During the time between a customer's booking and their onsite arrival, tour operators have a unique opportunity to curate an experience that really wows their guests. Though some travelers are more spontaneous than others, most enjoy having at least a short list of activities they absolutely must do at their destination. In any case, they could always use your help navigating the city and packing for their journey.
Here are some simple ways you can enhance your guests' vacation experience long before they arrive.
1. Help guests build their itinerary
As we've suggested before, “Take the time to ask guests about their travel planning and offer to help them plan the rest of their trip with local recommendations." One way to do this is to provide a "destination cheat sheet' for download on your website or send guests a PDF via email as a complimentary service to help them get to know the area.
With your recommendations, be sure to group activities that are located in the same areas. Add estimates for how long visitors should spend on each destination and note opening and closing times for those amusements. This helps travelers avoid wasting precious time revisiting a neighborhood only to see one or two things they missed on an earlier visit.
2. Prepare travelers for the adventure
Caught up in the excitement of their upcoming trip, guests may forget to prepare their travel documents, get necessary vaccinations, or pack essential items. To save travelers from an embarrassing encounter at the border, tour operators can share information visitors from other countries will need to know prior to travel.
Email guests packing tips. For instance, if you're located in a mountainous region, advise guests to bring sturdy hiking boots, especially if you offer outdoor excursions. During the rainy season, recommend packing waterproof or water-resistant shoes. Remind travelers about what not to bring as well.
Finally, share a few fun language lessons. For guests who speak the same language, provide a list of common slang non-locals might not be familiar with.
3. Invite visitors to eat like a local
On Facebook and Instagram, it can feel as though travelers spend more time documenting their meals than their journey. Indeed, one of the most exciting things about travel is experiencing local culture through its cuisine.
Of course, many first-time visitors may not know what to eat or where to eat it. That said, tour operators can offer their best recommendations for specific dishes to try and restaurants to visit.
The Bottom Line
By simply sharing extra information (and providing concierge-like services), tour operators demonstrate their commitment to an exceptional customer experience. In return, guests will reciprocate with positive reviews and referrals to help you grow your business and bookings.