The world is becoming more and more global. Frontiers are getting vanished and people won’t stop looking for beautiful places they’ve never seen before. How to help people in making their dreams come true and get paid for that with minimum effort? Haven’t you ever thought about an online tour marketplace?
About Business Model
A double-sided marketplace in the tourism area usually implies attracting guides as vendors to your platform. The workflow is standard. The thing is what to start with and how to proceed. From the beginning, you should offer your vendors to post their tours on your online selling platform for free. Your salary will be a commission paid by tourists while ordering your vendors’ tours.
Tours can be absolutely different. It depends on your imagination.
The main areas for you to explore can be:
Tours by locals, wine tours, expeditions…
Horse riding, airport chartering, car delivery or transportation services…
Wedding or birthday coordination, local sports event organization, camping, cycling, walking activities…
Building the Concept
The visitors of your B2B marketplace will be offered to:
- Find a tour:
Search should be on at your marketplace.
- Contact the guide:
Messaging system should be enabled on your website.
- Book and pay online:
Payment systems should be available on your site.
The vendors of your marketplace should be offered to:
Place their excursions or outdoor activities, extreme tours and other events in the catalog for free and handle orders using the convenient management system.
Choosing a niche
In your case, niche would be strongly connected to some locations. Let’s take the U.S.’s San-Francisco. Targeting a specific area will make you more visible for your audience and allow you to stand apart from competitors.
Your audience as an online marketplace owner is vendors. From now, they are your internal customers. How to find them?
Post a job as a tour operator on indeed.com or specify travel and vacation services on craigslist.org.
Your vendors could potentially be:
trail guides, attendants, drivers, event manager and coordinators, personal guides/assistants photographers, sports instructors/coaches
Offer your vendors to:
- Add a tour to the catalog for free. Each tour will have its storefront acting as a landing page. It will include tour descriptions, contacts, and prices.
- Receive notifications about new orders, order details via email.
- Confirm customer orders from their personal accounts.
- Take their visitors on a tour and get paid. The client can pay on-site. That money will include the cost of the tour and the marketplace owner’s commission.
More hints about creating your selling platform
- Support over the phone, LiveChat or email channels 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Create an FAQ page. This is also good for SEO for search engine ranking as it covers more keywords.
Example of tourbylocals.com FAQ :
1. Do you have guides/tours in…?
2. How much does it cost?
3. Do your guides offer shore excursions?
4. Are the prices on the site per-person?
5. Can a guide pick me up and drop me off in different places?
6. Should we tip our guide?
7. Can I join someone else’s tour?
8. Can I speak to the guide on the phone?
9. How long will it take for the guide to get back to me?
10. Who is the best guide in…?
- Create a blog page and download a video on your services to increase trust among both visitors and vendors.
- Partner with influencers and place their contacts on your website.
All the described features are not something to build from scratch. You don’t’ have to have deep programming skills. While thinking about building your online tour marketplace, consider CS-Cart as an option. Its Multi-Vendor solution is a graceful blend of a website and an eCommerce platform. You can scale it over time with more functionalities to expand on more locales when upgrading to Multi-Vendor Ultimate and include multiple stores. The CS-Cart’s marketplace standard solution has the translation into other languages, multi-currency, store locator and other features out of the box. You can finetune the overall performance with Simtech Development add-ons built specifically for CS-Cart platform.
Take the described model as an example and send us a quote to start selling tours online.