The travel trade are intermediaries such as tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and online travel agents who play a significant role in attracting visitors to White Cliffs Country. Working with the travel trade is an effective and valuable way of reaching larger numbers of potential travellers in global markets.
Attracting visitors to your business requires some specialist industry awareness and an understanding of all the different kinds of travel trade activity. It’s important to know how the sector works from a business point of view, for example, the commission system, so that tourism products can be priced accordingly.
Developing your offer to the required standard needs an understanding of different travel styles, language, cultural and culinary considerations and so on. Working with this market can open up new opportunities and encourage visitors to spend longer exploring White Cliffs Country.
The key travel trade distribution channels are:
WHOLESALERS - Tour wholesalers are located in the consumer’s country of origin and supply touring options, including transport, accommodation, tours and attractions. Wholesalers link individual tourism businesses with retailers and do not sell directly to the public.
TOUR OPERATORS -Tour operators offer travel at lower rates than a person or business could get by booking their travel on their own. They offer tours that buy services from different accommodation providers, attractions and transport companies. They book blocks of their inventories and can combine these services into different tours. A tour operator may sell direct to the consumer or through travel agents and may promote their tours in print or online.
TRAVEL AGENTS (TAs) - Travel agents sell holiday and travel products to the consumer and are based in the consumer’s country of origin. They are a link to the international consumer and sell a range of products to the consumer through storefront/walk-in locations and call centres and generally focus on out-of-country destinations.
INBOUND TOUR OPERATORS (ITOs) - Also known as a ground handler or destination management company (DMC) which specialises in packaging and bundling programmes and itineraries for marketing and selling to the overseas travel trade. ITOs can be very helpful in getting your product to market.
ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS (OTAs) – This market is the fastest growing distribution channel for travel products. They deal directly both with the consumer and tourism businesses. Consumers can purchase individual products or experiences, a specific tour or an entire holiday package. OTAs are online versions of the traditional travel agent or tour operator, acting as a bridge between consumers and suppliers and deal directly with consumers and tourism products.
GROUP AND COACH TRAVEL - Group and coach travel broadly fall into three categories:
- Touring Holidays: When visitors come to White Cliffs Country for a coach tour holiday they generally book their trip via a tour operator whose role is to put together and package a mix of things to see and do, places to stay and organise the coach. Examples include Shearings.
- Day and Overnight Trips: Visitors go on short trips of one or two days. These trips are generally from (and return to) the main urban centres and take in many popular tourist attractions and sights that are not easily, or readily, accessible by public transport.
- Group tour organisers, corporate clients and businesses, schools and social groups: They plan their own tours for work groups, societies and special interest groups and contract with independent coach operators for the transport element of the tours.
ONLINE TRAVEL DISTRIBUTION - With the growth of the internet, many traditional travel distributors such as wholesalers and travel agents are taking an online approach in addition to, or as an alternative to selling their services from a retail shop front.
Online and traditional distribution partners have the opportunity to work both with each other, and directly with their customers and local tourism businesses who supply tourism product (e.g. accommodation, tours etc.).
It’s important to know each partner’s role in the travel trade and how you can benefit from your part in the distribution network. The travel trade and the distribution network are dynamic, with new players, products and experiences joining all the time.
We understand the importance of the travel trade and will be exploring how we work with this sector over the coming months.
The Travel Trade is extremely important to White Cliffs Country. The rich history and international status of this unique area – togethers with its 100 visitor attractions, 48 ancient monuments, 12 museums, 57 conservation areas, 21 historic parks and gardens, 30 walking routes and 9 cycle trails - combine to make White Cliffs Country the envy of many travel destinations. Strategically, White Cliffs Country boasts a great location with London just 77 miles from Dover and mainland Europe just a short hop by ferry or Eurotunnel.
With London and the Continent so easily accessible; and with Deal, Dover and Sandwich providing an abundance of visitor opportunities, fully equipped to meet the needs of groups; you won’t want to miss what White Cliffs Country can offer the Travel Trade. Our team can support you with advice and develop bespoke itineraries to match the interest and needs of the group.
We have prepared some direct links to get you to some useful information very quickly or why not check out our Travel Trade Guide for starters?
Useful direct links
White Cliffs Country Printed Guides
White Cliffs Country Getting Here and Parking Information
White Cliffs Country Itineraries
White Cliffs Country Promotional Videos
White Cliffs Country Social Media Channels
As part of partnership working with the White Cliffs Country Tourism Association, a general information sheet for Dover, Deal and Sandwich has been produced. Download a copy to add to any information folders you may have for your visitors. The information sheet contains contact details on the local Visitor Information Centre, Banks, Car Parking, Doctors’ Surgeries, Dentists, Garages and lots more…
Download a copy of our multi-lingual leaflets for White Cliffs Country. The leaflets for Dover, Deal and Sandwich contain useful information including attractions, walking routes, shopping and details on how to get around whilst visiting the area.