Why Online Booking Is an Absolute Must for Tour and Activity Operators

Tipps & Tricks  Frank Scheibe

If you’ve been playing around with the idea of offering online bookings for your tours, activities and events, then let us help you make up your mind: you definitely should. Whether you offer skiing lessons, cooking classes or escape rooms, the goal is always to give customers an experience they’ll remember. So of course it’s important to focus on comfort and convenience, fun and simplicity. But what many tour and activity operators forget is that the customer’s experience begins with the booking process itself. And comfort, convenience, speed and flexibility are the name of the game here, too. Enter online bookings and ticket sales. Equipped with a modern booking system and your very own website, you can offer your customers quick and easy booking options and an experience worth remembering — from start to finish.

Customers expect to be able to book online

With the overwhelming number of digital shops, delivery services, video platforms, and especially flight and hotel booking services available, customers today are more than used to being able to book online. In fact, they expect it. Not offering online booking as an option is a sure-fire way for businesses to scare off a large number of modern consumers.

Customers want access to up-to-date availability information

Another important point to consider is that many modern consumers are accustomed to having instant access to information. This means they want to know up front if the tour or activity they’re interested in has any free spots — before they try booking. No one wants to take the time send emails or call just to find out the couples cooking class is booked out. Interactions such as these are also rarely of any benefit to you. By having your tour and activity availabilities displayed in real time online, you can save your customers and yourself a ton of time and effort.

online booking payments

Combine online bookings with online payments

Online bookings and payments complement each other wonderfully. Online payments create a binding agreement between you and the customer and a feeling of confidence for both parties — if the tour or activity is already paid for, then the booker is much more likely to actually show up, which allows you to better plan your resources. The less cash you have to handle the better, and that goes double for scuba lessons and stand up paddling.

Say goodbye to office hours

Online booking means you can stay up, sleep in and show up late if you want — heck, you can even go on vacation — without losing a single customer. Your tours and activities can be booked around the clock, and the process is completely automatic, so there’s no need for you to answer the phone or respond to emails.

Online bookings bring instant cash

Looking to expand your business or offer more tours and activities? Combining online bookings with online payments puts cash in your pocket today, even if the booked tour or activity is scheduled for tomorrow. And with increased cash flow, you can start turning your future plans into reality in the here and now, and even customers who have already booked can benefit from bigger, better, faster and flashier events. Online coupons and gift certificates are especially well-suited to this kind of “advanced financing”.

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Fewer mistakes and improved customer communication: booking software does it better

There’s no getting around it. People make mistakes. Software, on the other hand, is much less error-prone. Online booking systems let you avoid classic mistakes such as unconfirmed bookings, overbooked tours and activities, and time, place and price mix-ups. Plus, you can easily send out updates to all activity participants in a single go, whether you need to make changes to an event, cancel, postpone or simply inform customers about additional tours and activities on offer.

To learn more about the many benefits of using a booking system to book tours, activities and events online, head over to the bookingkit Academy. We’re here to help if you have any questions.

PS: With an online booking system at your side, you can start planning for the rest of the year. Easter is just around the corner, and the Summer high season will be here before you know it.

Frank Scheibe
Frank is a tours and activities industry expert. He reports on the latest facts, figures and trends in the bookingkit blog and the bookingkit newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his kids and family, playing sports and eating good food.


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