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How can tour and activity organizers compete with large online booking platforms?

first_imgIn recent years, the Croatian tourist offer of arrangements and tours is slowly going beyond its traditional framework. An increasing number of smaller organizers are starting to offer tours and activities that make tourists leave on vacation.Wine tours, trekking tours, biking tours, ZIP lines, historical tours, excursions for children, culinary tours, sports and recreational tours, treasure hunting tours, off-road vehicle tours and many other fun activities. A few years ago, such an offer was unknown to domestic tourism, that is, at least it was not directly promoted to domestic and foreign guests. With the appearance of new organizers, the eternal question arises how to find the best sales channels today not only on the Croatian but also on the foreign market.We get the impression that often a good offer is the least of the problem. It is necessary to reach customers and present your story well. And the offer can no longer just be presented via posters in the office window or somewhere on the waterfront. Today, the world of tourism is plagued by online platforms through which various tourist offers are offered. Tourists book months before their vacation, but also during the holidays.And do you know where they will first look at what is on offer?They will type their query into online search engines via their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. You’re not online, you don’t exist. Smaller companies, but also well-established travel agencies that have an off-board offer, have to fight for their place under the sun. But how do you compete with so many bidders reselling the offer around the world?You will hear different answers to this question. Some oppose online booking platforms such as, for example, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Viator and advocate the traditional way of doing business with travel agencies. They emphasize personalized service and personal approach to each client. Online booking is considered “robotic” and prone to errors. They find that people often cannot know what they will actually get after making a reservation online and the like. Once upon a time, agent advice was a major factor influencing the choice of destination we would travel to, as well as the types of excursions, tours, or activities we would book. Today this is no longer the case and there is no crying, it is necessary to accept the new rules, but not focus exclusively on them.Online booking or personal service?Online booking in the travel industry is generally growing rapidly. In the past 5 years, the number of online bookings has grown by 73%. The platforms that make it possible are easy to navigate and contain everything a traveler needs to plan their trip and make the necessary reservations.We wanted to take a look at the reasons behind the growth of the online booking platform. Also, can traditional travel agencies compete with them.When travelers know where and when they want to travel, Booking.com, Viator, TripAdvisor and similar sites are ideal. However, when they are unsure about where to go and would like some advice, or don’t want to bother booking every single part of the trip, traditional travel agents come into play. Travel agents can do things that internet platforms just can’t – but – travelers still need to be able to find an agency to talk to an agent.Travel agents are not just sellers of their tours and activities. They also sell expertise and guidance – from the best time of year to visit a particular destination, to the best accommodations and activities to book. All based on the individual needs of the passengers.Advice? Recognize what you are good at – and shout about it out loud! Whether it’s the niche type of vacation you offer or you put in the extra effort to reduce the hassle during the booking process, you need to convey that message to your customers. Transfer your knowledge and your expertise to online platforms as well, don’t ignore them and find the one that best suits your way of doing business and where your target audience is.How to stand out in the crowd?Shout about your strengths – always and everywhere! Each online platform offers the possibility of a quality description of your offer. Invest your time and use quality and attractive photos, photos of people who are happy and satisfied with your offer. Communicate with users through these online platforms. Both before departure and after departure. Build your reputation and new travelers will come based on the quality work you have transferred from your office to your online office.Once you understand what sets you apart from the competition, convey that message to as many potential customers as possible. Use your websites, social media, newsletters and online platforms to make potential and existing customers aware of the services you provide. Use your own online booking system for tours and activities to inform all your contacts about news or special offers.Let your customers help you! Nowadays, most people will not make a purchase or reservation without checking the opinions of others. Contact your clients and ask them to share a review of the experience you’ve provided for them on their own social media, on Google, and on your agency’s Facebook page.Positive reviews are great for the travel business. It is essentially about word of mouth online marketing (recommendations). You need to include them in your own marketing strategies. If you get a negative review – don’t worry. You will use it very much too! They will point out to you that there are areas that need to be improved, and then let your clients know that you listened to what they had to say. They will notice you as a tour and activity organizer who cares about their opinions and feelings. You will not be left unrewarded.Accept new technologies Keeping up with mobile trends is of great importance! You heard it, you know it. Especially in tourism. It gives added value to small tour and activity organizers. The big ones, on the other hand, can’t afford not to follow the technological trends because the small ones who follow them will catch up with them! Make sure your website is fully functional on mobile devices or your customers could slip against the competition in a click.Use available resourcesMost agencies have neither the time nor the money to invest in market research. Follow the most important travel trends for tour and activity organizers. Make sure you do everything you can to keep up with your customers.What do foreign tour and activity organizers say?In discussing the marketing and sales channels that tour and activity organizers should use today with our foreign users, they also point out digital marketing channels and the involvement of foreign partners (OTA, hotels, large agencies and others). The choice between these two channels, or rather a combination of both channels, will vary from country to country that the tour or activity organizer is targeting. That is why it is crucial to examine the behavior of each market first.In line with the rapid development of digital marketing channels, tour and activity organizers should:Have a website that is also adapted for smaller screens such as tablets and mobile phones – WordPress websites are highly recommended because they are the easiest to maintain, look modern and adapt to all screens, and allow smaller providers to quickly develop and display offers via the webPut an online booking button on your own website, such as Orioles – software for online booking and marketing because you will not pay yourself a fee for online booking.Being active on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are the most popular in tourism today, even Snapchat if you want to attract a younger population.Build distribution channels – such as referral programs and special programs for agents that come along with a good booking system for tours and activities.While large agencies (OTAs) help you sell vacation packages, digital marketing channels will help you reach direct travelers. That is why they are an indispensable element of marketing and sales strategy for small players.You will find it difficult to compete with large agencies with large marketing budgets and a large online presence if you try to play the same game as them. But most of the smaller travel agencies, tour operators and activities we are talking about have a niche offer. They are more focused on providing customers with quality, service, knowledge and a personal approach. If you use the research and statistics available to you, keep up with the latest technologies and trends, and continue to provide superior service – we believe you will be successful.And use online partnerships, online sales channels that make it easier for you to sell great and unique offers.Published by: OriolesRelated news:CROATIAN TRAVEL AGENCIES URGENTLY NEED TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESSINTERNET RESERVATIONS ARE INCREASINGLY REPLACING TRADITIONAL WAYS OF TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION RESERVATIONSlast_img read more


The Misled Compound with motocross track at Jimboomba hits the market

first_imgUpstairs is parent’s retreat.Mr Sue-See said he would enjoy it if a buyer could keep the motocross track, but said it was not a deal-breaker.“I’d love it to be (bought by someone who would keep the tracks), but if I have to flatten the jumps, I will, if it’s going to be a problem for anyone.” The feature walls are a concrete render.Mr Sue-See started renovating the two-level house about six months ago, and has completed everything himself apart from the electrical and plumbing work.“I was a concreter and now I’m a builder,” he said.“Everyone thinks the walls are wallpaper, but it’s actually a concrete render I’ve done myself.” MORE: HISTORIC QUEENSLAND WEATHER OBSERVATORY HITS THE MARKET The recently built lean-to.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoThere is also a recently built lean-to, which has downlights, fans and a built in barbecue, which is perfect for gatherings.“We’re known for our Christmas party,” Mr Sue-See said. The house at 104-114 Mona Drive, Jimboomba, has hit the market.THIS property has been more than just a home for Karl Sue-See.It has been the place where he has fostered a motocross community, with his 4.19ha property known at “The Misled Compound”.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThe Misled Compound hits the market01:25“We sponsor kids (for motocross), the ones that don’t get help,” Mr Sue-See said.“They come out to train.“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do — give kids the help I didn’t get.”Now it is up for sale. An inground trampoline and a half-pipe is every child’s dream. There benches in the kitchen were custom made.Mr Sue-See also custom-made the polished concrete benches in the kitchen, which adds to the house’s industrial vibe.The main level of the house has two bedrooms, a study, an open-plan kitchen and dining that leads to a deck, a rumpus and lounge. Upstairs is the master suite. There is a foam landing pit for practising jumps.Mr Sue-See’s property at 104-114 Mona Drive, Jimboomba, is only a 45 minute drive from Brisbane’s CBD and has everything for adrenaline seekers, from a motocross track with jumps and a foam landing pit, to a half-pipe, mini basketball court and an inground trampoline.last_img read more


Sharks’ Erik Karlsson undergoes groin surgery

first_imgSAN JOSE — Defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery last week to address a groin injury that he suffered this season, the Sharks said in a news release Wednesday.Karlsson underwent the surgery on May 31. The Sharks said the surgery was successful and that Karlsson has started rehabilitation. Karlsson, slated to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, is expected to be ready for the 2019-20 season.Karlsson first suffered the injury in mid-January and missed 27 of the Sharks’ final 33 …last_img


4 power tool safety tips to help you avoid injuries – and OSHA penalties

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The first thing my neighbor does when he buys a new power tool is remove every safety guard. He says they slow him down.Unfortunately, he’s not alone in that decision. Modifying safety equipment is one of the leading causes of farm accidents involving chain saws, circular saws, drills and related tools and equipment. In addition to serious injury or death, misuse of power tools can result in lawsuits, workers’ comp claims, higher insurance premiums and costly penalties from OSHA. It’s simply not worth it.Here are some tips to help you comply with safety regulations, avoid injuries and minimize risks when using power tools on your farm.Don’t modify tools. Farm workers are in a constant race against the clock – or the latest weather report – so it’s reasonable to think that you can boost productivity by taking shortcuts with equipment. Modifying or removing the shields or guards on a power tool may shave off time a project, but those components were placed there for a reason – to protect your workers. Plus, you have even more to lose if a worker is seriously injured as a result of your safety modification.Insist on proper equipment training. Your workers might assure you that they know what they’re doing, but it pays to make sure. Read the operator’s manual for new tools and outline proper safety guidelines before your family members or hired workers use an unfamiliar tool for the first time. Also consider whether your children are old enough to use dangerous power tools. Better to be safe than sorry.Dress for safety. Baggy shirts and pants can get caught in the teeth of equipment, creating a dangerous safety hazard. Require your workers to wear more fitted clothing when operating equipment. Also require that workers wear safety goggles when there is a chance of flying debris.Don’t settle for quick fixes. Farmers don’t have the time luxury of calling a tow truck or dropping off a faulty vehicle or piece of equipment for a quick fix. They learn early how to make their own repairs, and many have their own small machine shops. It’s all part of getting the job done — and done quickly. But don’t sacrifice a quick fix for the safety of your workers. For example, always take the time to shut off motors before investigating problems. Block wheels before working on vehicles, and use jacks to raise or prop up vehicles, rather than improvising with concrete blocks or other items.Take your time, work with the proper tools and equipment and make sure your people are properly trained and working safely. These simple guidelines for using power tools will help you keep your people out of harm’s way and your business OSHA compliant.Read more Grains of Knowledge from Westfield Insurancelast_img read more


Trent Tucker Hosts All 4 Kids Celebrity Golf And Gala

first_imgNBA legend Trent Tucker will once again host his All 4 Kids Celebrity Golf and Gala in September.The event raises funds and awareness every year to provide students of the Trent Tucker Youth Program academic, social and physical benefits that would never be otherwise possible.This year, the All 4 Kids Foundation has teamed up with the Max Cure Foundation for pediatric cancer to present the event on September 9 and 10 in New York. Joining Trent at the event will be Patrick Ewing, Steve Weatherford, Charles Oakley and many others.Over the last 13 years, the event has received the support of Michael Jordan, Kris Humphries and more.The Trent Tucker “All 4 Kids Foundation” is dedicated to empowering underprivileged youth by developing the skills they need to make positive choices in social and academic environments.To find out more, click here.last_img read more


More Than Twice As Many Women Are Running For Congress In 2018

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MIT spinoff plans to manufacture cheap efficient solar cells

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Tech Tools That Make Doing Business Internationally Easy

first_imgMay 23, 2012 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Doing business internationally isn’t just for the big enterprises anymore. Once-emerging markets such as India, China and Singapore now demand services that only smaller firms can provide. And globe-flattening technologies including Facebook, freelance marketplace Elance and PayPal mean even the smallest firms can seize a global opportunity.But those are far from the only technologies that can help a small company do big business overseas. From shipping to electronic payments to navigating confusing regulations, the following tools can help make doing business internationally easier.Shipping overseas? There’s an app for that.One of the biggest hurdles to doing business overseas is getting your products where they needs to go. Luckily, major shippers including UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer Web apps that track global shipments, estimate costs and check for compliance with country-specific rules, laws and tariffs.For instance, UPS offers a free international shipping tool called TradeAbility that shippers can use to estimate costs, look up duty fees and view international trade restrictions and other regulations. FedEx, meanwhile, arranges its services by the user’s experience in international shipping — from novice to expert — and includes a set of shipping tutorials. The USPS offers downloadable global shipping software for processing global shipments. Related: Headed to Asia for Business? Pack These Networking TipsMaking payments overseas, easily.Online financial transfer services can make and receive payments to vendors and most other parties overseas. For the casual, one-time vendor, consider starting with services from PayPal and American Express.Most vendors overseas accept PayPal, and it offers a full range of services in about 20 large countries, plus the ability to send and receive payments via PayPal essentially anywhere. PayPal charges a 3.9 percent transaction fee for international sales, plus another fixed fee based on the currency received.For more sophisticated exchanges, FX International Payments by American Express offers a convenient online portal for making payments, as well as the ability to manage and track favorable exchange rates. Enrollment in the program is free, but limited to customers with a U.S. business bank account.When transferring money overseas remember that currency rates can change dramatically and require more complicated accounting.Pay your employees no matter where they are.While you might consider hiring that rockstar software engineer who lives in another country, paying that person isn’t always so easy. Though services such as PayPal can be used for payroll, chances are they don’t meet regulations in some countries.Managing international payroll right requires juggling multiple currencies and compliance with diverse employment laws and regulations. Most firms that directly hire employees in other countries might find it necessary to outsource payroll management to a company specializing in the nuances of global payroll.Many of these services cater to bigger business, but companies such as Deerfield, Ill.-based Celergo and U.K.-based NorthgateArinso, a global HR firm, have payroll services in more than 100 nations and cater to smaller multinational firms. Pricing varies depending on the country and the number of employees being paid.Know how to do business in a complex world.In order to do business internationally, you’ll need to abide by the laws of your own country as well as those of other countries. One online resource is the U.S. Commercial Service, which offers country-specific trade statistics and market research. Also, the comprehensive primers at Export.gov cover several important topics, such as when a business needs an export license.It can also be wise to keep abreast of evolving international situations such as travel warnings and alerts, country-by-country, through the U.S. State Department’s travel website.Related: 10 Hot Export Markets for Small BusinessesTake the hassle out of business travel.Expedited clearance for certain “low-risk” travelers can be available through the U.S. federal government’s Trusted Traveler programs.Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, is meant for frequent international travelers. There is no minimum number of trips necessary to apply. The signup process usually involves a trip to your local airport for a photo, identification and background check. There are separate programs for crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders, known respectively as NEXUS and SENTRI.International calling doesn’t have to cost a fortune.It’s not a secret that calling overseas can lead to massive phone bills. But look beyond services such as Skype and Google Voice in order to cut costs. Paid Web-based calling services can connect your business phone to an affordable international calling plan.Several options offer unlimited international calling, including McLean, Va.-based Lingo, which has flat-rate unlimited international calling plans to 45 countries starting at $23.95 a month. Similarly, the World plan by Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage, starts at $9.99 per month for unlimited calling to all phones in 10 countries and landlines in 60 countries.Related: 5 Steps for Keeping Digital Data Safe When Traveling to China 5 min read Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more


Amtrak train was going 50 mph over limit before derailment

first_imgAmtrak train was going 50 mph over limit before derailment Source: The Associated Press Tags: Amtrak, Rail << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tuesday, December 19, 2017 DUPONT, Wash. — Federal officials confirmed an Amtrak train was hurtling 50 mph over the speed limit when it careened off an overpass south of Seattle, spilling cars onto the highway below and killing at least three people.Bella Dinh-Zarr, a National Transportation Safety Board member, said at a Monday night news conference that information from the event data recorder in the rear locomotive showed the train was travelling at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone when it derailed at 7:34 a.m. Mangled train cars ended up on top of each other – and one hung precariously over the freeway.When the clanging of metal and screeching stopped at first it was quiet. Then came the screams.After the crash, the injured called out as rescuers – including people who had been in cars on their morning freeway commute – rushed to help. One of the train passengers was Emma Shafer, who found herself at a 45-degree angle staring at the seats in front of her that had dislodged and swung around.“It felt oddly silent after the actual crashing,” Shafer said. “Then there was people screaming because their leg was messed up … I don’t know if I actually heard the sirens, but they were there. A guy was like, ‘Hey, I’m Robert. We’ll get you out of here.”’Dinh-Zarr said it’s not yet known what caused the train to derail and that “it’s too early to tell” why it was going so fast.Positive train control – the technology that can slow or stop a speeding train – wasn’t in use on this stretch of track, according to Amtrak President Richard Anderson.In 2015, an Amtrak train in Philadelphia was travelling at twice the 50 mph speed limit as it entered a sharp curve and derailed. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the locomotive and four of the train’s seven passenger cars jumped the tracks. Several cars overturned and ripped apart.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerA track chart prepared by the Washington State Department of Transportation shows the maximum speed drops from 79 mph (127 kph) to 30 mph (48 kph) for passenger trains just before the tracks curve to cross Interstate 5, which is where the train went off the tracks.The chart, dated Feb. 7, was submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration in anticipation of the start of passenger service along a new bypass route that shaves off 10 minutes for the trip between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.Kimberly Reason with Sound Transit, the Seattle-area transit agency that owns the tracks, said speed signs are posted 2 miles (3 kilometres) before the speed zone changes and just before the speed zone approaching the curve.Eric Corp, a councilman for the small city of DuPont near the derailment, said he rode the train with about 30 or so dignitaries and others on a special trip Friday before the service opened to the public Monday.“Once we were coming up on that curve, the train slowed down considerably,” he said, adding that “in no way did it make me feel like we were going too fast.”The train was not full. Authorities said there were 80 passengers and five on-duty crew members on board when it derailed and pulled 13 cars off the tracks. Authorities said there were three confirmed deaths. More than 70 people were taken for medical care _ including 10 with serious injuries.About two hours after the accident, a U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation said he was told at least six people were killed. The official said he had no new information to explain the discrepancy in the numbers. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?In a statement, the FBI said local police were the primary responders and there was no information suggesting “an elevated risk to Washington residents.”In a radio transmission immediately after the accident, the conductor can be heard saying the train was coming around a corner and was crossing a bridge that passed over Interstate 5 when it derailed.Dispatch audio also indicated that the engineer survived with bleeding from the head and both eyes swollen shut.“I’m still figuring that out. We’ve got cars everywhere and down onto the highway,” he tells the dispatcher, who asks if everyone is OK.Aleksander Kristiansen, a 24-year-old exchange student at the University of Washington from Copenhagen, was going to Portland to visit the city for the day.“I was just coming out of the bathroom when the accident happened. My car just started shaking really, really badly,” he said.The back of his train car was wide open because it had separated from the rest of the train, so he and others were able to jump out to safety.The train was making the inaugural run on the new route as part of a $180.7 million project designed to speed up service by removing passenger trains from a route along Puget Sound that’s bogged down by curves, single-track tunnels and freight traffic.The new bypass was built on an existing inland rail line that runs along Interstate 5 from Tacoma to DuPont, near where Train 501 derailed.last_img read more