Top 10 questions travelers ask before booking a tour
What are the top 10 questions travelers ask before they book a tour with you? Most of you will be able to answer this in your sleep! So we are not going to tell you something that you already know. What we will do, instead, is suggest ways in which these questions could be used to structure great content for your website.
The idea is, that addressing these questions upfront (on your website) will invariably lead to an increased conversion rate. It will also help you improve your search engine rankings by beefing up your content. And, it will save you some valuable time. So let’s jump straight into these questions:
1) What is the entire experience like? Are there any photos and videos of the tour?
Remember, you are selling an experience. So don’t simply list your tour timetable! Describe the experience associated with it. For example, consider these 2 descriptions of a similar tour (a Jeep Safari across the Spiti Valley) – the first one described as an experience
…and this one, well, not described as an experience.
Ask yourself, who would you rather book with?
A picture paints a thousand words! A study by Google and Ipsos MediaCT reveals that a staggering 45% of leisure travelers were prompted to book as a result of watching online video. Therefore, original and well-shot photos and videos must be a central part of your website. If your budget allows you to, commission a professional to shoot for you.
2) What is the exact itinerary of the tour?
Describing an itinerary is an art. While you have to be specific, detailing out every single event and their sequence, you have to ensure that your itinerary makes for an interesting (and exciting) read. Again, focus on describing the experience.
For example, if your itinerary includes a sightseeing tour, instead of a single line like – “after breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour”, talk more about the sights that the traveler will actually see. Although you don’t have to write a novel, you can still make it detailed. Travelers generally love to read detailed content. Here is an example of a well written itinerary.
3) What have others said about this tour?
As per TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer, 93% of travelers worldwide say that their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews. Need we say more? Ask your past customers to write reviews and testimonials and showcase them along with your tour. A good starting point is to move towards an organized (and digitized) feedback collection mechanism.
4) How much does the tour cost? Are there any hidden charges?
Be honest and upfront about your pricing. Try to avoid hidden charges and always mention your all-inclusive pricing. This will not just ensure that your leads are of higher quality, but will also build a degree of trust and showcase your credibility.
Also, clearly lay down everything that is included in the tour and everything that is not included in the tour. A good way is to include a dedicated section on inclusions and exclusions for each tour.
5) Is the pricing reasonable? Are there any less expensive options available?
In all likelihood, your visitor will be price conscious and will do his or her research. So if yours is not the least expensive alternative, clearly explain why. Think of it as making a sales pitch to your customer – highlighting your USP and explaining why your tours command a premium. On the other hand, if pricing is your USP, then make that your sales pitch.
6) Am I booking with a credible operator?
When travelers book a tour, they venture into an unknown territory. They don’t know the operator and have little or no idea about the destination. A critical concern on their mind is – how credible is the operator?
Go all out in showcasing your credibility. If you have endorsements from trade associations and/or Government bodies, highlight them in a big visible way on your home page.
7) Will I be safe? What are the safety measures taken by the operator?
If you are offering tours (or activities) that involve a certain degree of physical risk, you have to be very specific about the nature of the risk and the measures that are taken to ensure utmost safety of the travelers/participants. Talk about your team’s experience, expertise, certifications, safety infrastructure of your facility, your track record, and so on.
Here is a good example of how a paragliding operator has addressed the concerns on both credibility and safety through a dedicated “why fly with us” section.
8) What if I want to cancel my trip? What are the cancellation and refund policies?
It’s always on a traveler’s mind whether he or she is booking a flight, a hotel or a tour. What if I have to cancel? Clearly lay down your cancellation and refund policy without any ambiguity.
9) How do I book and pay?
Finally, with all the questions answered and concerns addressed, once the traveler is ready to book, your aim should be to make the booking process absolutely seamless. The ideal way to do this is through an automated booking process – user picks a departure date, fills in the necessary details, pays online and gets an instant confirmation.
If the nature of your operation is such that you cannot confirm a booking instantly, then put in place a system that makes the whole process of enquiry, confirmation and payment hassle free for the traveler.
Don’t ask your travelers to transfer money into your bank account. It is simply painful! Instead, give them easier payment options by integrating with a secure payment gateway.
10) And then I have 100 more questions! How do I get those answered?
So far, we have discussed generic questions that are applicable to more or less all kinds of tours and activities. On top of that, travelers may have many more questions that are specific to your tour. A good way to address these questions is to place a dedicated FAQ section for all your tours.