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Upselling and cross-selling are two popular practices in the tourism industry, particularly for tour operators. Upselling involves creating a “premium version” of a package and selling it at a higher price. Cross-selling, on the other hand, convinces customers to buy additional products or services related to their initial purchase. Recognizing the right time to bring up these opportunities will allow businesses to maximize their efforts while keeping customers satisfied. It’s a win-win scenario.

However, just having more add-ons and options is not always a great strategy. It is still important to consider all the other factors with regards to upselling and cross-selling. There three identified factors that contribute to the effectivity of this type of promotion.

Get the Timing Right

Still, it won’t do the business well if they give their consumers a hard sell. There is timing involved in making the offer and it sometimes differs depending on whether the strategy is to upsell or cross-sell.

For example, upselling a more expensive tour package with two more destinations, a personal concierge, and full-course meals should be presented before the buyer makes a purchase in the form of a collection. Creating multiple packages of different prices and add-ons will offer customers more choices depending on their preferences. Instead of just having them choose the cheapest package all the time, offer something that is worth their spend. This way, businesses could set an impression of being a premium brand rather than just being ‘the less expensive” option.

For cross-selling, optional rentals, such as wearables, swimming gears, or gadgets can be offered before purchase or during the day of the tour. These kinds of add-ons provide more choices and can make a trip more convenient for the customers, making the offer a lot more exciting and worthwhile.

Sell Relevant Items

It is important that the add-ons match not only the location but the nature of the tour or package as well. For example, cross-selling photography services as an add-on to a land tour will not work as great since people can easily take pictures with their phones. On the other hand, offering the same for a diving tour will make people more likely to buy since underwater photography requires a more specialized setup which you might have access to. 

For upselling, listening to each of your customers is the key. No two customers will experience a vacation the same way. Previous experiences, as well as travel preferences, will factor in a customer’s buying decision and the business can use this to leverage additional products and services. For example, a guest may opt for a simple “staycation” in a venue known for high adrenaline activities. An operator may offer a guided tour to this service that can help the customer see these activities to find one they would be interested in trying. Offering personalized services or products will always leave the customers on the edge of their seats for the next promos.

Get ahead of the game

The travel business is a very competitive scene with varying fluctuations in trends and preferences. To stay on par with the competition, a well-maintained knowledge base of customers and their preferences provides a great advantage. In addition, this leads to a better negotiating position for operators to pitch other services. By keeping a comprehensive knowledge base, businesses can easily categorize their customers. They can easily distinguish those who prefer land tours or cruises, allowing them to better tailor their offerings.

Another component of the operation a knowledge base helps with is feedback. To illustrate, a customer could mention loving a Venetian boat tour yet complain about the hotel service. That shows an opportunity for the business to upsell something a little bit fancier next time. Customers who take micro-trips yet want to get the most out of their stay in a particular locale may be a lot more open to adding a guided tour of multiple destinations during their short stay. Having a strong knowledge base will reveal all these data.

Likewise, consistent support and updates ensure the knowledge base stays relevant for a long time. A dedicated support team that handles all its data entry and research needs go a long way in getting the most value from it. The best travel businesses are those that can anticipate customer needs and over-deliver on their promises. Exceeding expectations leads to better experiences for customers.

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