(Required for market Readiness) Check out the BC Museums Association website (www.museumsassn.bc.ca) to find out how membership in the association can benefit your business. More»
(Required for market Readiness) Check out the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC website (www.aboriginalbc.com) to find out about their Aboriginal authenticity and market ready standards programs. More»
How to Become a partner in either MTCA’s Heritage Attendance Tracking Program, or the Metro Vancouver Heritage Attendance Tracking Program.
(Required for market Readiness) The two heritage attendance tracking programs are in place to collect basic visitor information about heritage tourism attractions, which can be used to support planning, product development, and marketing. This information also helps to quantify the economic benefit of heritage sites/attractions to local communities and assists MTTI in planning for future marketing and resource allocation throughout the province. More»
How to Become listed or be eligible to be listed on a local, provincial or national heritage register.
(Required for market Readiness) Check out the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Investments website for information on the Community Heritage Registers Program (http://www.tca.gov.bc.ca/heritage/local_government/planning_progs/community_register.htm) More»
(Required for market Readiness) Check out the Heritage Society of BC website (www.heritagebc.ca) to find out how membership in the society can benefit your organization. More»
(Required for market Readiness) Joining a local tourism association, like Tourism Terrace, Tourism Cowichan or Tourism Kelowna, to take advantage of membership benefits is a good investment. Benefits include the opportunity to display your rack cards in local visitor information centres, a listing on the organization’s website, inclusion in printed advertising and cooperative marketing campaigns, and networking with other local tourism businesses. Contact your local tourism association for details. More»
(Required for market Readiness) High-resolution images and video footage are excellent tools to give potential visitors a taste of the experience they can expect when visiting your business. Many local tourism associations and tour operators require professional images and video footage from their members, for use in promotional campaigns, and for publication on websites, in tour catalogues and visitor guides. More»
How to Become prepared to communicate and accept reservations by telephone, fax and/or email and provide same day confirmation of booking arrangements.
(Required for market Readiness) Making the booking process as convenient as possible for your potential visitors will increase the likelihood that your business will be part of their travel itinerary. Being able to accept reservations in this manner is also a requirement of many tour operators who are looking to do business with tourism operators. More»
How to Maintain a 48-hour or less response time to enquiries, and a 24-hour or less response time to reservation/booking requests.
(Required for market Readiness) Research shows that visitors tend to make more short-notice decisions on their travel plans, and accommodating them with short response time will increase the likelihood that your business will be part of their itinerary. Short response times will also meet the expectations of tour operators and other potential tourism industry partners. More»
(Required for market Readiness) Parking in close proximity to your site will not only assist the increasing number of visitors with mobility and agility impairments, but will also make it easier for families with small children to enjoy their visit to your business. More»
How to Establish cultural/historical content to provide visitors with a credible authentic experience.
(Required for market Readiness) Visitors are looking for authentic experiences. Use the expertise of your local history buffs, storytellers, artists and museum or heritage professionals to create and deliver this experience. More»
(Required for export Readiness) Offering currency exchange rates consistent with industry norms makes good business sense, because it shows your visitors that you are offering them an additional service without charging them an extra fee. Stay up to date on fluctuating exchange rates by using a variety of Internet-based currency calculators or by checking the business section in your local newspaper. More»
How to Provide support (free or reduced rates) for international media and travel trade familiarization tours.
(Required for export Readiness) Familiarization tours (FAM tours) for international media and travel trade are a very cost-effective way to promote your business. They offer tour operators and media the opportunity to experience first hand what a destination has to offer. FAM tours are usually organized by local tourism associations (e.g. Tourism Nanaimo) in cooperation with Regional Tourism Associations (e.g. Tourism Vancouver Island) and MTTI. Businesses supporting FAM tours provide their services for free or at reduce rated in exchange for media coverage or exposure to the international travel trade. Let your local or regional tourism destination marketing organization know that you would like to be included in upcoming familiarization tours. More»
How to Develop the ability to accommodate and adapt to the needs of the market (e.g. tour bus access and parking, washroom facilities, maximum group size, and frontline staff who speak the language of target markets).
(Required for export Readiness) Group travel is based on itineraries with set and often tight schedules. National and international tour companies choose attractions that provide logistical support, such as tour bus access and parking, washroom facilities, information on the size of groups you can accommodate, and frontline staff who speak the language of the target market. Researching and accommodating the needs of these companies will attract them to your business. More»
How to Be prepared to set up billing arrangements with the tour operator, wholesale agency or receptive tour operator.
(Required for export Readiness) The most widely accepted billing arrangement with tour operators, wholesale agencies or receptive tour operators is based on client vouchers. A voucher system usually involves payment in set intervals, e.g. twice a month. This means you must factor delayed payments into your cash flow calculations. More»
How to Provide detailed pricing and program information to tour operators at least one year in advance of selling season.
(Required for export Readiness) Tour operators have long planning cycles, and in order to be included in their itineraries, you need to accommodate their need to receive pricing and program information at least one year in advance of the selling season. More»
How to Include receptive tour operators in your marketing and sales plan and provide contracted wholesale net rates to receptive tour operators.
(Required for export Readiness) Receptive tour operators act as intermediaries between local tourism businesses and the international travel trade. They are located in Canada (mainly in Vancouver and Toronto) and sell tour packages to international tour operators and wholesalers. Including receptive tour companies in your marketing and sales plan and providing them with discounted wholesale rates (usually 20% below the retail rate) will give your business access to the international group travel market. More»
How to Learn about the roles played by receptive tour operators, tour operators, travel wholesalers, and retail travel agents, and understand rack or retail pricing, agent commissions and wholesale net rates at each level.
(Required for export Readiness) Like other industries, the tourism industry sells products through a variety of intermediaries and distribution channels: Receptive tour operators are located in Canada (mainly in Vancouver and Toronto) and sell tour packages to international tour operators and wholesalers. Travel wholesalers and international tour operators sell these tour packages to travel agents or directly to consumers. Each distribution channel requires its own pricing strategy. When you sell directly to consumers, you sell at a retail price. Wholesalers expect a wholesale rate (usually 20% lower than your retail rate), and travel agents get commissions (usually 10-15%). More»
(Required for export Readiness) For general information on business planning, including developing budget and marketing plans, check out the website of Small Business BC (wwww.smallbusinessbc.ca). For specific information on the international travel trade and the role of international tour operators in marketing your product, order and review the free Tourism Business Essentials guide on Tourism Packaging & Product Distribution from the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, and Investments (www.tca.gov.bc.ca) More»
How to Be in business at least one year, with a proven track record as a safe and professional operation.
(Required for export Readiness) Many new businesses do not survive their first year of operation, therefore potential partners, such as national and international tour companies and other established tourism businesses, are looking for partners and suppliers with a proven track record. Safety and high professional standards are critical, because each partner’s reputation depends on the integrity of their partners and suppliers. More»
(Required for visitor Readiness) Insurance is critical for any tourism business, since there is always a risk that visitors might get injured or experience loss or damage to personal belongings. Tour companies and other potential industry partners are only willing to work with businesses that have adequate insurance. More»