Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Admission rates/ rack discount for FIT (Foreign Independant Traveler)

    Posted 05-08-2017 05:09 PM

    To colleagues involved in negotiations with Inbound Tour Operators:
    We've been receiving input from Inbound Tour Operators to offer FIT rates, to attract more international travelers. They are indicating that a 30% discount is the minimum acceptable rate. Does anyone have experience in this area? 
    - Do you accept vouchers?
    - Do you get paid promptly?
    - What kind of volume do you see?
    - Any issue with this being a lower rate than your group rate?

    Admissions revenue is essential to our operation, and we don't want to turn away business, but also have a cost/visitor to consider, as well as wanting to be equitable to our group clients that send us many tours.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Margit



    ------------------------------
    Margit Hotchkiss
    Deputy Director of Audience and Business Development
    Norman Rockwell Museum
    Stockbridge MA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Admission rates/ rack discount for FIT (Foreign Independant Traveler)

    Posted 05-09-2017 06:25 PM
    Hello Margit,

    For a tour operator to include your museum in their program[s], they need to make some money on the deal. The discount you offer should be determined by the number of visitors they send you, or offer to send. The discounted rate should not be published, & should be reviewed annually. To avoid an administrative nightmare, you could have a 3 tiered pricing system:
    rack rate [full price]
    discounted rate for seniors & groups [published]
    preferred rate for tour operators/travel agents [not published]

    Tour operators expect you to accept vouchers, especially for F.I.T.'s [individual travelers]. If you invoice the client monthly, you can expect to wait another month for payment. You should only enter into a voucher agreement with companies you know & trust. If you don't know them, call the hotels or other attractions they use.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions.


    ------------------------------
    David Singleman
    Group Coordinator
    J. Paul Getty Museum
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Admission rates/ rack discount for FIT (Foreign Independant Traveler)

    Posted 05-11-2017 09:22 AM
    Thank you David! Very helpful information.

    ------------------------------
    Margit Hotchkiss
    Deputy Director of Audience and Business Development
    Norman Rockwell Museum
    Stockbridge MA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Admission rates/ rack discount for FIT (Foreign Independant Traveler)

    Posted 05-11-2017 09:51 AM

    Hi Margit-

    The Corning Museum of Glass offers FIT rates to select tour operators. Before we start accepting the vouchers, the tour operators fill out a credit application and our accounting department approves them for a $ amount that we agree on.

    We offer a discounted rate to non – commercial group tours ( like church groups, fraternal organizations or family reunions) and a larger discount ( around 30%) to tour companies that send groups or FIT. So we have the same discount for groups and FIT. If you can't offer a 30% discount for an FIT voucher, start with what you can, understanding that only some tour operators will want to work with you.

    We usually get paid promptly (30 days after they are invoiced as David mentioned). If there are payment issues, accounting usually has me call them since I have a relationship with the tour operator.

    We don't see a huge volume of vouchers submitted, but I look at it as a marketing investment. We get promoted online and in print to potential visitors that we could never afford to reach otherwise.

    My other suggestion concerns Viator. Are you working with them yet? They are basically an online tour operator specializing in attractions and activities. They are now owned by Trip Advisor and if you have a contract with Viator, Trip Advisor will install a 'Book in Advance' option so visitors to your listing can pre-purchase tickets. Viator is an international company so while many people will still go to a travel agency to book their flights and hotels, they are much more comfortable booking their own activities.

    Also, Viator is building a platform for tour operators so smaller tour companies will be able to purchase your tickets there  (and make a small profit) without having to go through contracting with multiple smaller attractions.

    Hope that helps!



    ------------------------------
    Sally Berry
    Tourism Sales & Marketing Manager
    Corning Museum of Glass
    Corning NY
    ------------------------------