, and experiences in thousands of destinations around the world are listed on the platform
Is TripAdvisor the same as Viator?
In 2014, TripAdvisor acquired Viator, which used to exist as two separate entities. The rebranded Viator is now referred to as TripAdvisor Experiences.
This connection between the two businesses has allowed entrepreneurs who run tours and activities businesses to benefit from the massive reach that both TripAdvisor and Viator enjoy with their over 3,500 partner networks and millions of monthly TripAdvisor users.
As a result, this collaboration between the two businesses provides an easier way for sellers to rapidly expand their reach. In addition, it allows them to distribute their tours and activities on thousands of TripAdvisor sites.
Should You List Toursand Activities in TripAdvisor Experiences?
As the 'Google of travel', TripAdvisor Experiences provides a great way to advertise your tours and activities to a huge audience.
TripAdvisor exposure offers you access to a vast distribution network that enables you to advertise and promote your tours in a way that will reach legions of potential customers.
Here are four solid reasons why listing your tours and activities on TripAdvisor is a smart move.
#1 Smart marketing
Selling via TripAdvisor provides an excellent marketing opportunity for tours and activities. You'll get your business noticed across the TripAdvisor site, search results, Viator, hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and travel agent networks; your listings will be accessible by a massive online audience in 28 languages and you can accept their bookings in 14 currencies - talk about making yourself available!
A huge number of travelers use TripAdvisor to plan and book every month - that's a lot of potential customers!
Every month, nearly half a million globetrotters choose TripAdvisor to plan and book their vacations. -The New TripAdvisor Goes Social, Gets Personal
With TripAdvisor as part of your marketing strategy, you have the potential to reach hundreds and thousands of customers in a short time frame.
But, know that competition is tough.
There's no doubt that selling through TripAdvisor is a smart way to market your tours and activities, especially since the site has a huge audience.
However, it isn't always easy sailing when it comes to selling on the platform. With so many tour operators vying for attention (and business!), you can often get buried under a sea of competitors.
But that doesn't mean it's entirely impossible; by forming strategic collaborations with other tour operators and offering unique experiences customized for travelers' needs, you can slowly work your way up and get noticed on TripAdvisor!
#2 Ease of use
TripAdvisor Experiences also has a user-friendly design that makes it super easy to create a business listing, connect it to an online booking system like TicketingHub, and start selling right away.
The interface has been developed with convenience in mind and in no time you'll be able to move forward with your own online bookings thanks to this powerful platform that blends ease of use with top-quality functionality!
With our platform, setting up your business has never been easier! It's a breeze to connect with the best-in-class booking systems such as TicketingHub. Connect now and get selling on TripAdvisor Experiences (Viator) - it only takes seconds!
#3 Engage with customers
TripAdvisor Experiences offers so much more than just allowing you to get customer reviews; it's also the world's largest travel site. This gives tours and activities operators an incredible chance to build trust and credibility by leveraging these reviews.
By responding to these customer reviews, you have another opportunity to build relationships with TripAdvisor user customers. You can engage with them, and make sure they are satisfied with their experience.
Even better, TripAdvisor makes it easy for you to respond quickly to each review - helping customers know that their words matter.
#4 Centralize booking management
Lastly, TripAdvisor Experiences makes booking management a breeze, allowing you to easily monitor your bookings and customer demographics in one handy analytics dashboard.
That way, when those last-minute or off-season bookings come in, you don't need to stress about managing them - this platform does the work for you!
With TripAdvisor Experiences, getting organized with your tours and activities has never been easier.
How Can I Get Listed on TripAdvisor Experiences?
With TripAdvisor Experiences, offered via Viator, you can get the advantage of free tours and activities marketing. All it takes is to become a Viator supplier first. This allows you to reach a wider audience and have your tour featured on both your TripAdvisor and Viator listings.
Here are the steps on how to become a Viator supplier:
- Create your TripAdvisor listing
- Use the Management Center to create your products
- Decide how much you want to earn from each booking, on top of TripAdvisor Experiences commission fees (which we will be discussing more of below).
After completing the sign-up process, expect an email from a Viator representative within 48 hours- they may ask a few questions about the commission rate or insurance to get you started.
As soon as you complete these steps, you'll have access to exclusive placements where you'll be seen by lots of travelers!
Can You Advertise on TripAdvisor?
TripAdvisor provides accommodations and restaurants with additional advertising tools for boosting their TripAdvisor listings on the platform.
However, as of now, TripAdvisor is not yet offering the same advertising tools for selling attractions, experiences, tours and activities.
Luckily, you can boost your exposure even without sponsored placements by strategically building your TripAdvisor listing.
Let's see how.
TripAdvisor for Business Advantage: Are you doing it right?
With so many tours and activities to choose from, how do you make sure your guests find and book your tour?
Make sure to optimize your listing.
Here is a checklist:
#1 Use high-quality photos
When it comes to drawing in travelers, you want your listing to stand out from the crowd and make a statement. Pictures speak a thousand words and can provide potential customers with an eye-catching visual representation of what they can expect from your tour or activity.
High-resolution photos will help brighten up your page and capture their attention. Fill your page with interesting images that illustrate the experience you offer and you’re sure to be one step closer to capturing their hearts!
#2 Encourage engagement
When it comes to getting new customers, reviews can make or break your TripAdvisor page. Your goal should be to foster a steady stream of positive customer reviews and feedback on your tour listing.
Ask recent participants to share their experiences online and leave you a review – this encourages potential guests to trust that they'll receive the same quality tour.
Keep in mind, people like reading honest opinions from real people – so don't shy away from your customers' constructive feedback!
Foster an open dialogue with each customer and take this opportunity to perfect your product and convince others why they should book your services.
#3 Prove you are credible
Before you open your business to the masses, it's important to make sure your information is correct and up-to-date!
Your TripAdvisor listing page should include all the necessary details – name, address, phone number, email, and website links – so double-check them before you go live.
And if anything changes with those details in the future, don't forget to edit them on TripAdvisor – keeping things fresh and accurate will ensure you end up with more travelers and direct bookings.
More strategies for boosting your TripAdvisor listing:
- Post a special offer
- Pin a favorite review
- Highlight favorite photos of happy customers to build trust
Know the Costs: Commission Fees
Ready to jumpstart your tour business on TripAdvisor? Know the facts before you take off! Be wise and aware of any commission fees that may come with each booking.
As mentioned earlier, TripAdvisor Experiences has rebranded from Viator and now offers an improved commission rate system, with a 20% flat commission fee - 5 points lower than before!
However, 20% off your sales is a big decrease, but you can rebuild your pricing to get the most out of your profit.
Here's what you can do:
If you want to maximize your profits, pricing is essential.
With Viator's model, you can benefit from its well-established platform that brings in lots of customers and enables you to set your own rate. That includes the commission fee that comes straight to Viator, but with careful consideration of your costs, you can also factor it in.
You're also empowered to manage your own availability and policies - there's no need to abide by the standard ones provided by Viator - so if you'd prefer a bit more leeway in terms of cancellations and refunds, that can easily be arranged. In effect, you've got total control over setting up and running your tour or activity without any hassle!
Know the pros and cons of partnering with OTAs.
TripAdvisor Experiences is a new platform by TripAdvisor + Viator where tour operators can list and sell their tours directly to travelers.
IS IT WORTH IT?
It is! TripAdvisor Experiences will expose your tours to millions of travelers quickly if you want a marketing boost.
Plus, you can engage with customers directly. In this way, you can build credibility and trust. A quick dashboard is also offered by TripAdvisor Experiences that can easily be integrated into your online booking system.
WHAT TO CONSIDER:
However, listing on TripAdvisor comes with some cons. Because it is the world's largest travel marketplace, listing your tours alongside hundreds to thousands of others in the same field means a lot of competition. On the other hand, TripAdvisor Experiences charges a 20% flat commission fee upon successful bookings.
With these considerations in mind, make sure to optimize your listing to make it stand out. Besides, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a tour- location, experience, cost or budget of the traveler, and customer reviews.
Weighing each of these factors in mind, you can curate your tours to have them stand out against the pool of tours around you. In addition, when it comes to commission fees, you can develop your pricing with the 20% commission fee added, so you get the profit that your tour business deserves. Just make sure your pricing coincides with the type and quality of your experience.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we'll tell you what NOT to do when listing your tour on TripAdvisor!