When running a tourist-related venture, it's important to consider packaging your product or service. This may mean combining a few of your own products into one offering or teaming up with other service providers to attract more customers.
To develop successful tourism packages you will need to think creatively, consider your target market and approach businesses in your area with compatible products. You must then combine your resources to create and promote your product to the benefit of everyone involved.
What makes a good package deal?
- Demand: A potential customer must want to buy the package for whatever reason. A demand generator may be outside your direct control e.g. the natural beauty of the surrounding area or a unique culture, etc. Make sure you include at least one demand generator when promoting your package
- Benefit: Be sure to offer your customers a benefit that they would not receive if they purchased the components of the package separately. This might be the cost saving or the inclusion of a "free" or special element
- Be organised. Plan your package well in advance to make sure that no important elements are overlooked and that it meets the needs of your target market
- Be consistent. Make sure each element of your package is of a consistently high quality. Consumers will judge the entire package on the quality of each part of their experience
- Cover your bases. Resist the temptation to throw any old package together. Remember, your customers are often spoilt for choice. Attention to detail can make an excellent product stand out
- Make it profitable. It's essential that you earn a profit that justifies your efforts. When setting your price, take into account the commissions paid to other operators, the value-add of your package and the exchange rates associated with foreign travellers
Some ideas for tourist packages
- The full wammy: If you own a B&B or guest lodge, you could design a package that includes accommodation, meals and a sightseeing trip or visit to an entertainment facility. This may include contracting a transport operator to ferry your guests to and fro
- Off-peak specials. You can offer specials during off-peak days or seasons. Alternatively, you can offer high and low season rates
- Strategic partnerships: Package deals present opportunities for a variety of tourist services. Speak to local tour operators, attractions, restaurants and so on, to secure discounted rates in exchange for the free publicity and guaranteed business
- The draw-card. A package often develops around one major component with other elements being added to enhance its appeal. The draw-card – or hook – could be your business or you can approach a game lodge, outside event or popular tourist attraction and offer to add your services to their package
Putting the package together
- Determine the "theme" of your package e.g. luxury game viewing, soft adventure, ecotourism, African culture, food and wine
- Give a name to your package that will convey the type of experience you are offering
- Determine the target market that will best suit your package e.g. senior citizens, backpackers, special interest like birders, golfers etc.
- Work out whether you will have daily departures or scheduled departures e.g. every Monday. Also the time period during which your package will be available e.g. low season.
- Determine the sectors of the industry that can be built into your package, such as attractions, accommodation, tours, etc
- Draft a number of activities using the combination of industry sectors that will best provide the experience offered to the market you are targeting
- Ask yourself if the package is attractive, feasible, profitable and sustainable
Now that you have your package and its various elements sorted out, it's time to plan your marketing strategy. The way your promote your product could make or break it, so devise a cost effective marketing plan that will reach your intended target market.
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