Row, Row, Row Your Boat Tour Reservation Software
The antithesis of personal watercraft tours are eco-friendly scenic rowing tours. Here's how to make eco-friendly rowing tours just as profitable as their rowdy watercraft adventure tour counterparts using boat tour reservation software.
The Burgeoning Eco-Friendly Tourism Market
A previous post looked at personal watercraft tour operators operating fun outdoor adventures across the country. The customer demographic of watercraft adventure tours is, well, boisterous - in a good way. A rowdy (and safe) tour of a river or lake on jet skis is consistently a best seller when it comes to bookings. Lesser known however, are the quieter counterparts to watercraft adventure tours...
The strict definition of eco-friendly tourism:
"a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development."
A more narrow view of eco-friendly tourism might include sightseeing by sail or row boat or informative hikes through ecologically important areas. (All "wilderness" guides should checkout out the benefits of our walking tour software.) Like sailing, rowboats are considered very “green” and eco-friendly. Human powered and quiet, rowing has graduated from its college and Olympic heritage to be the preferred choice of the eco-conscious adventure seeker.
Of interest to current and would-be tour operators is the fact that rowing tours have a major business advantage over their gasoline watercraft cousins - much longer booking season.
Typically the watercraft tour season is within the relatively narrow window of the summer months of June through August. But rowing tours can operate well into the late fall and even into winter in some markets. The hardy eco-friendly rowing tour guest has no qualms about putting on a few extra layers of clothing in order to be out on the water during a brisk fall day. In fact, many tour operators switch between gas powered watercraft tours during summer to rowing tours during the fall and spring to have revenue coming in almost year round.
State & City Park Systems As Business Partner
In addition to the demographic (and some say cultural) differences between personal watercraft tours and rowing tours, there is a difference in location. The harrowing tours of whitewater rapids notwithstanding, rowing tours are usually conducted on tranquil rivers and lakes, many of which are under the management of state and city park systems.
The tour operator is often a “contractor” of the state park where the tours are conducted, or has arranged for a special permit to operate a for-profit business. In Cleveland, Ohio, the city operates a waterfront promenade called Rivergate Park that includes a rowing tour of the Cuyahoga river, at which the tour operator pays the city for permission to conduct tours. The seasonal factor comes into play at the Cuyahoga river where summertime is dominated by the jet ski crowd. But once the weather cools down, one may see rowboats exclusively.
Fortunately for the sales-oriented tour operator, the same boat tour software used for the watercraft demographic can be used for the eco-friendly rowing folks - it’s simply a matter of presentation during the reservation process. Rowdy jet ski tours take marketing queues from rock concerts and the X-Games to instill the would-be guest with excitement, and avoid generic imagery that doesn't reflect the "party on!" nature of the experience.
The same way that the watercraft crowd do not respond well to stock photography, neither will the Eco-tourist looking to book a reservation. As a business, you will need to use a boat tour booking software that compliment the experience. Not every online booking software supports unique photos for display on a per-tour type basis. And the time spent tailoring the look and feel of the reservation process for one customer demographic, doesn't mean you'll need to keep redoing it with the change of every season. The tour time and dates can be a year round constant, only the visual presentation needs to be changed.
ThunderTix Boat Tour Reservation Software
Building two reservation experiences for the watercraft and rowing demographics is much easier than you think since the best boat tour reservation software does much of the heavy lifting for you.
ThunderTix boat tour reservation software has the tools to create a visually rich reservation experience, one that matches what your eco-conscious customers expect. Your online reservation experience can be packed with rich descriptive text and beautiful imagery that matches the Earth-friendly nature of your tour. The look and feel continues even after reservations have been made with our custom email confirmation tailored to match the eco-friendly theme.
ThunderTix is well versed in the needs of tour operators. We know you need the tools that can keep pace with your busy schedule of daily tours and those tools must be able to adapt to special circumstances like a holiday rush (or switching from summer jet ski tours to fall rowing tours). Our tour management technology lets you set at tour date and and time then propagate for every day of the year – all at once – no need to enter the same date and time over and over.
Interested in learning more about ThunderTix’s reservation systems for your tour? Just contact us and tell us about your events and unique challenges.