- Personal Finance
How to make money from tourism
Books about tourism
Making money from tourism
Here are the steps that I do to make money from tourism.
Step 1. Making field survey
In the afternoons, I like to ride my mountain bike. Every time, I see an interesting place, I will take out my camera and make some pictures of it. I also interview the owner of the place, for instance an art gallery. There is a small painting gallery around 200 meters at the back of my house. I have put it into the itinerary of Manokwari city tour that I promote on the internet. Since last year, I have brought a lot of tourists to the gallery. The artist who owns the painting gallery is very happy because she can make money now. For 1-day city tour, the number of places that tourists will visit is between 5 to 10 such as the traditional market, restaurants, art gallery, or a nearby wooden boat harbor.
Step 2. Composing itineraries
To sell a tour package. I have to make itineraries that I will put inside the travel brochure that I promote on my ecotourism blog. The duration of the tour is from 1 day to 2 weeks. The following is the simplified itinerary for an effective 3 day tour in Manokwari, that I have promoted to tourists. Day 4 is the departure from the town, so the effective tour is 3 days.
- Day 1. Arrival in Manokwari city, Transfer from airport to hotel, Manokwari city tour (look at the table below for detailed explanation of its itinerary)
- Day 2. Morning walk in the Table Mountain where tourists will be able to watch birds and see tropical rainforest, and snorkeling at Arfai beach in the Afternoon.
- Day 3. Visiting Mansinam island (sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and village tour)
- Day 4. Transfer from the hotel to airport where tourists will fly back to Jakarta and then back to their country.
In the first day, you see that I mention Manokwari city tour. The following is the detail about it:
Step 3. Composing a travel brochure in PDF file.
When the itineraries have been written, the next step that I do is making a travel brochure. I use Microsoft Publisher to make it. Because I will distribute it on the internet, I only make it available in the PDF file. After that I upload the file into my account in Google Docs. The travel brochure is updated regularly. The content of the brochure is explanations about the places that I offer to tourists, and some information about flights to Manokwari city and of course, the prices of the tour packages that I include in the brochure.
Step 4. Creating a website or blog to promote my eco-tourism tour package.
I will not explain in details how the website is made. I use blogger.com which is a free blogging platform from Google. You can use this hubpages.com to promote your city or town too. Just visit my article Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat (targeting international tourists) to see how I promote my tour packages. Some travel agencies in Europe, China, the USA and Indonesia help me promote the package to tourists. If your target market is Asians, you need to contact travel agencies in Singapore, Denpasar Bali, Beijing, or Tokyo for a cooperation in selling your tour packages to Asian tourists. Remember, the economy in Asia is booming. More Asian people have got a lot of money now. Perhaps, they will be interested in buying the tour packages that you offer to them.
My tourism promotional video about snorkeling in Mansinam island
Make videos to create more impressive promotional campaigns
Today, with the availability of free video hosting service such as Youtube, anybody can upload their videos without having to pay for an expensive hosting space. I have created some promotional videos about my tourism program that I offer to tourists. Attracting tourists through video presentation is more effective than just presenting them with a thick brochure. It is better to make simple brochure with further explanations in the form of videos.
Sample of an itinerary of Manokwari City Tour - Duration 4 Hours
Tourists are picked up at their hotel
15.10 - 16.00
Our first destination is traditional market of Sanggeng. Here tourists will be able to see the activities of city dwellers selling and buying various kinds of goods from food and vegetables to electronics.
We leave the market to traditional wooden boat harbor in Anggrem area, on the other side of Dorey bay.
Tourists spend time exploring the harbor taking pictures seascapes, cityscapes from the sea, and various kinds of wooden boats.
Tourists leave the harbor by walking to an art gallery that is located on the main street of the city. They will pass by a sport center where they will be able to see a lot of children playing football, basket ball and other kind of sports.
17.10 - 18.00
They will arrive at the block where Papuan artists live. They can see and buy handycrafts and wood carvings made by some local artists.
18.00 - 18.15
Walking to shopping center
18.15 - 19.00
Tourists can do some shopping and eat at the ground floor cafetaria.
Step 5. Answering emails
Shortly after the blog is launched, I begin to receive emails from people who want to enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and snorkeling in Manokwari. They inform me about the date of their arrival in and departure from Manokwari. After reading and answering their emails, I will meet them at the airport.
Step 6. Guiding the tourists
At a set date, I go to the airport to meet the tourists. I will guide them according to the itinerary which they have chosen. Sometimes, the itinerary has to be changed due to weather condition. So, when the sea is not calm and tourists cannot enjoy snorkeling, I have to offer them another place such as the northern coast of Manokwari where they can enjoy hiking along the bank of Asai river, or cycling along the suburban area of Manokwari.
Step 7. Receiving the guiding fee
After traveling around with the tourists for 3 days or 2 weeks, I will receive the payment for my services. Most often, I receive tip from them. As a matter of fact, payment can also be done before the tourists arrive in my town. They can send the money for the tour package using Western Union or bank transfer. If they use bank transfer, I will send them my savings account number and swift code of the bank. In less than 3 days, I receive the money.
My ecotourism promotional video about birdwatching in Arfak mountains
Snorkeling and Wildlife Watching as the vocal points of my ecotourism program
There are a lot of activities that we can offer to tourists depending on the terrain condition and the facilities that we can provide. Because my tourism business is oriented on ecology, the vocal points that I choose are snorkeling and wildlife watching. Manokwari bay - where I live have several coral reef areas. Snorkeling has been the most favorite activity that tourists like to do when traveling to this tropical island. After snorkeling, tourists can go hiking in the Arfak mountains to watch birds of paradise, butterflies and the green vegetation that grow there. If you live in sub-tropical region, your vocal points will not be the same as what I have got here. Choose tourism activities that are more suitable to your surrounding environment so that you will serve them better. Don't try to offer activities that are not easy to be provided to your customers. I can make money from snorkeling package that I offer to tourists because the environment where I live has got pristine coral reef with hundreds of species of fish living in it.
Promoting your Eco-tours website
Launching a new eco-tours website does not automatically attract a lot of readers or viewers to your website. You need to promote your website through various marketing channels. Fortunately, you can do it fast now without having to spend a lot of money. Here are some of the things that you need to do to promote your tourism website:
- Contact travel agencies around the world for possible cooperation. If your tour packages are interesting, they will email you back. The business cooperation between you and them has to be profitable on both parties. Find their address by typing such keywords as travel agencies in Google, Bing or Yahoo.
- Consider of creating or joining certain lists or e-groups. If your tour is about cycling tour, you can join cycling list in Yahoo groups. Or if your tour is about birdwatching, you can join birding pics group in Yahoo groups too.
- Adwords - Have you ever heard about it? It is an advertising services provided by Google. If you are really serious about your tourism business, you need to consider spending some money on buying ads space from Google.
- Printed or electronic media - You can invite journalist from certain printed or electronic medias to come and participate in your tour. They will write reviews about them. Most often, they will not always give positive reviews about your tour packages. Professional journalists will give objective reviews. They may give some suggestions for the improvements of your services to future customers.
Because most of my promotional articles are uploaded in my blog and hubs, I can make money from them using Google Adsense. In other words, even before the tourists buy the tour package that I offer on the internet, I already have got some money from my writings. Internet is great, isn't it?
Creating jobs for local people
By promoting and selling tour packages about my town and its surrounding islands and mountains on the internet, I have created jobs for myself and other people. An old woman who is a handicraft artist in my town thanked me for bringing tourists to her home based gallery (which is the living room). She can now sell a lot of pandanus bags, and woven clothes to tourists who are mostly from Europe. It is not difficult to develop a tour package. All you need to do is implementing above steps that I have done and sell your tour packages to anybody around the world.
Government regulation and Job Creation
How about government regulation on tourism business? Don't worry, all governments around the world need hard currency. So, they will fully support your tourism business. They will also be happy because your tour packages can create jobs to other citizens. I have done this.
You can do it too!
You can use this article as your reference to develop your own tourism program. Since every place has its own uniqueness, you need to develop itineraries that are more suitable for you and the surrounding environment of your town. This how to make money in tourism article is not a theory. It is my practical experience. If you are really serious in this tourism business, you can try it. Read this article word by word and try to implement my techniques and strategy in attracting tourists. I believe that you can make it too.