Boosting Bookings

Partnering with DMOs to Boost Your Tour Bookings

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September 2, 2021

Partnering with DMOs to Boost Your Tour Bookings

No matter what tour or activity you bring to the table, you won’t get any business if you don’t have travelers heading to your destination. To bring awareness to your region — and everything it has to offer — it’s essential that you start building a relationship with Destination Marketing Organizations, or DMOs. A DMO is like a local tourism board designed to promote a particular region or destination. Their goals are simple: Encouraging tourists to visit the region so that they can then support the economy by staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, and enjoying unique tourism activities.

DMOs drive visitor growth and spending, which can be good news for local tourism agencies. When you partner with DMOs, you can benefit from an influx of new tourism — which can boost your tour bookings.

DMOs and Tourism Businesses: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Tourism in the United States and beyond is set to boom in 2021. But with tourism arrivals increasing, so are the demands of the tourists themselves. More and more consumers are pursuing authentic and meaningful experiences — something that goes beyond the conventional.

In this climate, it’s more important than ever that you know how to leverage your relationships with Destination Management Organizations. The right partnership with a DMO can market your region as a prime destination to visit, therefore bringing awareness to the services and travel experiences you offer.

That being said, you shouldn’t expect your DMO to act as a sales funnel for bookings. They can’t hand you bookings on a silver platter, but they can empower tourists to visit and guide them towards the right experiences.

To maximize ticket sales, reservations, and more, we’ll walk you through the process of working effectively with DMOs.

Deciding to Work with a DMO

Like any marketing opportunity, partnering with a DMO can be an investment. Before you commit to working with a DMO, do your research on their website, membership, audience reach, and their own external marketing strategy.

Ask yourself:

  • Are the benefits worth the financial investment?
  • What kind of partnership benefits can this DMO provide?
  • What services are included in the membership package and what might come at an additional cost?

If you’re on the fence about partnering, you can also create a pros and cons list of working with a particular DMO. Weigh the benefits they provide against the investment you’d have to make. Do you think you can make a positive return?

How to Leverage a DMO to Boost Tour Bookings

While each DMO is unique, many of them have similar ways of operating. If you engage with them the right way, you can make the most of your partnership.

Here are a few ways you can leverage your relationship with a DMO to get the word out about your business — and ultimately, give your tour bookings a boost.

1. Get to Know Who You’re Working With

Depending on the area, the local tourism industry, and the people you’re working with, every partnership with a DMO is unique. When you first partner with a DMO, don’t be afraid to call them up. Ask questions to find out what services you have access to and how you can use them.

This communication isn’t just for the beginning of your relationship. You should keep in touch with your DMO regularly to keep up with your analytics, website traffic, and conversions, as well as inquire about new opportunities.

2. Become a Part of DMO Itineraries

To help promote a particular region or neighborhood, many DMOs will put together custom itineraries. These itineraries can also draw the attention of travelers focused on a particular interest, like outdoor adventure or high-end dining experiences.

When working with your DMO, ask if your tour or activity company can become a part of any of these itineraries. Thousands of travelers turn to DMO itineraries to help guide them to trustworthy and high-quality tourism activities, from hotels to travel experiences. Becoming a part of these itineraries would instantly boost your exposure in the region and open you up to a wave of new bookings.

In return, your DMO can add a new and unique activity to their itineraries, showing tourists that the region has plenty to offer its visitors.

3. Share Online Content with your DMO

In today’s digital age, online content is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business. Your partnership with a DMO is no exception.

Many DMOs take advantage of informative blog content and compelling social media content to promote the tourist appeal of their region. Take the opportunity to share your own online content with them for circulation. This gives the DMO more content to promote, and in return, puts your business in front of hundreds if not thousands of new eyes.

4. Focus on Collaboration

Your business might be in competition with other businesses in the tourism industry, but when it comes to a DMO, everybody can benefit. The more people visiting your destination, the better it is for everyone involved.

Instead of viewing other tour and activity providers in your destination as competition, it can help to start looking at them as potential partners. Your DMO can promote custom packages, offering a discount for prospective travelers to take part in multiple activities. Not only can this benefit the DMO by attracting new tourists, but it can also boost sales for you and other local businesses.

The Bottom Line

DMOs can’t create instant success for their partners. But they’re experts in enticing new travelers, inspiring tourists to make new bookings, and bringing exposure to all kinds of local tour activities and attractions.

If you’re not partnering with your local DMO, you could be missing out on crucial marketing opportunities. To make the most of your relationships, it’s important to remember that this is a partnership. Think about what you can do for your DMO — and how this can benefit your business too. Stay in close contact with your partners and be vocal about what you want to get out of the relationship.

Attracting tourists to your services is only the first step. Once you have that exposure, the key to getting conversions comes down to your booking process. At Junglebee, our booking software takes your customers step-by-step through the reservation process, making sure their journey is as smooth and seamless as possible. To learn more, schedule a 30-minute discovery call with our team!

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