Don’t Make These Four Mistakes on Your Tour Description Pages

Kelsey Tonner of Guest Focus recently spoke with Arival about mistakes many tour and activity operators make with their websites, and how to transform those pages into “irresistible tour description pages that sell more tours.”

Reading Time: 2:35

How do you get visitors on your website to click that all-important “book now” button?

“A lot of tour businesses, operators don’t have a background in sales,” explains Tonner, himself a former tour leader and founder of the Be A Better Guide project, which he managed before shifting his focus to helping tour businesses grow with Guest Focus. “We have people skills and public speaking skills but are not necessarily sales people.” 

As a result, a lot of tour operators have blind spots that are “killing conversions” when it comes to one of the most important sales tools: the tour description page. Here are Tonner’s biggest offenders, and what to do instead to drive more bookings.

Mistake #1: Try to be everything to everybody

Writing descriptions that will appeal to as many people as possible might seem like good business sense, but it may actually be hurting you. “Tour descriptions are effective at driving sales when they are aimed at a specific target guest,” explains Tonner. 

Arizona Party Bike is a great example. Instead of having just one generic tour description page for each of their bike tours, they now have tour description pages for very specific guests types, from bachelorette parties to divorce parties to corporate team events. Now, if you Google “divorce party Arizona,” Arizona Party Bike shows up in the top five links. 

Arizona Party Bike offers landing pages for an assortment of niche guest types

Mistake #2: Use beautiful photos of scenery and landscapes

While an awe-inspiring photo of a snow-capped mountain, beach sunset or beautiful waterfall may seem like the ideal image to draw in starry-eyed customers, in actuality these types of images miss the mark. “Fifty percent of images should be of smiling guests, smiling guides” advises Tonner. Photos featuring people allow your potential guests to visualize themselves already on your tour. 

Case in point: the two screenshots below are from the same tour, before and after optimizing the tour description page. The first page header shows a waterfall that might be seen on the tour, while the new page header shows what the guest experience will actually be like on the tour.

Same tour, different feature images, before and after optimizing

ARIVAL 360 | ORLANDO

9-12 October 2023

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for solutions-focused In-Destination Experience
creators and sellers

Learn More

Mistake #3: Avoid talking about what frustrates your potential guests 

Rather than avoiding the things that might keep customers away, Tonner recommends calling these things out, and using them to your advantage. 

An FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on your tour description page is an ideal space to do this. What are the “pain points” for the tour, what is keeping people from booking? “Use your FAQ in really laser-focused ways, to overcome objections” advises Tonner.

For example, are customers concerned about the risk associated with booking the tour in advance? Rather than “burying your cancellation policy in fine print,” Tonner recommends making it explicit, as a clear refund policy “sends that really fantastic message that these people are willing to back up their tours.”

Travelers want to know you’re willing to back up your tours if something goes wrong. Photo by Gustavo Fring / Pexels

Mistake #4: Link out to reviews!

You’ve already done the hard work to get them onto your page. Why would you send them away? “Do NOT have any outbound links from your tour description page,” Tonner says emphatically.

While it is essential to provide those credibility indicators, don’t send customers away to find that social proof. They will likely end up on a booking site where they can just as easily book your tour, unknowingly leaving part of their money with said booking site as commission. Instead, Tonner advises putting those testimonials on each individual tour page: “100% call out the fact that you’ve got 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor etc, but do not link out!

These reviews on the Granite Falls Tour description page provide “social proof” without linking out to the sites mentioned

Join us at Arival 360 | Las Vegas in October where Kelsey Tonner will lead a workshop on tour descriptions and tour pages that convert and be available for one-on-one sessions with attendees to give feedback on specific tour pages.

KELSEY TONNER
Founder
Guest Focus Tour Business Coaching

GET ON THE LIST!

Sign up to receive insights tailored for the in-destination industry as well as updates on Arival.

Sign Up

Become a Pro Access member to save 20% on Arival in-person events and gain access to 600+ articles, 350+ on-demand videos, 45+ research reports, guides and more, starting at just $179/year.

trending

THE ARIVAL INSIDER PRO ACCESS MEMBERSHIP; YOU GET ALL THIS TO HELP YOU ADVANCE YOUR BUSINESS.

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Arival.guides
Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021.

Arival.travel articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Free Arival 360 online event
Free registration for Arival 360 Online events ($300 value)

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview
ARIVAL CODE OF CONDUCT​
CONFERENCES AND COMMUNITY SPACES​

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from the event at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected] or +1.720.410.9395


Get on the List
Sign up to receive insights tailored for the in-destination industry as well as updates on Arival.
  *
 *
 *
 *
 
 
You can sign up to receive email updates from topics that may interest you.
*Required fields
Note: It is our responsibility to protect your privacy and we guarantee that your data will be completely confidential.