Outbound Vs Inbound Tour Operators
Tour Operators

Outbound Vs Inbound Tour Operators

For Tour Operators, deciding which type of tours to offer and which market to specialise in can be a difficult task.

Despite the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel, with the global industry having lost $4.5 trillion in 2020, tourism is now experiencing a revival as international borders begin to reopen.

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the increased demand for travel and improve your business strategy.

Whether you’re looking to diversify your offerings, move into a new market or are just starting out in the industry, we are here to give you some useful advice that will help you to find the best option for your company.

Which Type of Tour Operator Are You?

Before you begin to market and sell your tours, it is important to determine which type of tour operator you are in order to develop an effective strategy, find out who your potential customers are and stand out against competitors.

To help you navigate the market, we are going to explain the key characteristics of two types of tour operators: inbound and outbound.

types of tour operators

What is an Inbound Tour Operator?

Sometimes referred to as destination management companies, inbound tour operators are locally-based companies who work by bringing visitors into a specific country or destination, often partnering with other businesses such as accommodation and transport providers in order to offer customers package deals.

As opposed to domestic tour operators, who cater to the needs of travellers in their native country, inbound travel companies focus on non-residents and aim to promote their destination as a whole.

What is an Outbound Tour Operator?

While inbound tour operators bring tourists into a country, outbound tour operators market to travellers in their own country and offer tours in international destinations.

When creating tour packages, outbound tour operators usually focus on specific countries, destinations or regions of the world, and also partner with businesses in the host country to provide customers with convenient and comprehensive packages.

Outbound Tour Operator

What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Tour Operators?

You might still be wondering, what is the difference between inbound and outbound tour operators?

Although there are many similarities between the two, the main difference between inbound and outbound tour operators is whether they offer tours within their own country or in international destinations.

Both types of businesses can provide specialised tours or focus on the mass market, and whichever segment you choose to cater to, it is crucial to utilise the power of marketing.

In our recent blog post, the tour operators’ guide to creating an exciting marketing strategy, we explain the ways in which you can upgrade your marketing strategy and entice and retain customers.

outbound tour operators

Advantages and Disadvantages

Before deciding which market you choose to operate in, there are many advantages as well as some disadvantages that you should first consider.

  • Inbound tour operators have the advantage of being based in the same location that they offer tours in, meaning that they are likely to have a deeper knowledge of the local area, culture and language in comparison with outbound tour operators, and they may also have already developed relationships with local companies and tour guides.

Inbound tour operators can also benefit from having direct contact with customers in their destination of choice, allowing them to offer a more personalised experience.

  • On the other hand, outbound tour operators deal with customers from their own country, which can make it easier to understand their needs and create tour packages accordingly. However, not being based in the destination itself could make it more difficult to resolve any problems that might come up. 

Another huge advantage that outbound tour operators have is the ability to change their offerings based on the latest travel trends and demands. The travel industry is highly competitive and dynamic, and offering outbound tours can allow you to rapidly adapt to changes in the market.

Takeaways for Tour Operators

Whether you are an inbound or outbound tour operator, it is crucial to create an exciting marketing strategy and have a deep knowledge of your chosen market and potential customers.

Here at Nezasa, we work with both inbound and outbound tour operators to assist them in creating the most seamless planning, booking and post-booking process for their clients.

For the latest travel related content and more information about our bleeding-edge software, be sure to keep up with our blog and register for our next webinar.