One Website, Multiple Touring Companies
Say you want to embark on a Moselle River Bike Path Tour. You can search for bike touring companies on the internet, and you will easily find hundreds of different companies. Locating a company is easy. Deciding which tour company to use is more difficult. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could sort through all the different companies and find the best ones? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could book multiple tours using just one company? It would certainly take a lot of the hassle out of planning your active travel vacation.
What is an Active Travel Tour Consolidator?
Fortunately you can use just one tour consolidator to find and book bike tours with many different tour companies. These tour consolidators have already done all the hard work of finding local active travel tour companies and consolidating them into a single website so that you can search for the ideal bike tours or hiking tours all with one-stop-shopping. And fortunately, you don’t pay any extra for this service. The major active travel tour consolidators charge the exact same price for the tours they advertise as the individual tour companies that they feature. I will use the bike tours on Tripsite.com as an example of how tour consolidators work.
Hundreds of Bike Tours on One Website
So here’s how it works: You want to go on a bike tour. You have a general idea of where you want to go and a vague idea of what type of bike touring experience you’d like. For example, you may want a self-guided bike tour in Germany. The Tripsite website allows you to choose your tours by the following categories:
- type of tour (i.e. guided tour, self-guided tour, bike & barge, etc.)
- location of tour (by country)
- month of tour
- level of difficulty
- price range
Who Offers the Actual Bike Tours?
The actual bike tours are offered by local bike tour companies. The bike tour consolidators act as the point of contact between you and the local tour companies. Once again, they do not charge you extra for this service. They usually make a small commission off of each tour, and that is paid by the actual tour company, not you. Basically, everyone benefits from this business model. The bike tour consolidator is responsible for finding great bike tour companies, compiling these companies all in one location and then helping you, the bike tour customer, book an ideal bike tour. This allows the actual bike tour providers to focus on organizing the best bike tours and not have to spend lots of time and money on marketing, web design and the rest of the administrivia that goes along with the business.
What Makes a Good Bike Tour Consolidator?
Here’s what you should look for in a good bike tour consolidator:
- A well designed website that is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye
- The ability to search for bike tours using a range of criteria
- The ability to perform a general search using keywords. (a search function on the website)
- A company that is easy to contact using multiple modes of communication
- live-chat (This is a great tool for getting information, especially in the early stages of your search.)
- toll-free phone number
- email and/or contact button/page
- A company that offers numerous different types of bike tours in a wide variety of locations
- Good customer service (You can usually tell, with your first contact, whether or not the company provides good service. Do they answer your questions? If the person can’t answer your question, are they willing and able to contact someone else in the company who can?)
Bike Tour Consolidator Reviews
In future Active Travel Tour blog-posts, I’ll review a number of active travel tour consolidators. Of course I’ll also review the local tour companies that actually provide the bike tours, hiking tours, canoe trips, snowshoe excursions and more. If you’re interested in specific touring companies, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll see what I can find out.