How to Position Your Business for Success in the Coming Months
Here are some tips for ensuring your business is ready as restrictions lift. Check out the tips below and go update your products!
The past year has been incredibly trying for the travel industry as a whole. Re-openings and closings have impacted everyone and managing your business has never been harder. But now that vaccines are being distributed we can see the light at the end of the tunnel—and get excited about travel picking back up.
We know travelers are eager to start booking experiences again and now is the perfect time for you to ensure your business is well positioned for whatever the new normal may be. When travel fully returns travelers are going to be eager to explore all of the experiences they’ve been dreaming of for the past year.
Let’s take a look at what you can do today to be ready for tomorrow’s traveler.
The information contained within this section gives travelers a good indication of what to expect from your experience. Here’s what to look for in the Product Content section:
- Itinerary: Does your tour still stop at all added points of interest listed within Tour Details? Or have you added any new stops that you haven’t listed yet?
- Inclusions/Exclusions: Have you had to remove any inclusions, such as admission to an attraction?
- What makes this tour unique?: Has your experience changed to private or a smaller group?
- COVID-19 Safety Measures: Have you added the measures you’re taking to ensure customer safety?Customers can now search for experiences that have precautions in place. Please complete this section with all relevant information or if already completed, please add/remove any measures that may have changed from last year.
Optimize your product by meeting the highest level of product quality in order to receive the Badge of Excellence. If your product is showing “needs improvement,” it means it’s not currently meeting the standards. Review, determine what is missing, and update accordingly.
Now is a good time to perform an annual check up to review your account settings and permissions. Do this by navigating to the ‘Manage Users’ tab to check that all the users who have a log in still work at the company. You can also check that roles and permissions of each user are still accurate and update these if necessary. In order to make any changes such as removing users, adding users, or editing permissions, you will need to be logged in as the primary user. If you need the primary user updated, please reach out to the support team.
If emails for users we have on file no longer work at the company you could miss out on important information like booking confirmations, emails from travelers, updates regarding your products and more..
Accurate availability for your product is crucial. Users are searching for specific dates that they will be traveling and only want to see experiences that are available on those dates—if your availability isn’t accurate you will not show up in searches for specific dates.. To ensure you show up in as many results as possible set your availability for at least 6 months in advance, if not more. Accurate availability will ensure you attract travelers who are in the early stages of research and those who are also in-destination.
Your cut-off time is how soon before your experience starts you will accept a booking. Setting this time as low as possible opens you to more travelers, especially those looking for last-minute activities. Tripadvisor research has shown that operators who lowered their cut-off to four hours or less saw a 27% increase in bookings.
Watch this video for more time on adjusting your cutoff time:
Upload High-Quality Photos
Data shows that having at least six to nine high-quality photos for each product significantly increases the chance of securing a booking. Photos reveal to potential customers what really makes your experience special, and should be an accurate representation of what they will get to see or do. The best photos show happy travelers enjoying the activities included in the experience. Alternatively, beautiful pictures of sights, landmarks, or landscapes that are the focus of the experience are inspiring too.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Use natural light for more vivid photos.
- Use candid shots to make customers feel a closer connection.
- Take time to think through and set up your shot. Consider the time of day that offers the best light. Plan ahead for any logistics that may present challenges for shooting. If your tour or activity takes place at night, think about how you’re going to make sure everything looks good in the dark.
- View test shots on a computer, as what looks okay in person might look odd in a photo.
- Take level shots, not at extreme angles.
- Pictures of empty spaces where you’d expect people to be.
- Shots of customers or staff looking directly at the camera.
- Action shots of customers where they look frightened or overexcited.
- Wide-angle or panorama shots.
- Overly busy compositions.
- Stock photography.
If you want more information about uploading high-quality photos to your product, watch our video below.
If you have language skills available, add your own translations in as many languages as possible for all of your product content. Writing your experience content in the languages you speak will allow you to display your experience in your own voice, highlighting your personality.
Updating public liability insurance (PLI)
Public liability insurance (PLI) is a standard form of business insurance that protects customers from injury while participating in your activities or while on your premises. It also protects you from damage or third-party legal actions from customers.
Insurance requirements vary by country and product type. Viator typically requires documentation of PLI if you run experiences in a high-risk category. If you have questions or issues regarding your requirements, please contact Supplier Support.
It’s important to note that if a product is deactivated due to PLI expiring, all bookings are now being automatically cancelled. So make sure your PLI is up-to-date to avoid cancellations.