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Are Tour Add-Ons Right For My Business?

Last updated on December 3, 2019
6 minute read
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No matter which pricing strategies are used to sell activities, there’s always room for something extra to help drive revenue and set yourself apart from the competition. 

Tour add-ons are additional services or products that guests can add to their tour or activity during the checkout process. These optional tour extras like meals, special offers, upgrades, or products are not included in the base price of the tour and are specific to the tour being booked.

Add-ons are an excellent way to add value to the experiences you offer and facilitate a cohesive booking process. This gives customers confidence knowing they will have everything they need from the moment their booking is completed.

If your tour or activity requires additional items or has specific requirements (for example, that snorkeling guests must use reef-safe sunscreen only), add-ons help ensure that your guests get everything they need before the activity begins.

This guide will detail why you should offer tour add-ons and what kind of products and services can be included as add-ons. You’ll also learn whether add-ons are right for your business and how to avoid creating decision fatigue by adding too many booking options. Plus, we’ll cover some tips and tricks for implementing add-ons in the booking process.

Types of Add-Ons

Add-ons can be almost anything imaginable, from meals and transportation to rental gear and more. Here are a few of the most common add-ons:

  • Meals: Allow customers to add a lunch to their hiking tour or purchase dinner aboard an evening cruise.
  • Transportation: If you operate near many major resorts, consider providing transportation to and from the hotels for tour guests.
  • T-shirts and accessories: Already sell company merchandise on-site? Offer guests the option to purchase something like a t-shirt during the booking process. Remember, every time you sell a t-shirt, that’s another advertiser for your brand!
  • Rental gear: Even if you include a selection of gear and equipment in the base tour price, offer additional items that might make customers feel more comfortable. For example, if you run hiking tours, give people the option to book trekking poles or binoculars to rent at checkout. These are small things that aren’t necessarily required on the tour but would likely enhance the guest experience.
  • Photo/video packages: Is your activity one of those must-photograph adventures? If the tour involves activities that are difficult for guests to photograph (snorkeling or scuba diving, zip-lining, cave rappelling, ATV tours, etc.), providing a professional photography or videography service is a way for guests to capture their experience and create lasting memories. Plus, a photo/video package lets guests focus on living in the moment without having to worry about taking photos of their own.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen (or other area-specific products): Many water sport tour operators require the use of reef-safe sunscreen due to area regulations. Adding this item at checkout is a great way to ensure that guests come prepared.

Feel free to get creative with add-ons. Think about things that would enhance your guests’ experience or help them get prepared for the tour. If your add-ons will offer great value and set you apart from your competitors, it’s a win-win for your customers and your business.

On the flipside, consider whether tour add-ons are really necessary for your business. Is it absolutely essential that you offer meals or T-shirts? Let’s say you offer hiking tours to a remote area where guests cannot easily find a meal. It’s probably a good idea to offer a meal as an add-on. However, if your booking form already includes many custom fields, you should skip items like T-shirts which can be sold in person at your business. Keep in mind that having too complicated of a booking form can confuse potential bookers and possibly cause them to abandon the booking.

Tips for Using Add-Ons

  • Make the add-on process as simple as possible by including all taxes and fees in the price of the add-on.
  • It’s important to note that some add-ons can actually reduce the price of a tour. For example, if a guest is able to bring their own scuba diving equipment, you can offer a lower price as an incentive for them to complete their booking with your business over another tour operator.
  • Although add-ons can be beneficial, it’s important not to overwhelm guests with too many options. Customers may be most receptive when they are in the buying process, but you don’t want to bombard them with unnecessary add-ons. Doing so creates decision fatigue which can lead to booking abandonment and fewer bookings. Make sure each add-on has a valuable purpose or leave it off the booking form.

Get started by brainstorming possible add-ons and include them with the most popular tour(s) to see how well they perform. You can always add additional extras or remove whichever ones aren’t selling. Find information on how custom fields are performing by running the Custom Field Answers report in your Dashboard.

For more resources about how to make the most of your bookings see our pricing and up-sell strategies guide

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