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How to Build Strong Strategic Partnerships as a Tour Operator

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Your business is your most valuable asset, and for this reason, you may want to control everything. However, building strong strategic partnerships is fundamental for tour operators. Your partners provide you with numerous benefits and complement anything that you may lack as a company. That’s why they can be the key to your success!

The 3 Types of Partners you Should Always Have

There are three different types of strategic partnerships for tour operators:

1. Suppliers – External Activity Providers

Firstly, you can collaborate with other activity providers. For example, for scuba diving, you need a boat to access the diving point. For that, you need to team up with a company that organizes boat tours in your area. The price for a scuba diving lesson includes paying for the route to the diving spot. Now you can solve your transportation problem, and it’s a win-win scenario for both clients and companies.

2. Resellers

Αs a tour operator, you’re closely connected with a reseller who will help you increase your bookings and grow your business. But how do you find and connect with them? First, you can promote your services to local travel agents. Also, you can invite local hotels and resorts to share your services with their customers. That’s a way to increase your traffic and give more value to your resellers through your unique products in their brochures!

3. Personnel – Internal and External Staff

As a business owner, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Operators, guides, a booking manager, a hostess, or the person at your front desk might be your internal staff partners. Out of all your collaborations, these are your most susceptible ones since they represent your business. With a resource (equipment/personnel) management tool, you can avoid mistakes, and your team will make you proud. In addition, you don’t have to stress about misunderstandings on assignments or customer service.

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How to Build Strong Strategic Partnerships as a Tour Operator 2 - kleesto

Importance of strategic partnerships for tour operators

We talked about the types of partners. It’s time to analyze why strategic partnerships for tour operators are so helpful:

1. Grow your customer base and gain access to new products

If you own a small business, you might be struggling to attract more customers. At the same time, your goal is to win your competition. You can’t achieve either of them without partners. Especially if you and your partner/s have the same plan, sharing customers is easy.

2. Increase customer trust

To boost your bookings, you need customers’ trust first. They should feel that they can rely on your products. For example, when you cooperate with a leading, high-quality equipment company, it means that your activities are safe. As a result, you gain loyal customers that will share this with their friends.

3. Build local brand awareness

Recommendations and referrals from local partners will expose your logo and your brand name to their audience, which can lead to more customers on your own too. Finally, don’t forget that anyone can spread the word about your business!

4. Convey value to your customers

A new company must look more prominent and more established. You can achieve that through offers and packages that include your services.

5. Exchange knowledge

Sometimes, strategic partnerships for tour operators include mutual learning. Having access to other people’s skills and resources is priceless because you and your whole team can evolve from being exposed to new ideas and diverse work environments.

It’s always better to have a shoulder you can lean on when things go south! And in business things will eventually go south sooner or later. Remember to prepare for these moments!

George Pilpilidis – CEO @ kleesto

Pro Tip: Changing associates can create a wrong impression to outsiders, so aim for long-lasting relationships. Show them your appreciation often, and they will be there for you. How can you do this? Connect them to make them work as a team with a common goal (Resource management is your friend here). Don’t forget to present a win-win scenario if you want them to last.


To sum up, never forget that to do everything by yourself is a big no-no. Strategic partnerships for tour operators are successful when you have similar values, goals, honesty, and trust!

Check out how a bike tour operator changed the way they operated their tour business! Remember that kleesto can be your first partner to this change, allowing you to organize and synchronize all your partners just from one dashboard! Sign up here for your 21-day FREE trial!

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