Why you should attend the RTO summit?
Tour operator is an organization, firm or company who buys individual travel components, separately from their suppliers and combines them into a package tour, which is sold with their price tag to the public directly or through middlemen, is called a Tour Operator. More precise tour operators are primarily responsible for delivering and performing the services specified in a given package tour. They can provide these services themselves as some have their cars and coaches, hotels and other travel-related services or can obtain these from the other suppliers. That is why they are called manufacturers of tourism products.
Tour operators are sometimes called as wholesalers but this is partially true because a wholesaler buys goods and services in bulk at his account to prepare a tour package and then retail it through the travel agencies or directly to clients. However, a tour operator who has his one or more tourists products components, (SOTC, TCI, Thomas Cook, Indo Asia KUONI formulates a new tourist product for example ‘inclusive tours.’
Why Exhibits RTO Summit in Orlandon ?
Poyther (1993) defines, “tour operator is one who has the responsibility of putting the tour ingredients together, marketing it, making reservations and handling actual operation.” Holloway (1992) stated that tour operations undertake a distinct function in the tourism industry, they purchase separate elements of tourism products/services and combine them into a package tour which they sell directly or indirectly to the tourists.
Today, tour operators have become highly competitive. They endeavor to achieve a high volume of turnover, and maximum International and domestic market share by effectively operating. Moreover, the success of many developed and developing nations as tourists’ destinations depend heavily on a tour operator’s ability to attract tourists, development and promotion of tourism plants, diversification of tourism products and their social responsibilities to develop a remote and backward area.
Inbound Tour Operators
These are also known as incoming tour operators. Technically, the operators who receive guests, clients/tourists, and handle arrangements in the host country are called inbound tour operators. For example, a group of American Tourists is coming through TCI Ltd. to India and the company makes arrangements and handles the group in India then TCI is called an inbound tour operator.
Incidentally, the inbound traffic to the country for the last two decades has been decreasing. Essentially the tour operators need to adopt innovative marketing strategies and should introduce a special interest tour to cater to the special needs of Japanese, Americans, French and British people.
Outbound Tour Operators
Tour operator who promotes tours for foreign destinations, maybe business tour or leisure tour is called outbound tour operators. For example a group of American tourists going on a trip of India and Thomas Cook handle arrangement in America like ticket reservation, hotel booking, etc. then Thomas Cook is called Outbound Tour operators in the context of America.
Domestic Tour Operators
Domestic tour operators are those who assemble, combine tourist components into inclusive tours and sell it to the domestic travelers. In general, these tour operators provide travel services within the tourist’s native country. The domestic tour operators operate within the boundary of the home country and offer package tour to the travelers’ viz. Domestic inclusive tours or independent tours.
Ground Operators/Destination Management Companies
These are commonly known as handling agencies and their main function is to organize tour arrangements for incoming tourists on the behalf of overseas operators. Let us take the case of India as a destination that – has a varied culture.
When a tour operator himself promotes beach holidays, wildlife holidays, adventure tours, heritage tours at different places, the difficulty arises. It is the ground operator then who by handling the incoming travelers in the same season but at different places ensures that the entire operation is according to the package tours or agreements. Sometime when a handling agency is at a prominent tourist place i.e., Delhi and it has to make arrangements to Goa, then it contracts (If it has no office of its own) with a local operator (known as excursion agent) to handle the arrangement on his behalf.
What is a Receptive Tour Operator (RTO)?
Receptive Tour Operators are defined as United States-based companies that specialize in creating, marketing, and selling United States travel products to International Inbound travelers. Receptive Tour Operators have unique knowledge of the countries they serve and of the destinations they sell. A Tour Operator shall be considered a Receptive when the majority of its revenue is derived from Inbound International travelers to the United States.
One of the most effective ways to get the message about your tourism programs to the visitor market is to develop a relationship with the receptive tour operators in or close to your market. A basic understanding of how they operate and what the distribution system is will help. At the top of the tourism food chain is the product. That is the shopping centers, plus hotels, airlines, attractions — anything that offers a product to the visitor market. Then “sell” the product, or offer value-added, to the receptive tour operator, who takes a variety of products, package them at a 30% discount and sells them to the tour operator/wholesaler. The tour operator then tacks on 20% and sells to the travel agent. For another 10%, you – the consumer – buy the package.
How did the Receptive Tour Operator operate?
When a tour operator is planning an itinerary in a market they are unfamiliar with, they go to the receptive for the product, since the receptive knows that market inside and out. Tour operators rely on the receptive operator to provide an interesting and unique experience as well as a smoother-running itinerary.
Receptive offer a variety of services including multi-day escorted tours, guides, meet and greets, ground transportation and packages. From a shopping center standpoint, it is important to have a relationship with both the tour operator who sells your market as well as the receptive. When the itineraries are being negotiated and your name is brought up, if either party is familiar with you, your center is much more likely to be included. Also, that tour operator has the same goal as you — selling your destination!
Hands-on adventures, optional activities, culinary demos that include participation, eco-friendly components, and the emergence of agritourist, are all examples of the newest niches in today’s motorcoach travel world, and the savvy tour operator will need to include these experiences as move further into the twenty-first century. The recent recession has certainly impacted the mindset of customers concerning travel. They are more intelligent, more skeptical, and more price-conscious. They’ll be checking out everything you offer them via the Internet because they can; they’ll question you until you wish the Internet was never invented. How can the travel professional create fresh and exciting components that will entice these new travelers to get on a motorcoach and leave the driving to us?
The receptive tour operator is your vehicle to successfully navigate these new roads. Receptive operators are regional specialists who not only anticipate changing trends, but also have long-standing relationships with local suppliers, and are constantly working with them to update and improve what they offer your customers. The receptive operator is the person who will give you, the tour operator, and the competitive edge with your loyal travelers, thus bringing them back to you time and time again.
Advantages of Working with receptive operators
Most efficient way to access international travelers
One RTO can place your product in as many as 70 countries
RTOs deliver business during off-peak times
RTOs help overcome language barriers
RTOs have access to international groups and M.I.C.E
RTOs assume currency and financial risk of collections
RTOs require issuing relatively few contracts
RTOs move distressed inventory at yields higher than OTA’s w/ less risk to brand image
RTOs indirectly provide FREE ADVERTISING in overseas markets
By placing your products in tour operator brochures, RTOs can generate unexpected direct bookings for hotels
Products/Services they offer
FIT online booking systems
Escorted group tours
Act as DMCs for international business
International leisure groups
M.I.C.E. tour programs
Meet-and-greet and ground services
RTO Summit Orlando 2020
The RTO Summit series was created in 2003 and has been tested, improved by hundreds of North American travel suppliers and receptive tour operator buyers who cover all the major and developing international markets. They host the buyers and bring them together under one roof, so you spend less to meet with the people who need to know you. Each RTO Summit program opens with a Symposium, a full day of international inbound trends, market intelligence, and panels that feature tour operators talking about their business, offering fresh insights on their booking trends–all designed to make the next day’s appointments most productive. One-on-one scheduled appointment sessions on day two take place in an intimate environment, where attendance is limited to buyer/seller ratio of 1 to 1.8—the best in the industry.
Over the past few years, more receptive tour operators have opened headquarters or tour operations in Florida to take advantage of its great weather, reasonably priced office space and the 55 million travelers who visit the area’s theme parks each year. Florida now is home to over 120 receptive companies most of which service Latin American markets, Europe and increasingly, Asia and the Middle East. RTO Summit Orlando is going to be held in Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, USA starting from 23 October. It would be a 2 days business Conference organized by Naj’s RTO Summit focusing on the companies news, products and services of the Travel & Tourism industry. RTO Summit Florida will focus on areas like adventure, travel and tourism, international hospitals, dental clinics, cosmetic procedure providers, health travel facilitators and accreditation bodies, holiday, travel, transportation, etc. RTO Summit is a boutique networking conference focused on the receptive tour operator market. The two-day conference features one day of educational sessions and one day of one-on-one marketplace meetings. RTO Summit Florida attracts between 40-60 receptive tour operators. Now offices for over 120 receptive companies servicing Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
The explosion of marketing technology presents tourism marketers with newfound challenges and enormous opportunities. The Marketing Leadership Summit will connect destination marketers with the products, services, people and ideas that will help them thrive in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive global marketplace. The summit will feature a robust educational program focusing on the trends and technologies that will transform tourism marketing in the next three to five years.
Why attend RTO Summit in Orlando
Benefits for Sellers:
Develop new international business : Instead of taking one-to-two weeks to coordinate appointments on their own, sellers meet 14-18 RTO’s in pre-qualified appointments in just one day.
Best buyer-seller ratio in the industry : Limit the number of sellers so that attendees can maximize the number of buyers they meet.
Uncluttered selling environment : purposely market to sellers outside of Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando as operators already have access to those organizations anytime. This prevents attendees from feeling like the trailing spouse at a high school reunion.
Personalized Service : The unique ratio allows to provide valuable advance intelligence about each buyer’s interests and, where possible, the staff offers informal introductions on-site.
Timely Presentation Topics : Presentation sessions will not only provide information from leading RTO’s as to their bookings but also peer into the future with a look at trends and what’s new and how to market destinations and products to the international market online.
Benefits for Buyers:
New Connections : With up to 35 new and existing suppliers and DMO’s without having to travel.
Flexibility : Ability to rotate staff from multiple departments to meet suppliers.
New Ideas : Each seller is asked to bring three new product ideas to their appointments.
Efficient Updates : Gather fresh information from 30-40 suppliers and destinations in one place.
Less In-Office Disruption : Instead of having 30 sellers disrupting your office environment, you can meet them under one roof
Help Find New Business : All operators receive free inclusion in the Receptive Finder, the only search engine in the world that allows users to search for receptive operators by language is spoken in their office. ($1000 value)
Connect Travel Events
Active America-China: An annual product development show that brings together top Chinese tour operators with invited suppliers and destinations to develop new tour opportunities.
Active America-China Receptive edition: an annual development shows that brings together Chinese receptive tour operators with invited suppliers and destinations to develop new tour opportunities.
Connect THRIVE Summit: Connect Thrive Summit is focused on community development through LGBTQ travel, sport, and entertainment. This one of a kind marketing summit features dynamic general sessions and networking events alongside a series of pre-scheduled, one-on-one connections between destinations, resorts, hotels, attractions, domestic and international tour operators and travel agents, sports rights holders, media, marketers, and brands.
E-Tourism summit: join fellow destinations and suppliers at the 20th anniversary of ETS to get up to the minute examples of the latest applications, practices, and innovations in digital media.
RTO Summit West/East/Florida: A marketplace and conference bringing together receptive tour operators with destinations and suppliers.
Travel Ability summit: A business to business event that will bring together destinations, airports, attractions, travel providers with accessible product innovators to spur further ideas and products that will make travel easier for those with physical, behavioral and cognitive disabilities.
The goal: making destinations accessible to everyone.
New Feature Introduced at NAJ’s RTO Summit—Suppliers Meet with Receptive in Small Groups
At its recent RTO Summit in Orlando, NAJ introduced a new concept that brought together receptive tour operators with suppliers, hoteliers and DMOs in Collaborative Product Development Roundtables—a sort of “meet-appaloosa” format, in which eight receptive operators each had a roundtable at which they sat, with suppliers moving from table-to-table in 20-minute sessions during which they introduced themselves to the operator in preparation for one-on-one meetings the following day. “The format proved very useful, as it provided suppliers with an opportunity to introduce themselves to the operator and prepare both for additional meetings and networking opportunities during which they can get to know one another,” said NAJ founder and CEO Jake Steinman, who added, “we’ve received some suggestions for improvements in the format that will likely result in some tweaking here and there but, basically, it’s a ‘go’ for future NAJ events.”
“Both buyer and supplier enjoy what is more a less a preview of what operators are looking for and the collaborative possibilities that might not have developed in the absence of such a session,” he explained. The following are photos of the roundtable sessions.
Introducing new Digital tools for International sales: Sometimes against their will, subjected RTO summit attendees to an e-Tourism for International education day to train international sales professionals on using cost-efficient digital marketing tools to supplement traditional relationship marketing and advance their careers. Additionally, professional development enhancement such as executive coaching sessions and International sales strategy sessions were added to the one-on-one sessions at RTO Summit West.
Affordable Luncheon Sponsorships: NAJ announced its “Sponsorship-Buy-the-Minute” feature for its upcoming RTO Summit West in Los Angeles in February 2020. Timed, one, two or three-minute presentations will run during the event’s marketplace lunch where sellers will be able to present to all operators for as little as $950.
DMO as Matchmaker: In 2020, DMO will play a major role in introducing their independent hotels to receptive tour operators at all RTO Summit events. NAJ is launching the Year of the Independent Hotel initiative, which will reward DMO’s bringing a list of independent properties with additional promotion support.
The RTO Summit is an ideal event to make many new buyer relationships in a short period of time. As a matter of fact, one receptive relationship met at the RTO Summit three years ago has resulted in over $1.5 million in business each of the last two years. It was the intimate nature of the Summit that helped them bond earlier than is possible at other events. It is a tremendous asset to even a smaller DMO. It allows us to see many new companies over one day as well as reconnect with current business partners. The education sessions are also a great way to learn about trends and the latest and greatest. Always recommend that DMOs and suppliers attend NAJ’s RTO Summit events because that is the fastest and most cost-effective way to get your product distributed to the international market. When they meet an overseas operator, that operator can sell your product only in their markets, whereas one RTO relationship can distribute your product in up to 70 countries. The fact that you have seminars the day before which includes market intelligence that enhances the 1-to-1 appointments on the next day.
“What differentiates RTO Summits from other trade shows is that NAJ’s reputation with tour operators has resulted in fewer no shows and a higher quality of tour operator. Also, where I may randomly run into an operator in the aisle at one of the larger trade show, NAJ’s Summit’s policy of limiting attendance allows me to further the relationships along faster and get business sooner” said Sally Berry, the tourism Sales and Marketing Manager, CTP, CMP, Corning Museum of Glass.
Business Opportunity option
Each year, the Federation participates in several commercial events to recruit new buyers. Following its participation, the Federation receives requests for specific needs from tour operators, needs in hotels, restaurants, attractions, services, and others. To provide a continuous service to its members, the Federation will send these members "leads" with the needs and contacts of the tour operator as a business card. The member must follow up with the client.
Since this practice depends on the needs expressed or not expressed by the tour operator, receptive or travel agency, the Federation does not guarantee a minimum of follow-ups for each participant to a marketplace or trade shows. Events concerned by "business opportunity" follow-ups are those mentioned in the benefits of a tourism associate member.