Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about TourConnect.
Challenges of a tourism industry newbie
In 2004, Michael Herrmann started Bonza Bike Tours in Sydney, Australia. New to the tourism industry, Mike began the difficult process of learning about, and breaking into, distribution via tour operators and travel agents. Mike found this distribution channel came with challenges – hard to find new partners, hard to communicate effectively with existing partners, hard to quickly adjust to market conditions, and hard to modify product information when needed.
Struggles of an industry striving to remain competitive
Frustrated with these costly inefficiencies, Mike started asking questions from the perspective of the tour operators and travel agents he worked with. He came to understand that tour operators deal with a massive administrative burden when facilitating the distribution of product. Tour operators use commissions and system load fees to offset these administrative expenses, but these fees can create resentment with suppliers. Having seen the process from both sides, it was clear that the rate distribution process was clearly broken. There had to be a better way.
Vision for an efficient, profitable industry that works together
TourConnect is Mike’s effort to improve the industry he loves. Our goals go beyond improving individual processes. We are building a network where we all work together as partners to make the travel and tourism industry more competitive. We are building tools, and an ecosystem, to encourage cross-company collaboration throughout the industry. We are building the future of tourism.
TourConnect is passionate about providing great tools as we build a network of travel suppliers, tour operators, and agents into a truly connected industry. This means making it easy to find partners and manage partner relationships, contact information, and communications.
Universal Rate Format
TourConnect intends to eliminate the rate emails, spreadsheets, and company-specific websites that create so much duplicate effort for our industry. Travel suppliers will enter their rate and product information a single time and use that information, with simple updates, for years to come.
TourConnet will make communication and product introduction easier, faster, and more accurate than ever before. Imagine discovering a partner, finding great products, exchanging rates, and seeing new offers – in minutes. Together, we can do it.
As an industry, we need to stop trying to do everything on our own. It’s time to come together - the day tours, the hotels, the tour operators, the travel agents - each of us choosing to be part of something bigger than ourselves.Mike Herrmann, TourConnect Founder
TourConnect is a company with a purpose - to unite and improve the tourism industry. Work is fun and inspiring when the reasons why you're doing it are so crystal clear.Brad Herrmann, TourConnect Partner
Kim is the consummate PR professional. She has experienced the industry from the agency perspective and as an independent expert. She has extensive experience in the travel and tourism industry, and has a passion for keeping the industry connected.
* While we would never question Kim's motives, it does seem odd that she has worked with Tourism Australia and many islands...when she lives in Boston!