Monday, February 4, 2019
Working with the international travel trade can help grow your business by attracting customers from international markets and establishing repeat business.
Last fall, Tourism Nova Scotia joined Destination Cape Breton Association and Daniel Ross from Cabot Trail Biker for the Gros Morne Institute on Sustainable Tourism’s Travel Trade Best Practice Mission in Peterborough, Niagara and Toronto.
Travel trade refers to the distribution network for tourism products comprised of travel agents, online travel agents, tour operators and tourism operators.
The best practice mission provided an opportunity to meet with Canadian tour operators to learn what it takes to successfully work with the travel trade, and to hear from businesses about how they developed products and experiences for the travel trade. Participants met with major tour companies like Porter Escapes, Jonview and operators working in the China market.
“I participated in the Best Practice Mission because I wanted to see if it was possible to expand my motorcycle tour business and to learn better ways to do that, and I learned a significant amount about the travel trade industry,” said Daniel Ross. “I wasn’t aware of the travel trade booking process and how royalties can vary by travel trade partners for accommodations. I learned about liability issues for my guests and different ways I can sell my tour packages.”
Here are some of the key takeaways from the meetings:
1: Receptive tour operators are looking for new product offerings. Tour operators like Jonview and Porter Escapes are interested in new accommodations and experiences to offer their travel trade partners. Porter Escapes is interested in experiences and attractions that can be offered in combination with accommodations in destinations where Porter flies, like Halifax.
2: Talk to Tourism Nova Scotia’s market development team. Make sure you inform Tourism Nova Scotia’s market development team about new product offerings so they can share information about your business with interested tour operators. They can also recommend which travel trade partners would be best suited for your product.
3: Tour operators serving Chinese travellers cater to different interests. Some operators specialize in soft adventure travel, others offer group tours to visit major attractions. Some operators have clients from other Asian countries and others cater to clients who are already living in Canada. Learn how you can prepare your business to serve Chinese travellers and subscribe to inTouch to receive information for an upcoming China Market Readiness Workshop.
4: Businesses can increase visitor appeal by offering unique travel experiences. For example, Elmhirst Resort near Peterborough offers guests experiences that include floatplane tours, onsite wine tastings and local culinary experiences.
“Since participating in the mission, I have looked into insurance which led me to create a safety plan, and I also decided to incorporate my business,” said Daniel Ross.
To learn more about how you can work with the travel trade to grow your business, see the Atlantic Canada Travel Trade Readiness Program, or participate in our upcoming Travel Trade Workshop.
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