How to attract business travellers to your tour or activity business in 4 simple steps

Posted by Renee Welsh on 04-Nov-2015 18:00:00


Business travel is a unique industry with equally unique needs and wants when it comes to actually booking a tour/activity for fun, in the traveller’s downtime.

With 7.18 million international visitor arrivals in Australia from January to August this year, and 814,500 of those being international business travellers, it’s definitely an interesting market to break into. Not to mention, this time last year approximately 2.1 million people travelled for business domestically in Australia.

But how exactly can you attract business travellers to your tour or activity business?

Let’s break it down into 4-step process:

  1. Understand the business traveller

  2. Tailor your tour/activity to fit their specific needs

  3. Get discovered by them (or their booking agent!)

  4. Keep them keen

Understand the business traveller

Here’s the truth about business travel:

  • It sounds glamorous but often it’s lonely.

  • Hotels are fantastic but all seem the same after awhile.

  • Living out of a suitcase is painful and inconvenient.

  • Often business travellers work longer hours, drink more alcohol and exercise less (they get out of their at-home-routine.

  • They eat out more — it’s on the company.

  • Rarely do business travellers venture far from the hotel lobby for anything but food. This could be because they lack knowledge about the place they’re visiting, and that’s where you come in.

Tailor your tour/activity to fit the business traveller’s specific needs

Before even considering marketing your tour or activity to a business traveller you need to make sure it’s the right fit for them. Tailor your product to meet their specific needs and you’ll have a far greater chance of securing their business.

Think about:

  • Is this tour/activity a realistic length for a business traveller / can they participate after work or on a weekend layover?

  • Is it easy to book? Can they instantly book on their smartphone? Or do they need to book through the hotel concierge?

  • Can they get a tax receipt?

  • Is the activity convenient? Is there hotel pickup and drop off? Or is there an easy landmark for the business traveller to meet at?

  • Is this activity/tour going to create memories they will feel compelled to share with their colleagues, friends and family when they return home?

  • Is there Wifi access? Sounds extreme but travellers love to be connected — especially when on business and the boss might email at any moment.

For more ideas, read these 6 questions tour operators need to ask before targeting inbound travelers

If your tour/activity is tailored specifically enough for the business traveller and it’s the the right fit, the next step is to get discovered.

How to get your tour/activity seen by a business traveller

  • Partner with hotels, travel agents and concierge services

    • Have your ‘targeted business-traveller collateral’ in the lobby and at the concierge's desk.

    • Take the time to educate the concierge rather than just give them the brochure.

  • Partner with the companies that send their staff on business to your area

    • Many corporates promote the work-life balance and know it’s hard when their staff constantly travel. Go to the source and offer a discount to their staff when they’re in town next.

  • Use social media to target ads specifically to business travellers visiting your area

    • If you’re not sure how to target social media advertisements by geographic location, seek an expert's help.

    • It’s possible to specifically target people who are visiting Sydney for a week, who enjoy outdoor activities and good food. You can go even deeper than that by specifying gender, average income, age and even what media they consume.

    • If you’re going this alone, it is very important to make sure the ad is mobile friendly as business travellers will be doing a lot of work on the go on their smartphone.

  • Get listed on TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Expedia

    • Just a must. Online exposure is the pinnacle and good reviews will boost visibility and the chance of someone making a booking.

    • Referrals will help drive more business so encourage business travellers to leave a specific ‘business traveller review’. Prompt them to explain why your tour was the perfect trip for a business person; ie. It was convenient, fun and well planned out.

    • An easy way to do this is have a business card with your details and on the back a ‘call-to-action’ to go online and leave the review, you could even include language prompts to take the thinking out of it for them. For more tips 

  • Advertise in the inflight magazine

    • Not an option for everyone, especially if you’re on a budget. But it’s a good option especially if you commission an advertorial piece showing off the highlights of your ‘business traveller friendly tour’.

  • Optimise your website content, making sure it’s easy to find.

    • If you were a business traveller what would you plug into Google? “Top places to check out in Sydney”, “Quick tours of Sydney”,”Best things to do in Sydney”, “On business in Sydney, what should I do?” are likely searches. Not “2-day tour of sydney harbour for business traveller”, “1-day pass to “your company name’s tour”.

When you’ve got them?

Keep em’. If you have a business traveller on your trip get to know them, find out if their company sends a lot of travellers to your part of the world and make their experience extremely memorable.

Customer service is everything, and if you provide an incredible experience and create fond memories for the business traveller they will tell everyone when they get home. Be sure to give them that business card and encourage them to leave the review. Better yet, get their business card and connect with them when they’re back at work. Ask them to put you in touch with the relevant department that organises their travel, then offer the tour to all the company’s staff who travel. This will make business traveller’s experience in your location a lot more exciting than a lonely bourbon and coke at the hotel lobby bar.  

Have you tried to target the business traveller? We’d love to hear how you managed to secure business men and women on your trips. Tell us in the comments below.

And if you really want to learn how to make your tour business pop, check out our free webinar with Glen Davis from Tourism Australia. You’ll learn how your business can actually work with Tourism Australia to boost bookings.

Watch the recording!

Booking Boss is an online booking system for tour operators and attraction providers. Trusted by many in the tourism industry, Booking Boss is about getting you out of the spreadsheets and into the sun. We provide free education resources for operators like you, to make your business the best it can possibly be.

Topics: Blog

Like what you read?

Subscribe to receive weekly updates straight in your inbox!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts