Why work with the Travel Trade?
NWT Tourism continues to ramp up its efforts to market to the travel trade. The information provided below will explain who the travel trade are, why it is beneficial to work with them, what you need to do to be ready to work with the travel trade and how to get involved with the sales team at NWT Tourism.
Who They Are
The travel trade are the companies who organize travel for other people. They include:
- RECEPTIVE TOUR OPERATORS (RTO) are Canadian or US based travel brokers who specialize in Canada. As experts, they are able to sell the product to TOUR WHOLESALERS in any country in the world. Often International Tour Operators who are not familiar with Canada are not comfortable booking direct. Therefore, they search for an RTO who understands the product. The benefit of working with an RTO is that they do the international marketing and direct sales on your behalf and you only “pay” when they book something with you. They print brochures and catalogues and maintain current websites, often in multiple languages, which include their suppliers. There is no charge to suppliers to be included in these materials. The distribution channels used by RTOs are extensive. RTO net rates should be minimum 25% off retail (Net 25). Key RTOs include: Jonview Canada, Discover Holidays, JTB, JAC Travel, HIS, Anderson Vacations
- TOUR WHOLESALERS/TOUR OPERATORS (TO) assemble all elements of a tour to sell through travel agents or direct to the consumer. TOs contract with hotels, attractions and transportation that they will mark up to cover their distribution and marketing costs. TO net rates should be a minimum 20% off retail (Net 20)
- TRAVEL AGENTS sell wholesale packages direct to consumer for a minimum 10% commission
Benefits of working with the Travel Trade
When you have a good working relationship and have established a record of reliability, the travel trade are more likely to sell your product for you.
Why you would want to work with the Travel Trade
- Research has proven that consumers in key international markets such as Germany, Japan, Korea, China and Australia book between 90% and 95% of their trips through the travel trade
- The travel trade can effectively reach markets that fall outside of your advertising budget
- The travel trade have their own marketing budgets so if they choose to carry your product, you will benefit from their promotions without additional cost to you
How it Works
- Travel trade recover their costs and make their fee by selling your packages.
- They take your "Net 20" and "Net 25" rates and charge the customer the retail price. The net rate allows them to keep 20-25% of the retail cost and you, as the tourism company, receive 75-80% of your retail rate for these customers
- As a result, you do not pay for any advertising or other promotional expenses and you receive customers at 75-80% of your full price
- The travel trade want to ensure a return on investment, so if they are carrying your product in their brochures, they are going to work hard to book customers for your packages in order to cover their own advertising, staffing and promotion costs
Steps to Get Involved
In order for the travel trade to carry your packages, you first need to be market-ready. There are a number of criteria to become market-ready which will facilitate your working relationship with the travel trade:
- Maintain good standing of all applicable licenses, insurance and legislative requirements
- Have marketing materials such as a brochure, rack card or website, as well as high resolution photos of your product and facilities
- During operating season, maintain a 24 - 48 hour response time (or less) to inquiries and a 24-hour response time to reservation/booking requests
- Provide a contact telephone number or email contact year-round. If closed for season, provide automated response through voicemail and email
- Have a published consumer booking, billing, payment and cancellation policy
- Have been market-ready for at least one year, or have successfully operated a tourism business working with the travel trade and with a proven track record for safe and professional operation
- Offer wholesale (net) rates to receptive/inbound tour operators and outbound/international tour operators throughout the negotiated time period and provide the rates at least one year in advance of the selling season
- Hosting familiarization tours for qualified travel trade at a discount rate so they are able to experience your product and sell it better to their clients