Delivering outstanding value
Even though the tourism industry is on hold for now, it will be back on its feet someday. And when that happens, every tour operator should be ready for business. There are thousands of tour operators worldwide and the competition is high. So, ask yourself:
- How does my business stand out?
- What is unique about my tours that makes travellers favour you?
Every tour operator should be the best in what they do, without trying to target all their experiences to everyone. To run a successful business is no longer only about delivering standard value to all customers. It’s about delivering outstanding value to specific customers.
“Through your niche market, you will add value”
In this article
Entering a niche market
The concept of added value is very important for a successful tour operator. It’s not only standing out from competitors. It’s about providing that something extra to customers, employees, and the world. Added value provides you with means to charge higher prices for your experiences, which leads to a higher revenue.
Entering a niche market helps you add value to your business. Basically, a niche market is a segment of a larger market that is defined by its own unique, specific needs and identity that makes it different.
Niche markets can be defined based on the following aspects:
- Price (luxury of budget)
- Demographics (age or gender)
- Geographics (in a specific region)
- Psychographics (values and interests)
The importance of having a niche
To show you why niche markets are important, let me give an example. In Kenya, there are over 3000 tour operators offering safaris. At least half of them also offer safaris in the Masai Mara. To stand out, safari operators need to think about unique features that address their customer’s needs. To have something that other safari operators don’t have.
A customer who is looking for a safari in Kenya, is searching for an experience. He or she shall therefore select the business the offer that fits their needs. Besides wanting to see wildlife, a customer might be passionate about food, into yoga or wanting to learn more about how to conserve wildlife.
Operators can make combinations to create added value that makes them stand out from the thousands of safari offerings. For example, combine safaris with:
- Culinary lunches and dinners
- Yoga classes for sunset
- Following the work of park rangers
- Silent electrical vehicles
Benefits of entering a niche market
Besides adding value to your customers, tour operators who focus on a special niche also have the following benefits as they:
- Stand out from the rest with their own identity
- Have less competition as there are less operators offering the same experience
- Are able to target their marketing very specifically and personal to their ideal target group
- Will claim their expert status and therefore attract more interested customers
4 steps to enter a niche market
Finding your niche is not difficult but definitely requires some thinking and making choices for the future of your business. The four following tips will guide you in finding your own niche.
1. Don’t be afraid to niche
Some tour operators are afraid to stand-out and to move to a specific niche market. Don’t be, as in the end you want to be the go-to tour operator for your experiences. You’ll attract your ideal customer plus other travellers, who might not fit your ideal audience profile but are still interested. The more specific your niche, the more your target groups feels connected to your business.
2. Think back to your business purpose
Your business purpose is why you started your business. Why does the business exist and what does it stand for? What is your mission? Then move towards experiences and think about which fits your purpose. Would you like to show customers the beauty of your destination? Or perhaps meet the local culture or just to relax? Focus on this purpose and make it your niche!
3. Define how you want to be seen
This aspect is connected to your business purpose. You have to think about what you want to be known for, the go-to tour operator for what? Is it for your unique community encounters or the fact that you offer adventure trips for women only? Define the core concept of your business and promote it as such to attract your ideal customer.
4. Focus on your ideal target group
In the end, your niche is tailored to your ideal customer or it attracts your ideal customer. What do your ideal customers want? What is special to them and what value are they looking for? How does this translate into your business purpose and experiences you offer?
Start adding more value
Entering a niche market enables you to focus more on details and develop experiences that fit the needs of your ideal customer 100%. Become the go-to tour operator for your niche and position yourself as such. Stand out from the crowd and write appealing travel content, create impact within the travel experience, and specifically market your business to your ideal target group in a personal way.