Working with a local tour operator as a travel advisor is a great way to ensure that your clients get the most out of their travel experience. Local tour operators often have privileged access and intimate knowledge of the area that you won’t find anywhere else. This is because they have a special relationship with local communities and institutions that big, international operations can’t hope to match. Travel advisors can use this expertise to craft unique itineraries and experiences for clients, ensuring every trip is one-of-a-kind.
On-site for them means out of mind for you
Travel Advisors working with local tour operators can offer personalized services such as custom tours or VIP experiences, making each journey extra unique and truly unforgettable. Additionally, due to industry connections and knowledge of the area, Travel Advisors that keep in touch with local operators can get “real-time” intel as to what things look like in the destination.
Working with local operations gives you the local perspective as well as access to complimentary knowledge sets: they know the destination, and you know what your clients want.
By hiring a local tour operator, you and your clients will feel more at ease once their trip starts. As opposed to hiring a large multinational, you´ll know that the service you hired and the experience you provided for your clients come from the same provider, who has a localized presence.
Let’s dive in and look at other advantages that a local tour operator can give you as a travel advisor.
- Access to local providers
Local tour operators are bound to have connections with local suppliers, such as hotels, cruises, and transportation companies. This can help secure competitive rates while ensuring a smoother, more enjoyable trip.
Local providers will have longstanding relationships with local travel companies. You will feel more secure that your requirements will be met with due diligence because local services will look to maintain their good standing with local operators.
One trick you can use to test out a provider’s relationship with local providers and institutions is to ask them how long their operation in a particular country or region has been functioning. An operation that’s worked for decades out of a particular destination is bound to have refined its operational know-how while also cultivating a reputation for reliability and expertise.
Put simply: the more years a tour operator has in a destination, the more they’ll be able to guarantee quality of service.
- A more “tailor-made” or personalized service
Local tour operators offer a more personalized service than large, multinational ones. They can have a more “bespoke” or “artisanal” feel by tailoring their offers and services to your client’s interests and needs.
This can also come into play when your clients reach the destination, as local operations offer personalized support and assistance throughout the trip. If you book through a large multinational, they won’t be able to guarantee a localized presence. Large companies will also rely on local operators to respond to what happens during the trip, acting more as a middleman than a service provider.
If you want on-site responses and a more personal touch, you need to get in touch with local tour operators.
- Local Operators have a vested interest in their countries
A local connection to communities and the environment can also mean a more responsible kind of tourism. Hiring the services of a local tour operator means that the business you bring stays in the country, benefiting local communities and improving the impact tourism has.
Traveling with local tour operators not only fosters economic growth within the country, but also leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the environment. By hiring their services, travelers can rest assured that their money is being reinvested within the local or national community, improving living conditions and providing job opportunities to locals.
Research tour operators that take environmental factors into consideration when creating and organizing trips or activities; this usually entails investing in wildlife conservation and protecting forests or landscapes and may also include carbon reduction measures.
Ask tour operators what they are doing to benefit local communities and the environment in general. You´ll soon discover that supporting local operators as opposed to large multinationals makes you a more responsible travel advisor.
- Support for your business
This can vary from country to country, depending on what tourism culture they’ve developed, but local tour operators will see you as a valuable partner because of your client base.
Some nations have large tourism industries and don’t care what sort of tourists they get. They are all about quantity and want to fill their rosters. But many nations are vested in specialized tourism (adventure, experiential, luxury, etc.).
For local companies working inside these specialized forms of tourism, customer insight is highly valued, and they will look to travel advisors for partnerships and alliances. Tour operators that know what they are doing will give you insights and support to expand your know-how and cultivate a longstanding relationship.
Be proactive when it comes to finding new and interesting destinations and travel opportunities. Think about innovative types of travel in countries that aren´t focused on mass tourism, this can help you stand out as a Travel Advisor.
Pro tip: Ask around and find out what Tour Operators have a dedicated Travel Advisory Team and what they can offer you as a Travel Advisor. Focus on expertise, local contacts and key differentiators that will set your services apart.
At the end of the day, Travel Advisors working with local tour operators will have access to a wealth of knowledge, insights and perspectives that can be invaluable for crafting unique experiences for your clients. From competitive rates to personalized service on-site, travel advisors can reap the rewards of partnering up with local operations. By doing this, travel advisors can ensure that their clients get to experience something truly special and unique on every trip.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best for your clients – choose a local tour operator to provide them with an unforgettable travel experience!