Running a tour operator is not a simple task. You don’t only have to worry about the packages you provide and how they are presented, but also the marketing tactics that will give those packages the attention they deserve. New travel trends, desired tour locations and the needs of a massive target market don’t help to simplify this process either.
Tour Operator Trade Associations follow the same method as trade associations created for all business type – if you want to beat them, join them.
The first thing you have to know about a Tour Operator Trade Association is that it is going to cost you to be a member. This does cause some to be wary of joining, but the pros of being a member definitely outway the cons; if you use them to your advantage.
Tour Operator Trade associations provide in-depth knowledge training across the entire business spectrum:
- Training courses for your employees
- Updates on new technologies
- Inside information on popular tour destinations
- Reasons for customers choosing specific destinations (popular cuisines etc)
Making use of information provided under the above categories (and a wealth others) will help you make invaluable changes to your business model, and improve the effectiveness of your employees.
Another valuable advantage of joining a Tour Operator Trade Association would be the overall publicity received by both customers and fellow business owners.
Trade associations are usually well-established and trusted. Joining on such association will cause customers to view your business with the same standard they view the association. If you are new to the industry or want to improve the reputation of your business, this comes as a huge advantage
Registering with trade associations means that your business might become listed on popular business directories. Your business may also be featured in specific newsletters (as is the case with the ATTA)
Trade associations are large organisations, with large budgets to suit. Involving yourself in organising campaigns run by the association can majorly benefit your public image and widen your target market radius
Insurance and Financial Protection
Many Tour Operator Trade Associations offer financial protection schemes and insurance specific to tour-related businesses. This is where the price of joining becomes a little more understandable, as the protection provided can be a lifeline if you go out of business or fall or face other financial issues.
Many trade associations work closely with governmental organisations and can help to implement new trading laws that would be beneficial to your business . If you are unaware of new regulations, your trade association can help advise you on the following protocol or help you begin the process of lobbying for guideline changes.
Tips & Facts
Besides for joining trade organisations, there are many ways to improve and expand your tour operator business. If you have a WordPress website, integrating your theme with the Tour Operator Plugin is one such method. This plugin creates a range of post categories and features which greatly simplifies the process of creating and managing your website.