Citing a paradigm shift in the way the tour and travel industry shapes and sells its product, the NAJ Group, publisher of the INBOUND Report, has announced a series of new initiatives and services designed to help its destination, attraction and tour operator partners develop new business.
“During my annual ‘listening tour’ with operators last year, I detected a subtle but clear shift in the way international travel to North America is being sold by the trade,” said Jake Steinman, CEO of the NAJ Group. “Structured group tours that are sold off-the-shelf through tour operators are slowly but inexorably giving way to product that is being tailor-made, customized and individualized.”
“This new product is already being offered as ‘Group Tours for Independent Travelers’ by several forward thinking international and domestic tour operators,” added Steinman. “It means the value proposition that operators offer will eventually change from an all-inclusive approach to one comprised of air, hotel, ground transportation and WiFi with options comprised of existing attractions and ‘like-a-local’ experiences.”
As a result, he explained, NAJ’s RTO Summit attendees, as well as its TourOperatorLand.com tracking portal partners, “will find ten new features and services we are developing that will hopefully keep us and our partners ahead of the curve and relevant over the next five-year cycle.”
NAJ RTO Summit Events
1.NEW! “Automated Follow up” functionality has been added to our appointment software that sends an e-mail one week and six months following a show containing a landing page with specific photos and messages from each of the suppliers/DMOs they met with. Why this is important: Only 20 percent of attendees have the time to follow up with operators.
2.NEW! Receptive Group Therapy Consultations Sessions. During the first afternoon of each RTO Summit, attendees will have an opportunity to meet up to six-eight additional receptive operators. Why this is important: The consulting and guidance the first day will make face-to-face appointments more relevant and effective.
- REVISED: A Presentation Deck to Help DMOs Convince Revenue Managers to Work with RTOs. The NAJ team will supplement its “Educating the Independent Hotel Revenue Manager” slide presentation with video testimonials from other hotel revenue managers. Why is this important? It should help explain the benefits of the RTO distribution channel in a way that is more relatable to hotel general managers and revenue managers.
- NEW! Presentation of the “Tour and Travel Person of the Year,” where we will honor a different tour and travel executive for excellence in tourism development. This year’s award will be presented during the RTO Summit luncheon at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey hotel. Why this is important: While other shows confer awards for marketing and research, there are no accolades in the field of tour and travel development.
- NEW! TourOperatorLand.com Redesign providing additional free tools that enable operators to create tailor-made tours and sales collateral. Why this is important: Makes it easier for travel planners to service bespoke clients’ requests and needs.
6.NEW! AI Videos that provide “Ideas for First Time Visitors” and “Ideas for Repeat Visitors.” 45-60 second videos available to select TOL Partners (See example for the state of Kentucky. And St. Louis. Why this is important: It’s a simple and highly visual way to help operators sell to repeat visitors looking for something new.
- NEW! Tour Operator Tech Summit and Demo Lab. A full day event featuring the latest in booking technology and marketing tools for domestic and international tour operators. It will be held in conjunction with RTO Summit East April 24, 2019 at the Park Central Hotel New York City. (See agenda here) https://www.rtosummit.com/tour-operator-tech-summit-and-demo-day-plan/ Why this is important: Small and mid-size operators need new technology that will help them keep up with times.
- NEW! Send business to your most qualified Receptive Operators. For the first time, destination and attraction partners on TourOperatorLand will have a choice of two ways they can refer business to their most qualified receptive operators. 1. Select up to five receptives that will be profiled and linked from their TourOperatorLand.com portal. OR 2. TourOperatorLand will send an e-mail to operators in their top overseas markets that will include a link to the five receptives of their choosing. Why this is important: It not only directs inquiries to the receptives most capable of selling your product, but also offers the receptive unexpected promotional support.
- NEW! “Hidden Gems” campaign to highlight second tier destination. An extensive e-mail and social media marketing campaign promoting a different “Hidden Gem” destination’s portal on TourOperatorLand twice each week. Why this is important: Operators are looking for new ways to and reasons for travelers to visit North American destinations.
- 10. NEW! Innovative Tour Operator of the Year Award presented by TourOperatorLand and ABA at the 2019 ABA Marketplace. Why this is important. Domestic operators need more innovation to prosper over the next five years.
For more information or questions, please contact [email protected]