Dealing with cancellations at the last minute can be frustrating, right? Cancellations mean lost revenue but also tours operating below full capacity.

The solution? A waitlist.

Waitlists are great for filling last-minute spots and making sure your tours run smoothly.

Here we're going to talk about waitlists, when to introduce them, their benefits, and how to effectively manage them.

Let's begin.

What is a Wait List?

define waitlist

A waitlist, sometimes called a waiting list or wait list, is like a backup plan for your tours.

When your event is fully booked and there's a last-minute cancellation, a waitlist lets interested guests fill those spots.

Thanks to waitlist management, you'll never miss filling every booking spot.

Why Your Tour Business Needs a Waitlist

Besides filling in last-minute booking gaps, a waiting list can also help you market better.

Consider these reasons.

customer waiting list benefits

Keep Earnings High and Avoid Empty Seats

The first advantage of using a waitlist is that you will not lose money from no-shows or last-minute cancellations.

How effective is a waitlist?

Around 7% of once-waitlisted guests ended up booking by filling in the cancellation gap.

A waiting list, then, can help you maintain full bookings and maximize your tour's potential earnings.

Spark Interest & Make Smarter Marketing Choices

A full waitlist shows your tours are popular and can create the FOMO, which makes even more people want to join. It's like telling everyone, "Hurry up, or you'll miss out!"

This demand can lead to valuable data and business insights, helping you understand what your customers really want.

By analyzing waitlist trends, you can identify which tours are most popular and at what times of the year or week this popularity spikes.

You can use this information to better target the right audiences at the right time with the right offers.

Improves the Customer Experience

You can make a guest feel valued and listened to by creating a waitlist.

Keeping in touch with your customers, even if your tour is full, can build a relationship that leads to increased loyalty and repeat business.

This is why regular and clear communication with customers is key.

You can also avoid long line-ups when your guests are on a waitlist. Instead, guests come when a tour becomes available, saving your customers time and eliminating the hassle of crowded tours.

How soon should you start a waitlist?

Consider starting a waitlist when your tours consistently reach full capacity. This strategy can help you manage guest expectations and ensure maximum efficiency.

Waiting list management tips for tour companies

Waitlists help tour companies. But to reap the full benefits, you need proper waitlist management.

We hear you. From keeping communication clear to using the right digital tools, here's how you can effectively handle your waiting list.

Hopefully, this set of practices can help you keep your tours full and your customers happy without stressing you out.

1. Clearly explain your waitlist policy

Make sure your customers know how your waiting list works. Tell them where to sign up, how they'll know if a spot opens up, and what their chances are of joining a tour last minute.

Put all this info on your website so everyone can find and understand. This way, interested guests know exactly what to do and expect.

2. Set realistic expectations for your customers

It's important to keep things real with your customers about their chances of getting off the waiting list and onto a tour.

If it's unlikely, tell them, but also let them know why it's still worth signing up. For example, they could get early news on future tours, making them a good fit for next time.

3. Make sure you stay in touch

Send them updates about their spot in line, any last-minute cancellations, and new tour dates they might want to attend.

Good communication makes customers feel taken care of and increases the chance they'll book a tour with you in the future.

4. Find the right tools to help you

There are tools and software designed to make waitlist management easier. These can automatically let people know when space becomes available because of a cancellation.

This saves you time.

5. Get a hang of your waiting list

Your waiting list can give you valuable business insights. It can show you which tours are the most popular and when people most want to go.

Use this information to plan better tours that more people want to attend.

6. Pick the Best Software for Your Needs

Choose a waiting list tool that fits your tour company's needs. Make sure it works with your booking system and is easy to use for you and your guests. Also, it should let you easily notify people when new spaces open up.

There are booking software options like TicketingHub that have a waiting list feature built in. So you don't have to jump between multiple tools.


When it comes to waitlists and waitlist management, it's not just about filling seats; it's about increasing revenue, improving customer service, and gaining valuable insight into your customers.

If you use the right approach and tools, a waitlist can make a big difference to your business, making it easier to accommodate last-minute guests.

Do you want to know how waitlists work? Try TicketingHub and see how you can automate customer communication and simplify booking management. This will save time and hassle, so you can focus on the things that matter most - your customers and live the life you want.

FAQ Section

What is the best way to manage a waitlist?

Communicate clearly, use the right software, and stay engaged with your waitlist.

  • Start by setting clear expectations on your website about how the waitlist works, including how to join and what the process will look like.
  • You can use waitlist software like TicketingHub. When last-minute cancellations happen, this tool can automatically notify customers.
  • Next, regularly update your waitlisted customers. So you can keep their interest and give them a sense of control over their chances of joining your tours.

What is a waitlist feature?

A waitlist feature is a way for customers to register their interest in joining a tour that's full.

When spaces become available, often because of cancellations or no-shows, this feature automatically notifies interested guests.

It's designed to maximize your revenue by ensuring tours run at full capacity. It can also provide you with valuable business insights by tracking demand for your tours.

How do I engage my waitlist?

Engaging your waitlist means keeping those on the list informed and excited about attending your tour. Here are some strategies.

  • Send regular updates via email or text about their position on the list and any availability changes.
  • Offer exclusive content or early access to future bookings as a reward for their patience and interest.
  • Describe your tours in detail. Whether it's tips, itineraries, or articles, to keep them interested.
  • Ask for feedback on what tours or dates they're most interested in, showing you value their input and helping you plan future offerings.

If you manage your waitlist well, you can turn potential missed opportunities into happy customers. Your tour company will fill every spot and build a loyal customer base.

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