The Business of Autumn Leaf Color Guided Tours

autumn leaf color tours

It's almost that time of year when bookings for autumn leaf color guided tours become priority one for locals and tourists alike - is your tour reservation software ready?

"To everything there is a season, turn, turn..."

As the famous Byrd’s song says, for everything there is a season...and soon it will be the season when the leaves change color.

Across the country each year, millions of people make the time to view Nature at its best as it changes from summer to fall and the riot of color ensues. As an activity, viewing this wonderful event in-person is one of the most popular things for locals and tourists to do. The tourism surrounding the autumn leaf color change (also known as "leaf peeping") is a major contributor to economic activity nationwide. More importantly, experts are predicting 2013 to be one of the best years in recent memory for the natural event. Combining these factors together, tour guides are poised to have a very busy fall season...

The Business of Autumn Leaf Color Guided Tours

Given how popular fall foliage guided tours are, operators need to act now and take the time to review the tools of the trade, especially the choice in tour management software as it is the cornerstone of their business.

Color Guide ProductConductors of autumn leaf color guided tours built around out-of-state tourism may find that the anticipated increase in bookings proves their current tour management software inadequate. That is most likely because of a lack of flexibility or the software is missing the all important ability to sell products, like printed programs and reference guides, during the reservation process.

Schedule flexibility

The flexibility to add additional tours at the last minute can be a pain point for tour guides who must meet unexpected demand or the occasional weather related interruption. Nearly every state where the leaf color change occurs has some form of high profile marketing campaign to attract tourism dollars.

Many states have dedicated sections on the official websites that list the available guided tours. The lists are updated frequently and sometimes a new tour addition is made without the tour operator knowing it - resulting in a big spike in bookings. Meeting this demand means you need to quickly add new tour times, or expand the number of days in the week your tour runs. If your tour management software is built around the idea that once set a tour schedule never changes you may miss out on the windfall of new bookings from being listed on a state tourism website.

The weather can affect your bottom line as well. Given the time of year, rainy days are expected and so is the need to move tour times around or consolidate two departures into one. And while most autumn leaf color guided tours are “rain or shine” events, smart operators know that altering tour times slightly until the weather clears is a service gesture customers appreciate.

Souvenir guidebooks
While you are auditing your current reservation software, check to see if it offers the ability to sell products during bookings. Your tour guests will have the expectation of some form of tangible printed guide to help them spot the various flora. In years past you could hand-out printed material (made on a copier machine) in an ad hoc fashion once guests arrived. But in 2013, the opportunity is there for tour guides to truly monetize all the associated guidebooks and souvenir items that can be associated with the autumn leaf color guided tour experience.

If you already have guidebooks and souvenirs, offering them up during the online reservation process will help you gauge demand and keep inventory and overhead costs low. You can also create different tiers of products and tour packages. Remember, the customer already has their credit card in hand while booking a tour, so there is no better time to politely offer fall foliage guidebooks and souvenirs at the same time!

Is Your Tour Reservation Software Ready?

So, how did your tour management software review turn out? Are you ready for the rush that is just weeks away? Can you easily change tour times and add more as needed? How about selling products during the reservation process?

ThunderTix tour management software has the flexibility and utility you need for this season's autumn leaf color tours. We are confident your business will benefit from our technology and our highly regarded customer service.

Using ThunderTix, you can track your tour’s ticket sales based on the capacity you set. As ticket sales progress, a sales inspiring message will be automatically generated based on ticket availability (“Hurry! There are less than 5 tickets remaining.“) These messages shown to people visiting your website increase sales velocity while reducing the dreaded cart abandonment.

In a hurry to start using ThunderTix for your fall tour schedule? sign up for a free trial today and we will help get you up and running!