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How a good photo is the ultimate customer referral solution for tour operators

After a few difficult years, the hospitality industry is facing a turn for the better with expected growth in sales. Clients have an essential role in this recovery, with 57% of travelers willing to go on vacations compared with pre-pandemic. But with endless options on the map, how can you get noticed and even make your customers come back?

Before, it was a giant billboard on the highway. Today, it’s way more subtle – and much more digital. Social media, peer reviews, and engaging content are vital in ensuring your websites are found, yet, 50% of Americans would choose word-of-mouth if they could only pick one information source.

In addition, Many tours and experience hunters recommend brands that cultivate simplicity. Heightened since the start of the pandemic, the value of clarity and effortless processes is even more of a priority for tour providers.

So the question is, how can a photo make your tours talked about, simple to comprehend, and ensure loyalty over your competitors?

Challenges with current tour industry customer retention
In the Collins dictionary, an unforgettable experience is described as something extremely beautiful, enjoyable, or unusual so that you remember it for a long time. Although most tours tick the listed boxes, many are considered one-time-only, making customer retention extremely difficult for experience providers.

Furthermore, adventure companies are seeing massive demand from travelers aged 18 to 35. After being the last to get their vaccines, this demographic is eager to trawl the digital space for their favorite experience. Generation Z spends more time on the internet than watching television, sports matches, or theatre shows, leading to them scrutinizing content. 

The content must be genuine first and foremost. Customers use social reviews to make final purchasing decisions compared with relying solely on brand-published content. 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when booking a trip, and trusting a company increases their loyalty. It’s about your customers having imagery to demonstrate and celebrate your offering.

It’s as simple as a photo
Have you ever been on an experience you enjoyed and wished you had a photo to show your friends and family (and for that photo to include everyone in the group)? Or perhaps you saved up just enough to go on the tour, and then the provider hits you with additional fees for equipment and photos?

The Ranch gained 20% growth and improved customer satisfaction by offering free photos of their guests. Resharing images during prime moments such as birthdays and public holidays remind customers of their brilliant experience in a highly personal way. By providing guests with intentional photos worthy of being profile pictures, they hold a tangible memory that they can share with loved ones, and you gain a genuine recommendation.

Employees know their business and where the best photo spots are at particular times of the day. The guests share this with their friends and family, and their word-of-mouth is your secret weapon: In the graph below, Fotaflo demonstrates that with 68607 guest deliveries (of photo memories), 40% became an advocate (reshared the photo with a non-customer).

You can automate the process by setting up an integration between your booking system and photo marketing software, making the process simple for your staff and your guests. Employees can use their smartphones to capture memorable moments of their guests and deliver them directly to the customer without leaving the application. Your photography becomes an authentic marketing tool, and by providing it to your guests, they become trusted advocates. 

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