Building a Better Tour

4 Tips for Creating Unique Boat Tours

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October 28, 2021

4 Tips for Creating Unique Boat Tours

Boat tours are a big hit with tourists and it’s not hard to see why. Being out on the water offers up-close stunning views of marine habitats and wildlife and often includes a chance to jump in for a swim or snorkel. City boat tours are just as exciting, offering views of the skyline that are unforgettable and totally Instagrammable. A boat excursion is also just a super fun way to spend the day, and there’s something about being on the water that makes a vacation extra special.

The downside for tour operators is that with so much demand for fun times on the water, boat tour companies are a dime a dozen in waterfront areas. So the question becomes, how can you make your boat tour stand out from the competition and attract new and repeat clients?

As veteran tour operators ourselves, we know how tricky it can be to differentiate yourself. But what we’ve learned is that a little bit of creativity and thought goes a long way. We’ve got some tried-and-true methods for creating unique boat tours that set you apart from the crowd and have the sales coming in like a high tide.

1. Carve Out a Niche

The saying “you can’t be everything to everyone” applies just as much to business as it does to life in general. But so many tour operators don’t take this simple advice and try to appeal to as many demographics as possible: people of all ages, budgets, backgrounds, and travel styles.

But if you try to cast the widest net possible with your boat tours, you’re likely to end up adrift in a literal no-man’s land, since your offerings won’t have that special hook that resonates with your target demographic. People love to feel seen and smart businesses capitalize on this by crafting unique tours that speak to a specific section, or niche, of the market.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to niche down and start reeling in more prospects. Start by thinking about the different types of travelers that exist and what their specific needs are. For example, you could target your offerings to any one of the following:

  • Senior citizens
  • Families
  • Honeymooning couples
  • Backpackers
  • History buffs
  • Snorkelers and scuba divers

The list could go on and on. Each of these groups has a specific set of needs, wants, and desires when they travel. And if they see that your tour company has offerings geared specifically for them? It’s an easy decision to choose you over the competition.  

2. Offer a Luxurious Experience

It’s often the little things that take a tour from just OK to the highlight of a trip: a welcome drink as your clients board the boat, cushioned seats for a smooth ride, complimentary hats and sunscreen in case they forgot to bring their own.

Make your company stand out by adding those thoughtful touches that enhance comfort, convenience, and luxury every step of the way. The result will be a uniquely enjoyable experience that your customers will remember forever — and rave about in their online reviews.

Here are some ideas for ways you can upgrade your clients’ experience into something truly luxurious and unforgettable:

  • Provide high-quality refreshments.
  • Offer professional photos of the excursion.
  • Arrange for convenient transportation to and from the dock.
  • Outfit your boat with comfortable seating and attractive decor.
  • Have sunscreen, hats, rain ponchos, hand sanitizer, and other essentials available.

3. Consider the Times

As a tour operator, you likely already know that a morning boat tour is a completely different experience from an evening boat tour. The light, temperature, water conditions, and ambience are worlds apart. The same goes for the changing seasons. An afternoon boat ride in autumn along a foliage-lined shore offers something totally distinct from a summer excursion with the sun glinting off the city skyscrapers.

Take advantage of these daily and seasonal variations by developing unique boat tour offerings that make the most of the changing times. Sunrise boat tours, for example, may be just what a group of early-rising retirees are looking for to kick off their day. A romantic boat tour at sunset, complete with wine and cheese, on the other hand, may be the ideal date night idea for couples.

Diversifying your boat tour offerings in this way will help you attract a larger audience, even within your niche, since you’ll appeal to a range of early birds, night owls, sun-seekers, nightlife-lovers, and more.

4. Make Booking a Breeze

Your customer’s experience with your tour company doesn’t start when they step on the dock — it starts the moment they land on your website. That’s why it’s crucial to think about how you can provide top-notch service from the very first click. And one of the most important aspects of your online presence is your booking system.

The best tour ideas and marketing efforts in the world won’t boost your sales if your booking system is a nightmare to navigate. Businesses lose so many potential customers when their booking system is slow, hard to understand, or overly complicated.

A booking software system like Junglebee makes it easy for your potential customers to get on board with your boat tours. This intuitive system streamlines the booking process so you can turn prospects into bookings with just a few clicks.

It’s easy for you to use, too. All you have to do is copy and paste the tour booking form on your website and Junglebee takes care of the rest. Try it now for free.

The Bottom Line on Creating Unique Boat Tours

Creating unique boat tours is a smart way to rise above the competition and take your company to the next level of success. With a little creativity, a lot of thought about your target market, and some essential online tools, it’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

Want more great tips on building and expanding a successful tour company? Check out the Junglebee blog for insider advice on everything from understanding your guests to boosting your bookings.

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