All tour operators who manage resources for their tours are faced with this question. How can you maximise your income without overbooking?
In general, resource management is the way a company aims to efficiently use their resources.
For tour operators, a resource is something that has limited availability that is required for your tours and activities. A resource can be a vehicle (eg. a bus, boat, car, or helicopter), a person (eg. guide, instructor, driver), or even a venue.
Without an efficient way to manage resources, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of overbooking your tours. You may have booked out the same boat for two separate tours that go at the same time, leaving you with the administrative hassle of adjusting it all.
To avoid this kind of scenario, use the following tips. In no time, you’ll be making the most of your resources.
1. Plan out your resources
To get organised, you need to plan out your resources:
- What resources will be needed for each tour session?
- What time period is required for each tour session?
Be sure to include things like the time it takes to prepare your resource for the next session.
2. Reduce staff turnover
The longer your staff stay, the more familiar they will be with your process. This means that:
- They will be better at reducing overbookings
- The preparation time for resources between each tour session will be minimised
The only way to make them stay is to keep them happy. How? By making them feel valued and appreciated.
Your staff should enjoy working with you because you show them respect, listen to them when they make suggestions, and honestly consider taking their feedback on board.
3. Automate it with technology
Switzer recommends that you automate any aspect which can be automated using technology, because “it will minimise the risks of mistake and free up manpower to reallocate elsewhere.”
However, it’s important to test that there are no glitches with your technology. Otherwise, it will defeat the purpose.
Modern tour booking software will provide a resource management tool so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not the resource is available.
For example, one of our customers had this to say about our resource-dependant calendar:
“The Rezdy system (recommended by another tour operator) is much more suited to my tour company than the previous system I was using. I have multiple tour options all travelling on one bus. The system automatically adjusts the availability for all the options as people book, so I’m never overbooked and I don’t have to adjust availability myself manually. That’s the best feature for me, but overall, once I got the hang of the back end, I find it has many useful features and is user-friendly. And it looks good on my site, which is important. Plus there’s good support from the company.”
— Mac McCrostie, The Little Penguin Bus