Are you still in a conundrum about opening your travel agency? Probably not sure whether this tourism thing is even profitable, and can you even make a decent living out of it? Opening a company, finances, expense, laws – does all these reek of a specific kind of stress to you? But what if we tell you that It’s not so terrible at all and that the travel agency can easily be managed without the thyroid cracking, nerves brake down or anxiety attacks?
Travel and tourism create jobs, encourage economic growth, and help build better societies. In 2017 alone, this sector was responsible for creating the world’s jobs (around 7 million jobs). And with a growth of 4, 6% surpassed the growth of the total economy for the 7th consecutive year.
So, let’s get some things straight:
1. Tourism is the future
People will always travel and go on vacations, and that means there is no fear for tourism. So, all you have to do is open up your tourist agency, and follow trends within the tourist industry.
2. Tourism has no limitations
In the tourist industry there are no restrictions: you can work from wherever you want, with whomever you want, and you can look for your customers wherever they live. All you need is the Internet, online marketing and with BookIT.hr the world can be your oyster.
3. Tourism creates the most beautiful memories
Whether you run your agency all by yourself or you have hired a few associates, the tourist agency is always a fun place to be. You have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and hear their interesting stories. You can also be creative and design interesting bundles for your tourists. And by doing that, you change people’s lives and you enable them the most beautiful memories.
People usually agree with the statement: when it comes to an unforgettable experience, money is not important. And for you, that means the unlimited possibilities! And there is always room for some more improvement.
So, what can you do to start? How can you increase the number of reservations in your travel agency? Well, we know 5 simple steps you can do right now.
Consistently invest in the promotion
Does higher revenue usually mean larger expenses, but also potentially higher profits?
Of course, it is all connected to the size of your building, the amount of accommodation units, the investment in promotion…
Every business step affects your company’s business. This is all clear, at least in a theory. But what happens when you put it in practice? In practice, one of the most common mistakes that are heavy enough to slow down the whole business is leaving the promotion strategy for the end. And, most often, people wait for “enough profit“, but then they would rather invest it in something else instead…
Systematically investing in promotion increases your sales revenue!
Will you hire communication or advertising agency, or will you employ a person that will take care of your marketing, or will you do it yourself in your “free time” because it’s easy – makes a huge difference! HUGE! For your cash register, your brand image, communication quality, and consequently, for the life of your travel agency.
So why don’t you use some of the online services, for example, BookIT.hr, to promote your company?
Promotion is an important part for a company’s life. And things are pretty simple when you lean on experts who know what they are doing.
The math is quite simple here: greater visibility = more reservations = higher profit.
And with BookIT.com you can have everything in one place:
- Need the promo webpage?
We’ll build a custom one for you, or you can select one of our templates.
- But you have multiplebrands?
We can create several branded webpages for you with a centralized user interface that’s connecting everything in one place.
- Want to get closer to your users on search engines?
We’ll help you do that with a SEO optimized high-quality content.
- Forget about the stress of tracking all social media and e-mails!
WithBookIT you can use Paldesk application that unifies all communication channels and provides direct contact with users by Live Chat widget.
It is up to you to adjust your travel agency’s business strategy to the needs of your users. You really have nothing to lose. Contact us at BookIT.hr and check it out.
Adjust your prices
What’s better, daily rent or rent for a longer time? How to determine the optimum price for higher availability and better earnings? How to extend the season?
The process of attracting a potential guest, who will then book your accommodation units, begins by pointing out the best from your offer. Assuming you have professional photos and SEO optimized texts that describe your accommodation on the nicely designed webpage, next step here is the price. The price list is one of the most important items when your customer is making a final decision when booking.
- Group the price and add the bonus
Do not separate the elements that are included in the price. Instead of pointing out what’s not included (air conditioner fee, a sojourn tax, etc.), create the unique price with all that included, and ad some bonuses (like free parking, free cancellation, etc.). By grouping all your prices, you are preventing misunderstandings when your guest arrives.
Also, they will keep the reservation for a longer period of time or pay a higher price if you give them something free. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be things like a free airport shuttle, free breakfast, longer stay discount (e.g. 20% discount for staying longer than 10 days) and so on.
- Create a sense of limited action and highlight the discount
If you include a discount, just highlighting the reason for it can increase its impact on your guest: “first minute”, “last minute”, freed dates, “only a few days left“ and such is enough to “catch” your guest.
And when you opt for a discount, create a less sense of payment. There is a rule of 100: if you lower the price that is below 100, emphasize percentage discount, and if the price is above 100, show how much exactly it’s less. Also, always leave a visible price before discount, to emphasize the feeling of less payment.
- Round the price to 0 rather than 9
This is just for the good image. To avoid unpleasant situations with your guests, and for ease of calculation, round your prices to 0 rather than 9.
- Highlight good reviews and prizes
People like hearing/reading other people reviews when deciding on something. So good review can significantly influence the decision for your potential guest.
Use your hard-earned awards and communicate them in advertising, place them to a visible place, feature your satisfied customers on social media etc. Be careful to balance prices to the quality level of your accommodation.
Work on a prolonged season
The ultimate business goal for every tourist agency is to earn as much more in as much little time, and with less time spent in administration and money spent. But what actually happens? The most profitable and most intense period in tourist business is “the season“ (May – October), especially for local tourist agencies. And after that comes a long stagnation period, dull waiting for a new season.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, it mustn’t be like this!
Here are a few tricks you can use to extend the season:
- Regularly respond to your guests’ reviews
- Continually improve your service
- Surprise your guests with little signs of attention
- Collaborate with com
Welcome drinks, DIY postcards, free transport to and from the apartment, or a bottle of homemade brandy are just an example of small things that can make a huge difference and leave a great impression on your guest. And collaboration with BookIT.hr
enables you to access millions of foreign tourists from one place with a synchronized calendar.
However, if you want your guests to come back, rent your apartment even in the off-season and write positive reviews, you have to satisfy some requirements, that make your guest feel like home and want to stay in your apartment longer.
Make sure that you do the following:
- the whole apartment is clean and tidy
- clean and tidy equipment, towels and bed linen
- courtyard regularly maintained
- the doors and windows in the apartments are correct, well preserved and clean
- the stairs or lift are neat and preserved
- floors, walls, and ceilings are clean and in good condition with proper lighting
- proper lighting in all rooms
- minimum one bathroom on six people and enough hot water
- all devices are functional
- available basic cleaning equipment
- enough cooking accessories must be available
- refrigerator, hairdryer, satellite TV must be in the apartment
- available microwave, toaster, coffee maker, washing machine, grill (raise satisfaction average by 20%)
- dishwasher (raises satisfaction on average by 40%)
- pool (raises satisfaction on average by 50%)
- internet access is becoming increasingly important criteria for accommodation selection
- air conditioning (the most important criteria for accommodation selection)
- pets are welcome
- friendly attitude toward guests (increases up to 100% satisfaction)
After all, guest you treat as a friend will not leave a bad comment. And with this approach, you can extend the average occupancy rate of your apartments, event up to 200 days a year. With the larger number of guests, you can increase the income and invest it in the (re)furnishing, a stronger promotion, or something else that’ll bring you even more guests. Win-win!
Differentiate from others
If you want your guests to choose just your apartments, and not the ones your competition offers, it is necessary to differentiate well. You can’t differentiate yourself in the sea of other hosts if you do the same things as everyone else.
Here’s how to do it in just a few simple steps.
- Go social
Good social media strategy can transform your marketing from passive to active, attracting traffic and visitors to you beautiful webpage. And then your webpage visitors are transforming into your guests.
Therefore, you should spend time online, where your potential guests are. Share interesting content on Facebook, Instagram and similar media. Publish every day, use links to your webpage and get more direct reservations.
- Invest in SEO
SEO optimization should be your priority. Of course, if you want your guests to find you next time when they search for the best destination for their next trip. Any text you type on your page should be adapted for search engines and people.
Therefore, you need to keep track of keywords, URLs, titles, and descriptions, links, meta tags, and quality-written content. Sounds complex? It’s even more complex than that.
There are a bunch of agencies that deal exclusively with search engine optimization, “on-site”, and “off-site”. But the fact is – SEO works. And if your SEO is set properly, the number of visits to your website will significantly increase, so will reservations.
A good advertisement can attract people to your website. You can work alone, but we recommend (at least for starters) an expert. You can advertise on social media, Google, you can do influencers marketing, but the best thing ever is word of mouth.
- Cooperate with online booking services
All of these activities require certain knowledge and skills. And lots, and lots of practice. However, you will see the best results if you also use external sales channels.
Collaboration with BookIT.com platform can greatly reduce the costs of promotion. Also, we will take care of the tech stuff, so you can do the fun stuff: entertain your guests.
With BookIT.hr you will get:
- a personalized webpage for yourbrand
- SEO optimized content on your site
- simple billing process
- instant booking
- statistics anddata for better tracing your agency’s development
- “paymentgetaway” integration
- automatic calendar update (which means no doublebooking and easy accommodation checking from various booking systems)
- administration on your palm
- simpler billing
And all this for a fixed price, no additional costs and commission. Check us out and see for yourself.
Analyze and optimize each step
The last step in this list is analysis. How will you know if anything you are doing is fruitful? Or what step should be optimized for work to jump high?
Before you start analyzing, it’s important to know what you want to show. Each analysis works separately and has a specific goal, and with their specific result (financial report, the communication strategy or something else) you can better manage certain business processes. So, take some time and make two, three analyzes for each area separately, rather than work on one large and get mixed and unrelated results.
Whatever you do, the analysis must be the beginning and end of each business period. You can divide the period into monthly surveys, quarterly or/and annually. Only by analyzing and comparing a certain period and the resulting data, you can know how things work and how/what you should optimize.
One of the most famous analyzes is SWOT, a technique that helps you “discover” the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your strategic planning. The SWOT analysis can greatly help you see “where you are” in relation to others and what you need to do to improve your business. By using SWOT analysis, you can better understand your work environment, your own strengths, and weaknesses. The answers you find will help you in defining the future goals for your travel agency’s business.
But when you do the SWOT analysis, it is important to be as realistic as you can defining your possibilities and failures, because you will not achieve much if you are not honest with yourself. Also, make sure your analysis is short and simple. Simple conclusions will help so much more than the complex one.
Use Excel, do your reports in PowerPoint, and write concise conclusions based on the numbers collected by analysis to be clear with the next steps.
Ask yourself what’s next to be done (what’s going wrong) and what should you change or potentially stop doing. Also, consider the fact that some strategic activities take time, so you will not see any shifts immediately, maybe not even after a few months. Actively follow your competition, trends in the market within your niche, and the technological changes taking place in the platforms you are using.
And that’s it. Just follow these 5 easy steps and the world is yours.