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As an activity or attraction operator, selling online to travelers is an exciting step in growing your business. These tips will set you up for maximum visibility and booking potential using Viator, the platform that promotes your business to millions of travelers worldwide.

Step 1: Make Your Products Online-Bookable to the Millions of Travelers Who Are Already Using Tripadvisor

 

First thing’s first: Join Viator and get your business online—making your tours, activities, or tickets (your “Products”) bookable to the millions of travelers browsing our site. Already online with Viator? Skip to Reviews or Product Optimizations.

Getting Online

Joining Viator makes your products available to travelers in 28 languages, and you’ll be able to take bookings in 14 supported currencies. Your products will appear across our site on destination pages, in search results, in the Tripadvisor app, and through thousands of partners. 

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What is Viator?

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Viator allows you to sell products directly to travelers on TripAdvisor. Our easy-to-use dashboard makes it simple to create products (yours tours and activities), manage availability and bookings, plus it includes insightful reporting features, customer demographics, and can integrate to your reservation or inventory system.

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Set Up Your Business Account On Viator

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Add your bank and tax information, set up accounting systems, and ensure your business is ready to accept bookings and payments from real travelers.

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Get your tours and activities online with Viator, the world’s leading marketplace for operators. Create a bookable product, which is your actual activity that travelers see when browsing TripAdvisor for things to do in your area. We’ll give you tips on how to write intriguing product titles and descriptions, use gorgeous photos, and setting your availability so that travelers have all the information they need to send you a booking.

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“TripAdvisor has been an essential partner in our sales and marketing strategy from day one, and continues to be our best and largest single source referral for reservations.”

Jason Rush, Liquid Alaska Tours

Step 2: Collect as Many Reviews as Possible

 

Data shows that reviews, especially recent ones, are the top decision-making factor for travelers. Without any reviews, you’re hampering your ability to increase bookings (or achieve your first booking). Aim for reviews on your specific products in addition to your overall TripAdvisor Listing—travelers want to know what to expect on the exact experience they’re booking.

Reviews, Reviews & More Reviews!

No matter how good your TripAdvisor Listing and products are, travelers feel more confident booking something that has reviews. Good news: if a traveler books your product on TripAdvisor or Viator, we’ll automatically ask them to review you afterwards. And if they booked through a different site, your Viator dashboard lets you bulk upload email addresses—and send customized review requests in more than 25 languages.

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Helpful Articles

The Power of Reviews: Make or Break for Experience Providers

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It’s no surprise that travelers rely on reviews to gain a deeper perspective of what an experience offers. As an operator, reviews are often your best form of marketing and can make or break your business. A TripAdvisor study conducted in partnership with Ipsos MORI provides insights into the way travelers interact with reviews, why they leave reviews, and the impact reviews have on their booking habits.

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Tips for Responding to Traveler Reviews (Good & Bad)

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By writing responses to reviews (both good and bad), you show you’re interested in feedback from former and prospective guests—and that customer service is a priority for you. We’ll answer your most common questions and challenges about traveler reviews, plus provide tips on how to respond to a negative review that will turn it into a positive situation!

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“As our five-star reviews have climbed, so has our visibility on the platform. So many people nowadays will look for customer reviews before partaking in tours and activities.”

Chris Vaughn, Scenic Rush Driving Experiences

“In addition to the sales opportunities provided by TripAdvisor’s broad consumer base, the customer reviews provide authentic endorsements for our experience that cannot be replicated by paid advertising.”

Brad Henton, Country Music Hall of Fame

Step 3: Perfect Your Products to Meet Traveler Needs
 

Once you’ve signed up for Viator and are selling on our site, these are the most important things to consider when creating and optimizing your products. If a product is lacking in any of these features, you’re hurting your chances of securing a booking.

Product Optimizations

With the industry growing, more competitors coming online every day, and travelers trending towards mobile and last-minute bookings—it’s imperative that your tours and activities meet their needs and booking behaviors. Follow these tried-and-true tips to make your Viator products as best-suited as possible to capture a booking.

EDIT PRODUCTS
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They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but the reality is that plenty of people do just that. Think of your product title as being the “book cover” of your experience. Follow best practices such as:

  1. State the location or area, the type of activity, any major attractions, sights, and landmarks visited. For example, “Tokyo by Night: 2-Hour Japanese Food Tour.”
  2. Be brief, and avoid slang or words with multiple meanings that aren’t easily translated across languages.
  3. Be unique. What’s the key thing about your product that differentiates it or will catch a traveler’s eye?

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Industry data shows that having at least 6 high-quality photos for each product can significantly increase the chances of securing a booking. Your photos reveal to potential customers what really makes your tours special. Consider things like using natural lighting for more vivid shots, telling the story of your experience through the correct photo order, proper composition techniques, and maximizing resolution and image quality.

Read our tips for good photos

Specify all languages offered for each experience you sell

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Make sure you’ve listed all languages offered for a product, whether it’s a human guide, written brochure, audio tour, or other format. Travelers from across the globe will be browsing your products, and our research indicates that many seek out experiences delivered in their native language.

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Understand how to set your Inclusions & Exclusions

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Inclusions and Exclusions tell travelers what is and isn’t provided with the price of your experience. Follow best practices such as:

  1. Keep each list to 10 items or less, and the more precise you are the better.
  2. They should not contain duplicate information that can be found elsewhere on your product page, such as the duration, discounts, or languages offered.
  3. Utilize the structured category dropdown in your Product Builder whenever possible, as opposed to the “Other” selection. Examples of good Inclusions/Exclusions are: Food and drinks (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, wine, etc), Equipment provided (bicycle, scuba gear, etc), Transportation (hotel pickup, air-conditioned vehicle, on-board WiFi, etc), Fees (admission, fuel surcharge, gratuities, parking, etc).

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Setting specific start times and/or opening times is arguably the most important factor towards capturing last-minute bookers. Travelers that are already in your destination want to find things to do right then and there, often same-day, via their mobile device. While your tour may be the perfect fit for what they’re seeking, without giving them specific start time details, they won’t truly know whether it’s a viable option.

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One of the top reasons for booking cancellations is that the date/time is no longer available. To avoid unnecessary cancellations—and ensure the best possible customer experience—make sure your schedules, availability and prices are always up-to-date and reflect your latest inventory. This includes marking days as not operating/sold out within your dashboard’s Availability tab. These tips will help protect you from avoidable cancellations.

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Our data shows that suppliers saw a 16% booking volume lift when they changed their hours-in-advance cutoff time (to accept a booking) from greater than 12 hours to 12 hours or less. This keeps your experience bookable to last-minute travelers. Side tip: also make sure you select “relative to start time/open hours” as opposed to “one set time” so that it automatically adjusts accordingly if you adjust a product’s start/opening time. Today’s travelers increasingly want to book sporadic, unplanned experiences while visiting a new place. When inspiration strikes to do something fun, you want your tour to be an available option.

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Offer Instant Confirmation, if possible

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Convenience is king, so make sure your products are instantly bookable. If you haven’t already, enable “Instant Confirmation” so customers receive automatic confirmation of their bookings. This means you won’t have to manually review and confirm each booking, saving you time and money. You’ll also provide the traveler a seamless, quick form of peace-of-mind so they know their locked into your activity and can continue planning the rest of their trip.

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Special offers allow you to set a specific date range, during which you can offer customers a discount percentage off your product(s). Our research shows that products have up to 28% higher revenue with special offers than without. If you don’t have bookings yet on a specific tour (a brand new one, perhaps), a special offer could help you achieve initial bookings to establish reputation and get some good reviews on your new product. Or you may consider discounting certain products due to seasonality—to keep booking coming during low season.

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Ready to join Viator?

Reach 455+ million travelers

Enable customers worldwide to purchase your products on TripAdvisor, Viator, and thousands of partner sites. For individuals offering a local activity, class, or workshop, or established tour businesses looking for a new revenue stream.

Get a free TripAdvisor listing

Build your reputation with a new TripAdvisor listing easily searchable by travelers—or connect an existing one. Gather and respond to reviews, update your business info, set your product pricing, add images, itinerary details, and more.

Connect, sell, and grow

Accept bookings directly online through our sites. Easily connect to your reservation system—or use ours. Cross-sell other tours and activities and earn commission. Get effortless and scalable management tools that grow with your business.

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