There are two common methods to sell tours online:

  • You can create a bookable website where people can find your tours, see availability, and make reservations from the site.
  • You can create business accounts on online travel agencies (OTAs) like Viator, GetYourGuide, or Expedia and list your tours on the sites people frequently use to research travel. Customers can book and pay for tours from these sites, and you can see all bookings from your user dashboard.

To maximise bookings, it’s best to invest in both methods.

Our tour operator software, Bókun, helps with both of those methods to sell tours, but in addition, it helps tour companies grow their online reach through our exclusive marketplace featuring 27,000+ suppliers, hotel groups and resellers you can connect with to drive additional reseller partnerships.

Our platform includes:

  • A custom website builder with a library of templates to get you started.
  • A domain of your choice.
  • Connections with OTAs so you can sell your tours across multiple channels and manage all bookings in Bókun.
  • Partner Marketplace where you can connect with activity providers or travel businesses in your region and sell tours through their platforms.

All Bókun features are easy to use, and the platform requires no training; most tour operators can be up and running in the same day. (Plus, our customer support team is there to help when you need it).

Not only that, but we offer the best value for money: We charge the lowest booking fees of all tour operator software — 1.5% for online reservations, and free bookings (0% booking fee) on bookings from Viator. We do all this for a flat $49/month subscription, which includes all features and website costs.

In our guide, we’ll explain how to sell your tours and activities online with Bókun. At the end, we’ll also share a few tips on increasing bookings and growing your business.

If you’re interested in trying Bókun, you can start a free trial (no CC required) here .

Method #1: Create a bookable website

All tour operators should have a website where customers can learn about your business and available tours; this is important not just in establishing an online presence but in building credibility and improving booking conversions. Customers want to see who you are and verify your experience before showing up for a tour with you.

Bókun lets you create a bookable website where you can:

  • Display products & availability.
  • Add images and videos from past tours.
  • Include brand elements like logos and custom fonts.
  • Show customer reviews, from TripAdvisor, Google, and other online review sites.
  • Provide contact forms and link to social media accounts so customers can easily get in touch with you.
Select Website Template: Find a template that represents your business

You don’t have to be a web designer to create a visually elegant site. Start by exploring the available templates and choosing your favourite option. Then you can plug in the design: Include your brand name and logo, add new background colours, customise the booking widget, place imagery, and more. You can edit your site at any time.

Then, you can choose your website name, and we’ll take care of domain charges. (Or you can link an existing domain).

Bookable websites improve the customer experience because they allow users to gather background on your brand and complete the entire booking process in the same journey. Then, if customers need to modify their booking, we provide tools for them to cancel online.

Note: Users with existing sites can embed our booking widget and enable customers to make direct bookings from their site.

Product & availability management

After you design your site, you can list tours and activities by adding Experiences. You start this workflow in the Experiences tab, and our platform will prompt you through the process.

You can add tour or activity names, descriptions, and images — the product builder offers a lot of flexibility, so you can add as much detail as is appropriate (specify pick-up or meeting points and cancellation policies).

How is your experience scheduled? (Date and Time)

Pro Tip: Catchy names, clear, detailed descriptions, and high-quality shots improve the chances of customers booking with you. If your travel experiences don’t stand out, you won’t grab their attention, and if customers can’t read about what to expect, it won’t get them excited about choosing you.

We provide a few ways to set pricing for products. You can:

  • Choose a flat rate.
  • Set different rates for children and adults.
  • Add bulk pricing options.
  • Provide discounted rates for resellers (more on those below).
  • Utilise dynamic pricing to optimise rates — to reflect a general discount, or to maximise booking potential based on the tour length or number of days before departure.

All products automatically display on your website, and you can choose which products to manage on external sales channels. Then, you can manage (add, edit, or remove) products from the Experiences tab.

Bókun also has availability management to prevent overbookings and ensure you receive reservations at approved times.

We also provide tools to edit availability by product:

  • Specify departure times for each tour, which is helpful for managing daytime vs. evening activities.
  • Add open and close dates for each product, if you only want to offer certain tours or activities for a limited time.
  • Adjust these settings on the fly; block out individual days or restrict departure times when you aren’t available.

You can set your schedule in the Bókun dashboard, then availability updates on your site and connected sales channels.

Method #2: Connect with OTAs & sell tours across popular travel sites

You can connect with popular OTAs like Viator and GetYourGuide directly from the Bókun dashboard, then manage reservations from those sites on our platform.

Having a single hub to manage all reservations (from your website, every sales channel you list products, and offline bookings) prevents blunders like double bookings and simplifies operations — you don’t have to update availability across sites every time you receive a booking, and you can always see current bookings in one calendar.

Bókun integrates with dozens of sales channels so you can sell across virtually any platform — Viator, GetYourGuide, Google things to do, Klook, Tiqets, Civitatis, and the list goes on.

A GIF showing some of the Online Travel Agencies that Bókun has integrations with

We’re a Tripadvisor brand and have a preferred partnershipswith Viator to offer money-saving perks, including free Bókun booking fees and four free Viator product checks (each month – these do not accumulate).

Connecting with OTAs is easy:

  • You can browse our partner network and select the OTAs you want to integrate with Bókun.
  • Choose the tours you want to list per channel — if you only want to list certain tours on certain channels, you can make those specifications here.
  • Add or remove OTAs from the channel manager at any time.

Listing your tours and availability on both your website and OTAs increases your chances of booking out your calendar; customers can find you through a variety of sites, see your open time slots, and make reservations up until those time slots close.

Users report more same-day and last-minute bookings after broadening their distribution strategies and introducing their tours on multiple sites.

How to grow online bookings & increase revenue

Now that we’ve discussed the two primary methods to bring your tour company online, let’s talk about strategies to sell more tours and grow your bottom line.

Leverage supplier & reseller partnerships

Creating a site and connecting with OTAs will increase bookings in and of itself, but we also provide a partner network so you can receive new business via resellers — these partners can increase bookings by selling your tours and activities on their platforms.

The Bókun Marketplace lists all of the travel agents, hotels and resorts, attractions, tour operators, and activity-based businesses in our network. Our Marketplace includes over 27,000 partners.

Discover partners in the Marketplace

You can connect with travel agents, hotels, and resorts that can promote and sell your tours, or you can establish partnerships with other tour or activity providers who will display your experiences on their site (alongside their products, or resellers can bundle your products with theirs). These resellers earn a commission when they book tours for you, and you gain new customers.

Embedding widgets for Groupon

Note: You can also choose to resell others’ tours and earn commission from those bookings; this is especially beneficial for small businesses that have reached capacity and need new avenues to increase revenue.

Read more: How to make the right connections and find the best partners to increase revenue

Create bundle deals & upsells

Tour packages offer another way to earn more bookings. If you sell two complementary experiences, you can bundle them and offer a discounted rate.

For example, say a tour guide in Iceland offers a tour of The Westfjords during the daytime hours and a Northern Lights viewing experience in the evening — they could bundle these together and sell customers on a full-day visit. You do this in Bókun by creating a combo experience .

Advanced Combo Setting for Experiences

In Bókun, tour operators can also create combo experiences with nearby businesses that offer similar tours and activities; you can manage these partnerships in the Marketplace and sell combo experiences on your site, your partner’s site, or on OTAs.

Customers appreciate bundles because they provide options and take care of some planning, and this benefits business owners because they can earn two bookings from one customer.

“Extras” are a way to increase earnings from bookings — you can sell optional enhancements to improve customers’ experiences. Circling back to our example above, this activity operator could offer small bites or lunch with their daytime sightseeing tour, and hot chocolate or coffee with the Northern Lights experience. You can get creative with extras; the options are up to you.

Offer promotions & discounts

Promotions are also a way to earn new customers and encourage repeat business. You can offer discounts in various ways, through your email marketing list, social media, or dynamic pricing.

Bókun’s automated communications let you easily extend discounts to customers — we provide a library of email templates so you can customise order confirmations, reminders, and thank-you emails. You can share promotions in any of these communications so customers can book with you again at a discounted rate.

Booking confirmation and discount code for future adventures

Pro Tip: You can also share review links in these emails to encourage customer feedback. These reviews are displayed across popular sites, and you can also show review feeds on your website to improve credibility.

Get active on social media sites

This might be an obvious recommendation, but tour operators should use social media channels in their digital marketing strategies to grow their brand and improve visibility.

More and more customers use social media to research things to do or learn about businesses before making reservations, so establishing a social media presence allows you to introduce your name to users (especially younger crowds) who are searching similar topics, locations, or hashtags, and increase booking potential.

In addition, these sites provide unique ways to showcase your experiences and engage with potential customers. You can post images and video clips, highlight reels, and customer tutorials; share information about upcoming events or promotions; hold contests or giveaways; run polls and more.

Then, you can encourage customers to interact with your page, share images from their tours and activities, and tag you in posts.

Staying active keeps you on your followers’ radars and helps continually build your brand.

Pro Tip: You can promote your brand on social media with paid ads and boosted posts. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter all offer ad programs to extend your online reach and hit target markets. You can choose images, ad copy, target audiences, and more during set-up. Then, you can monitor campaigns to see if they lead to new bookings.

Recent research finds that an increasing number of Gen Z and millennials are looking to TikTok or Instagram first for travel inspiration.

Optimise product listings with clear descriptions & imagery

If, after bringing your tour business online, you notice customers aren’t booking, or bookings aren’t increasing, then it’s worth revisiting your tour and activity listings.

  • Are titles attention-grabbing and straightforward?
  • Do you include detailed itineraries and descriptions? Are descriptions interesting? Do they mention all of the significant selling points?
  • Do you include enough images? Do you use high-quality images?
Opera House Tour, Inner City Attractions, Up the Ski Slope

Customers researching vacations and things to do are often overwhelmed with dozens of options, so to stand out and win their business, you need to take time on product listings and publish something unique.

Get data on where bookings are coming from

It’s important to track data on new bookings to understand which strategies perform well for you. For example, Bókun lets you view the number of reservations per distribution channel to see which sites or partners bring in the most business.

Digging into the details of new reservations lets you:

  • See which experiences are booked most often and which aren’t as popular.
  • See which months, days, and times of day are busy or slow.
  • Monitor online and offline sales and compare performance across sales channels.
  • Track payments and payment methods.

Then, you can use this data to improve the customer experience and back-end operations; you can update less-popular tours to increase bookings, adjust products by season, offer new activities in slow periods, or prepare for busy months by hiring more staff.

Most of all, this data provides the insights to strategically and successfully grow your business.

Get started with Bókun for free

Bókun booking software provides the tools to bring your business online and sell your tours and activities across platforms — and we’re the most inexpensive software solution with these features and benefits.

You can use our platform to:

  • Create a custom, branded, bookable website to represent your business and products.
  • Connect with OTAs and earn bookings from popular travel sites.
  • Partner with travel companies and tour operators to earn bookings from customers interested in similar businesses.
  • Offer discounts to customers and encourage repeat bookings.
  • Report on new bookings and business operations.

Our subscription costs $49/month; it includes the Advanced website builder, domain costs, and access to the core Bókun features (including the entire Marketplace). We save you money with 4 x free Viator product quality checks a month. Our booking fees are the lowest amongst competitors — 1.5% — and there’s no charge to manage offline bookings in our system.

Most teams can start on our booking system in a day, and growing your business within Bókun happens naturally. Businesses that connected to our Marketplace drove an average of $100K through this channel last year — and small businesses connecting to Viator for the first time saw an average of $6K additional bookings their first year.

You can try Bókun risk-free with our 14-day trial — get started here .