What Makes the Top Tour Companies the Best?


If you’re investigating the opportunity of investing in tour companies or to launch one yourself, you’ll want to take a closer look at the top market leaders and comprehend deeply why they are successful.

The best have the most inbound traffic, are marketing-driven, offer high-quality tour products and talented tour guides, and they earn the highest revenues for a reason. They have a lot of success inputs as we discuss below, yet the power of marketing has to be number one.

But that doesn’t come easily, as marketing needs its inputs — data, funding, expertise, strategy.

This post might help you find those investible travel companies or tour startups that use progressive, predictive/prescriptive powered business models with very strategic marketing.  And that encompasses excellent travel content, powered up SEO, precision PPC campaigns, generous promotions, and excellent customer loyalty programs.

The Market Leader’s Approach

Market leaders don’t divulge what actually drives their success publicly — that’s their most precious asset. However, we can say they use an approach that’s data and marketing driven, which helps them design the best tour experience products, optimize ROI, and attract the best partners.

Some great companies use their expertise, technology systems and product partners to offer tour experiences that often exceed customer expectations. Travelers have a sizable range of tour marketplaces, tour operators and guided tours available for their next touring experiences.

Each company has explored and captured a niche in this massive and evolving market. Other companies have entered the full travel market via tours, while others have arrived via airfares, hotels, business travel, ecotourism, and more.

Strategy In Action

Tour companies have their strategic business paths too. They’re learning they can provide airfares, hotel rooms, dining, events, and full travel rewards programs under a tour service umbrella.

This is concerning the airlines, hotels, resorts and car rental industries, as tour companies actually want to provide the full experience many travelers hope for, including self-directed vacations. It’s not the pieces, but rather the travel experience.

Gadventures, Tourradar, IntrepidTravel, and others you’ll find on the tour marketplace post, have winning business models and sizable funding to ensure their tactics are fully exercised.

The Keys to Successful Tour Companies

What actually creates big successes is up for debate however, I offer up these essential, interconnected keys to tour business success:

  1. Tour Market Research and Knowledge: These companies collect and analyze customer data to draw a sharp tour buyer profile within a known market. They understand who their desired targets are, what tour goers want, what they spend on, what they might spend on, and which tours are likely to be continuously profitable.
  2. Strong Marketing: Whether to build reach, brand awareness, web traffic, social engagement, ppc impressions/clicks, and content immersion (blogs, video, social posts, email, etc.), marketing is the lifeblood of any tour company. With brand agnosticism, price consciousness, and competitor interference, marketing establishes an “only one for me” relationship with travelers.
  3. Exceptional Quality Tours and Tour Guides: They offer the best tours in the best destinations. They employ expert tour guides or resell great tour guides who contribute to a peak tour experience. These guides have a strong immersion within local communities to offer deeper, more meaningful interactions that todays travelers wants.
  4. Strong Brand Image and Brand Trust: Businesses are powered by their brand, and these companies take time to build on a strong brand positioning and work to improve, strengthen and build that brand power. The brand in turn helps deliver consistent quality tour experiences which build loyalty, resales, and positive word of mouth and reviews.
  5. Strong Leadership who are Strategists: Modern leaders know most brands are the same and it is very difficult to differentiate. Building a unique brand, building a travel management system, and keeping the focus on marketing needs empowered leaders.
  6. Powerful Travel Management Platform Technology: Travel management software platforms are vital for efficiently and cost effectively managing customers, accommodations, transportation, guides, and booking tours for the best tour experience. The software aids in monitoring and improving the details of the itinerary, logistics, and customer enjoyment.
  7. Great Customer Service: here, before, during, and after the tour, users need responsive communication, problem-solving, and the personal touch. Without good travel management software, and quality trained CSR’s, many trips go sour resulting in bad PR.
  8. Product Innovation, Development and Personalization: adapting to trends, opportunities and being courageous to go ahead to where customers are going, understanding opportunities, and building new profitable products, engaging with customers in new ways, and giving travelers the experience they are hoping for.
  9. Business Development: These strategies help build new business partners, suppliers, tourism partments, local businesses, and related business partner development to be integrated into their business models. This broadens presence in the market, open new sales and tour deals, builds brand, and delivers better experiences for customers.
  10. Strong Funding: Businesses with the best people and most powerful marketing strategies must have funding to compete. From marketing to AI software improvements to customer loyalty programs, million dollar funding brings them to their full power. Beyond competing and wasting dollars, is financing a inimatable dominant brand that disappears the competition.

Brand Powered, Brand Optimized

Yes, the best companies are brand-domination-focused as this positioning resonates with their target customers. Being what customers want is the best tour branding strategy. These 10 strengths above collectively will take them to success.

One such tour company to study is Tour Radar, which isn’t a market leader, but is doing so many things well. It’s best to study those companies able to adapt, innovate and excel in the future rather than the “high volume” commoditized players.

Tours are where it’s at in travel, and these companies will use a product expansion strategy to take market share away from airlines, travel portals, hotels and car rental companies, or absorb their value propositions.

Look for a firm that wants to assimilate what other travel companies are offering and which is a marketing first enterprise.


Those major tour companies who are marketing first are the horses to bet on. Product innovation can only take you so far, since quality is interpreted and communicated via the marketing team. You can take a competitive product and convince customers that it’s the best.

That’s the awesome power of advertising and content marketing. Please enjoy my posts on the Joy of Travel, what makes the best travel marketing content, how to change travelers minds, how to empower a tour company, and solve travel companies big challenges.