How food tours increase bookings with reviews

How food tours increase bookings with reviews

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and how food tour guides increase bookings

Every food tour has the goal of increased bookings, but exactly how that is goal achieved is open to debate. Success stories do have one thing in common - a prominent ranking on popular review websites. This post looks at examples of how food tours increase bookings with well earned reviews, plus a little known secret (Shhhh).

The Ayes Have It

Influential business authority Profit Magazine recently published ‘How to Profit From Online Reviews’ that describes the benefits of popular review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Of note in the article is a reference to a Harvard study that shows a one-star jump in a restaurant's average rating boosted sales by up to 9%.

The influence review sites have on consumer purchases originates from two sources, one human, one “robotic.”

Since consumers, more specifically tourists, use Internet search as their primary way to discover products and services, tour guides should treat the “robots” (computer program thats index webpages) as first class citizens. As described by Profit Magazine, robots love review sites.

The more reviews you get, the higher you're likely to appear in search results. Phil Rozek, a Massachusetts consultant [who] has a special fondness for how reviews exploit search functionality. "They mix the robotic—the ranking algorithms—and the human," he says. Rozek calls online reviews the "great equalizer" because they can bump up search rankings for small businesses that lack web marketing budgets. "Links don't count as much as you think in a competitive market in which everyone has a robust site," he adds. "Google wants to see signs of life."

But which review sites should hard working tour guides focus on in order to appeal to humans and robots? Business Insider (BI) recently published some eye opening statistics on one of them. According to BI, TripAdvisor has "50 million monthly unique visitors who have contributed over 50 million reviews and opinions. Including its subsidiaries, the company has more than 65 million monthly unique visits."

Hotly Contested

The Business Insider data shows just how popular TripAdvisor is among consumers (and robots). One reason for the appeal to people is the way it conveys information quickly using numerical rankings. For example, if a person is about to visit the city of Chicago and is interested in an activity the combines sightseeing and food, TripAdvisor will display "Ranked #12 of 146 activities in Chicago" text at the top of each food tour's webpage. The coveted numerical rankings are hotly contested among competing businesses, here's why...

Once the attention grabbing numerical ranking has done its job, it is up to the tour operator to embellish their TripAdvisor review page with as much information as possible. It is this trifecta of numerical ranking, written reviews and descriptive additional information that cements the activity in the mind of the Chicago tourist, a booking is then just a few mouse click away.

Popular Chicago tourism activity Tastebud Tours is a perfect example of a food tour operator getting everything right on their TripAdvisor page. Tastebud Tours is also very well represented on the Chicago Traveler website, which is used by out-of-town visitors and locals alike. How food tours increase bookings may be centered around review sites, but efforts to inspire consumer confidence doesn't stop there.

The journey of discovery that began with a Google search, then to one of the review sites, ultimately culminates on the food tour's own website, where the moment of truth is a new booking.

Bonus: Lesser Known Secret To How Food Tours Increase Bookings

As beneficial as review sites are, it is the online tour management software that enables a food tour to complete a booking. That long journey of discovery made by the hungry tourist must make take the final step of making the act of buying as easy as possible. In addition to buyer ease of use, the tour management software must serve your business needs.

The ThunderTix tour management software places a priority on letting you set dates and times quickly so you can focus on the task of conducting tours. And when the review website deliver a big spike in booking during the holidays, our technology helps you easily add extra tours to an established schedule.

ThunderTix is proud to be the tour management software for Tastebud Tours, the #1 food tour in Chicago! Our tour management software is priced as a flat annual license based on the number of tickets needed per year. The only cost outside of the license fee is the cost of credit card processing. Give us a call and you can be up and running, selling tickets online today!