Travel may be a luxury for most, but that doesn’t stop the juggernaut that is the travel industry.
Total contribution by the travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from US$ 136.3 billion in 2015 to US$ 275.2 billion in 2025. The sector is the third largest foreign exchange earner for India – in 2014, this figure stood at an impressive US$ 19.7 billion according to this source.
There’s a huge market out there, but are you, as a travel service provider, making the most of it? Marketing to the right people at the right time isn’t easy, but here are five things you definitely should be doing.
Five Quick Ways to Sell Out a Travel Package in India:
1. Partner with Travel Aggregators
Sell a travel experience, not just a single service. That means getting out there and bagging exclusive partnerships with other companies in the sector – car rentals, taxis, hotels and lodging, tour guides and more. The potential to mix and match is enormous and you could customize packages to certain demographics. Who’s up for a senior citizen’s tour of the Golden Triangle?
2. Be Social
If you’re a social person, great! If not, be one, and not just offline. Engage with your immediate community. Word of mouth is the single most effective marketing tool out there, and it’s free. Join groups related to your industry in your city and be active there. Join online groups that your potential customers are in and answer their questions or post helpful tips. Remember not to spam people with your deals, that’s a sure way to shut shop soon.
Start right now with these Facebook groups:
Blogs build brands, so vice versa. Create an informative blog that’s subtle with the promotions. By talking about the places you’re going to cover and the sights they’re going to see, you’ll give travellers something to salivate over. More eyeballs equals more conversions.
Take it one step further by promoting your blog. Share it on social media and in relevant communities. Partner with other travel bloggers and exchange guest posts with them. Find your next guest author in this list of the top 100 travel bloggers in India.
4. Advertise Advertise Advertise
Google AdWords is your best bet – but that’s what it makes competitive. Be smart and optimize your ads on long tail keywords that your target audience is searching for. For example, ‘best travel deals for (place)’ or ‘top places to visit in (number of) days’.
Facebook advertising is also a great way to reach out to a specific audience. Specify the demographics that you are looking for. For each type of deal, choose your target age group, and filter their interests to include travel, backpacking and more.
5. Build Relationships
It’s always easier to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one. When you’ve spent so much time and resources to convert a prospect into a paying client, you need to build on that foundation. Travel is not a one time thing – if you give people an amazing experience, they’re going to want to come back, and they’re going to want you again.
Stay in touch even after the trip is done, inquire about feedback and use it to better your packages. Email marketing is a great way to do this. Use your website or blog to expand your subscriber list and curate effective and exclusive information for this group.
SELL TRAVEL PACKAGES/SERVICES ONLINE
Running a travel business is a tough job. And if you still collect payments through cash or cheque, you’re making it harder on yourself.
– You’re restricting your client base to a geography where they can pay offline. What happens to that customer 400 km away and his/her party of 20 people?
– You’re making your customers veer away from your fantastic website or blog to dredge up hard notes or that cheque leaf to write to it. Make it time-efficient and convenient for them to pay online and watch your sales soar.
Instamojo is a simple way to collect credit/debit card and net banking payments from your clients anywhere in the country, within minutes. Both you and your client receive an instant payment confirmation, so the trip-planning can begin right away!
To start selling your travel and tour packages online, sign up on Instamojo.com for free and answer a few questions. Your account goes live immediately, no documents are required during the set-up process.
1. Integrate on your Website
Sell tour packages directly on your website with our clean and simple payment APIs. Or just spend a few seconds to copy-paste a payment button onto your travel blog.
2. Sell without a Website
You don’t need a website to sell online. Collect payments for custom tour packages via SMS or email using Request a Payment with Instamojo. Pro tip – do this in bulk by uploading an excel file.
Use your unique payment handle (imojo.in/@username) to collect advance payments from customers anytime, anywhere.
Irrespective of the feature that you are using, you get:
1. Instant payment confirmation.
2. Customer payment and contact information.
3. Ability to initiate partial/full refunds in case of cancellations or rescheduling.
Gift your customers not just a terrific holiday, but also a smooth payment experience with Instamojo.