Traveling not only comes across as one of the most sought after activities, but it also happens to be a top passion among people. It is because of people’s love for traveling that a plethora of travel booking companies are flooding in the market.
Online travel booking & sales are on constant rise (and will continue to increase in the near future). So, it is high time to start an online travel marketplace of your own. But in order to assure a seamless growth of your business, its revenue model must be in place.
Brainstorming over the sources of revenue isn’t just about increasing the profit margins. It is also about having access to sufficient resources to continuously improve your service and customer experience to always have the upper hand over the competition.
So, once you have a great travel activity booking website ready, then it is time to work upon its revenue model to get your share of the golden egg. To assist you with that, here FATbit experts share 5 sound revenue channels that your online travel booking business can make money from.
Commission on each booking
Commissions have been by far the most traditional method to generate revenue for marketplaces where they act as an intermediary between service seekers & service providers.
In a commission based pricing model, you get to enjoy lucrative revenue as the tour operators & travel activity hosts get plentiful of bookings. Implementing this pricing model works wonders when you have a lot of providers in your portfolio.
However, if you have a small number of providers in the beginning and they are not able to get enough bookings; your commissions may not be as amazing as you thought, which brings us to a subscription based pricing model.
Subscription Fee for business listing
Subscription based revenue model is a relatively new concept, which surfaced with the evolution of ecommerce sector.
In case of subscription model, tour operators get listed on your marketplace for a fixed period of time in exchange of a fixed fee (monthly or yearly). The benefit of this pricing model is – it doesn’t matter how tour operators are performing on your marketplace, you’ve got your back covered with a fixed monthly/yearly source of revenue through subscription fee.
So, depending on the nature and size of the participating vendors and your own venture, you can choose to go for commissions or subscription fee.
Display advertisements of related businesses
The world of advertisements needs no introduction to a business owner. We all know how effective marketing and advertising are for making people aware of your business.
Since the core of your business happens to be the travel industry, it becomes a logical choice to post ads of hotels, restaurants and other travel related businesses on your webpage.
Expert tip:Pay special attention to the placements and relevance of the ad on yourwebsite. You can’t show a Thai hotel to a person traveling to Munich. Not only would it screw the user experience for the end customer, but also affect advertisers’ trust in your platform.
On-site promotion for tour operators
As your marketplace begins to become more and more popular, some additional revenue options open up to you. With a mass of hotels and activity providers active on your website, you can easily entice them to get their listing highlighted, in exchange of an additional fee.
Implementing this revenue channel is simple as it works pretty much like the PPC advertisements on Google search results. You can create a ‘premium/featured vendors’ section for the search result pages of your website to highlight the paid listing. This section can appear in a side panel or at the bottom of the results.
Recommended Reading: How to Connect with Tour Operators for Your Travel Activity Booking Marketplace
Going on a trip also means that travelers may need to buy particular travel gears. It could be tent, ropes, shoes, hat, and so on.
To address this need of your website visitors, you can embed a shopping cart module with your travel activity marketplace. Now, they may need that gear just once (such as tent & ropes), or may plan to use it again and again. So, make sure that your shopping cart module also comes with a renting feature.
Traveling also brings along shopping, sometimes a lot of it. Be smart and invest in a good ecommerce plug-in.Additionally, since this method clearly needs a technological maneuver, it is suggested to consult ecommerce experts before commencing the process.
Ultimately, it all boils down to this: people love to travel, and as the time moves ahead, we find ourselves on a shorter leash. So it tends to be a reasonable decision to do all the bookings and stuff before actually reaching your destination.
As a travel activity marketplace, you are at the common ground where the demand and supply chain connect.So, you need to know how to capitalize upon that fact.Try the above mentioned methods for revenue generation; use several permutations and combinations to see which works best for your business.