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The very nature of the tour & activity industry (targeting travelers) often means it’s harder to get repeat customers. However, it’s still important that you keep your tour or activity in the mind of your clients, so they can recommend you to their friends and family.

But doing that is not so easy. To help you with it, we asked 4 tour & activity industry experts the following question:

What’s a great idea for tour companies to make sure they stay in the minds of their clients long after they go home?

Want to see what they think? Just keep on reading.

“First and foremost, you and your guide team should focus on the following question:
‘Is my tour giving a truly extraordinary experience?’
You must realistically measure how remarkable and memorable your tour actually is.
You can send all kinds of follow-up e-mails, discount coupons and lovely incentives for guests to refer your tour, but if their experience was average, adequate or the status quo – people will forget about your tour.
You may have heard the story about how the young Tony Robbins would have participants in his early motivational seminars actually walk over a bed of fiery coals at the end of his weekend workshops. While some might argue that this was just a ‘marketing gimmick’, the truth of the matter is he made his seminars both memorable AND remarkable.
Do you think that on Monday his participants had something to talk about? You betcha. Give people memories of a lifetime and an experience worth talking about – and they will happily share your company with others.

Check out the Be a Better Guide Project(opens in a new tab).

“I don’t have a new idea but I’ll share what operators have done to keep them in my mind LONG after the tour/activity.
It’s all about the SWAG (Stuff We All Get)…free stuff with your brand that everyone loves!
I’ve been on so many tours and experienced so many activities, but the ones that bring me back to it are ones that gave me a tangible gift/item to take home with me. A few good examples are: brew tour – bottle opener, wine tour – wine key, food tour – map of restaurants in the area, all operators – photo/logo magnet.
You know what your customers love – if you don’t yet, ask them!

Thomas Watanapun is a Sales Manager at Peek(opens in a new tab), an end-to-end solution for tour companies | Follow @peek on Twitter(opens in a new tab).

“I think it goes without saying that tour companies should have an active social media presence. Many tour companies by their nature, will not have that much repeat business.

What they can do is maximise the great experience of previous customers through using social media. Ask for reviews and testimonials for your own website and for the likes of Tripadvisor, and that they like your Facebook page and Twitter account, if you have one.

Post shareable content like great pictures of the tour, special events, or industry news. Past customers are more likely to share this information with their family and friends – getting more brand awareness for your business.”

Danielle Mallen was the COO of the now-defunct Acteavo, a reservation and management software solution for tour and activity companies

“The most effective way for tour operators to stay in touch, and therefore stay top of mind with past customers is to encourage them to sign up to their email database. A great way to do this is to offer an incentive, which is considered of value to the customer (such as value add on their next tour, or on the first tour of a friend or relative).
Email Marketing is one of the most efficient marketing tactics for tourism operators, as people will only signup to hear from a business if they are genuinely interested in the brand, which means they are further down the purchase funnel than being a liker or follower on social media. The key to effective email marketing however, is the appropriate segmentation of the database, and publishing original content for each segment. This will ensure the recipients are only receiving the information they are interested in, therefore keeping them engaged in the brand.

The challenge for tourism operators is to define what content is engaging and inspiring for their Ideal Customers – once they’ve done that, they’ll be able to build those profitable relationships with customers to stay top of mind when they are prompted to purchase or recommend to friends & family!”

Visit Tourism eSchool’s Website(opens in a new tab).

I hope that was useful for you and that you start applying some of those tips right away!

I also wanted to thank all the featured experts for sending in awesome responses and Ludy, our Content Manager, for putting this together.

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