Gray Line of New Orleans is no stranger to disruption. The company, composed of the New Orleans Steamboat Company and Gray Line Sightseeing divisions, has mastered the business pivot – continually modifying a wide range of experiences to overcome setbacks and delight travelers.
Gray Line has done everything to keep their tours in operation, from adjusting processes to meet changing health protocols to adapting itineraries while recovering from a hurricane. Viator Accelerate has been one of the ways they’ve taken back control of their business during a year that delivered continual twists and turns.
Doing More with Less
New Orleans is an infamously competitive city for tours and experiences. With so many options available to travelers, Gray Line had always allocated resources to differentiate from the pack. COVID made this difficult to continue – a combination of tightened budgets and staffing limitations meant their team was forced to do more with less. To complicate matters further, Hurricane Ida left domestic travelers wondering if tours in the area were running at all.
Gray Line experimented with product modifications and consolidations but didn’t have a way to efficiently and affordably promote their active products. They needed a low-risk way to let travelers know that they were open for business and continuing to deliver their inventive, high-quality experiences.
Getting the Right Exposure
Viator Accelerate met all Gray Line’s needs for a marketing solution. Participation required no upfront costs and increased exposure to a highly targeted audience through exclusive ad placements.
Viator Accelerate allowed Gray Line to promote their diverse products individually but from one central place: the Operator Management Center. Gray Line had the flexibility to opt-in at the product level, giving extra attention to less popular tours or those with more competition. Armed with Visibility Scores and the Accelerate Insights dashboard for each participating product, they saw exactly where they stood against the competition – and adjusted their exposure accordingly.
“With marketing budgets cuts, we wouldn’t have been able to put dollars on the front end to get the kind of exposure we’ve gotten from Viator Accelerate.”
— Deidra Edwards, Director of Sales & Marketing, Gray Line of New Orleans
Bookings Grow by 100%
Gray Line saw near-immediate results. Visibility and bookings grew to outpace the market for all of Gray Line’s participating products. Their historically popular products, such as the Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruises, catapulted past the competition, with bookings up over 100%. For their smaller Original Craft Cocktail Walking Tour, bookings increased 80%, and page views rose 65% over the previous 30 days.
Having more control over their products’ visibility in the Viator marketplace renewed Gray Line’s confidence in their ability to connect with travelers. They can now plan demand with more accuracy and allocate their remaining resources where they are most needed. As New Orleans and the rest of the world begin to experience the effects of travel’s recovery, every booking helps.
Learn more about how Viator Accelerate can help your products stand out from the competition.