Attention Tour Operators Affected by COVID-19 Lockdowns...

Come Back Stronger Than Ever and Grow a Predictable, Profitable, and Prosperous Tour Business

Get access to tools, resources, and community that have never before been available to tour operators like you.

Independent Tour Operators are the most important element of travel, yet the most underserved and undervalued.

We bring every destination to life. We are passionate about what we do and we offer our knowledge to travelers from around the world.

We teach travelers about the history and culture of our destinations.

We teach travelers about sustainability and the environment.

We guide travelers through the most challenging terrain.

We uncover hidden secrets and help travelers appreciate the world.

We work hard to turn what we love into a business that can sustain us, our families, and our employees.

But when we look around, who is guiding Tour Operators through the challenging terrain of our businesses? See if any of these sound familiar...

You run into a challenge and look for answers online, but find only generic (or outdated) information that leaves you even more confused.

You’re getting some bookings, but not enough to fill your tours or grow your operation.

You’re paying way too much in commission fees to OTAs or have completely avoided listing on OTAs because you can’t afford the commission fees.

You feel like you’re competing in a sea of similar tours and don’t know how to differentiate yourself from the rest.

You’re stuck doing all the work yourself and don’t know how to pull away so that you can focus on the important things that will actually grow your business.

You feel lonely in your tour business journey and have nowhere to turn to for help.

If any or many of these sounds familiar…

You are not alone, and it is not your fault.

The industry is dominated by a few huge companies that dictate the rules of the game and leave us scrambling to find answers in the dark.

Independent Tour Operators are the most important element of travel, yet the most underserved and undervalued.

There is no global travel association focused exclusively on the growth of your tour business.

There is a complete lack of new technology solutions, apps, or software designed specifically for the needs and day-to-day tasks of Tour Operators to grow their businesses.

Existing OTAs take too big a cut of your booking revenue to solely rely on for your business to grow and thrive.

There are no comprehensive and detailed training materials (like step-by-step guides) that walk us through high-impact growth strategies and experiencing immediate and beneficial results.

The problem is not you. It’s the tour operator industry.

What if you had the resources, support, tools, and skills necessary to generate a consistent and predictable flow of bookings in your tour business… without putting your destiny in the hands of expensive OTAs?

Maybe you’d find an entirely new audience that’s interested in your tours.

Maybe you’d have to start turning away customers or charging more for your tours.

Maybe you’d be in a position to refer customers to others and earn commissions, too.

Maybe you’d have the opportunity to expand your business with new tours or locations.

These are just a few of the doors that joining ITA can crack open for you.

The good news…

You don't have to figure it all out on your own.

You don’t need to make any more expensive mistakes. As an ITA member, you learn from others who have been there, done that, and step around the pitfalls instead of falling into them.

ITA Mentors

Vitaliy Levit

Vitaliy was traveling the world when he was presented with an opportunity to start a whale watching and yacht charter business in the Canary Islands, Spain. With no prior tourism industry experience, he built the business to 240.000€ in revenue the first year, and then almost doubled that to 450.000€ in the second year. In the third year, the global pandemic derailed their trajectory to 800.000€. Prior to starting his travel company, he served in Executive Marketing positions for several technology companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. In his 10-year marketing career, he was directly responsible for generating over $100 Million in revenue using innovative growth strategies. Now, he is the founder of ITA and is dedicated to providing the same resources that Silicon Valley companies benefit from to Independent Tour Operators around the world.

Pablo Gertsch

Pablo has a background in Business Intelligence and SEO. He worked as Head of Marketing for a booking software for tour operators when he noticed that many of them were struggling with fully utilising online marketing opportunities. Pablo decided to contact the most talented colleagues he worked with in the past and together they co-founded LeHype, a fully remote digital marketing agency specialised in the tourism industry.

Chris Torres

Chris has 26 years’ experience working in brand development and marketing, and he’s spent the last 14 years running the Tourism Marketing Agency. His mission is a simple but challenging one: to educate the tour, activity and travel sector on how to better acquire customers and grow their business through direct bookings. He is also the author of the best-selling book, ‘How to Turn your Online Lookers into Bookers’, a brand and marketing book aimed at tour operators looking to grow their brand.

Erik Hatterscheidt

Erik has worked face-to-face with over 1000 business owners in his marketing consultancy and his passion is changing their lives through marketing. He markets his own small resort and international tour company using methods he’s borrowed from over 100 industries and combined in unique ways to build waiting lists that number in the hundreds. He has won awards on a national level for his passionate work as a thought leader and marketing strategist. He has been quoted in CBC, NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC and is a keynote speaker for business and marketing conferences around the world.

Christian Watts

Christian is the founder and CEO of Magpie Travel, a company focused on content management for the tours and activities sector. He is best known in the industry as founder and CEO of City Sightseeing, San Francisco’s first operatorof hop-on hop-off and day-tour sightseeing. From its founding in March 1997, the company’s fleet grew to 25 open-top double-decker buses carrying over 200,000 passengers annually. Christian is a native of Newcastle, UK, and a graduate in Economics from the University of Leeds, UK. An early adopter and proponent of web-based distribution strategies, he is a frequent speaker on the topic at industry conferences.

Ingrid Edstrom

Ingrid is a professional speaker, accounting nerd, and CEO of the award winning consulting firm, Polymath LLC in Ashland, Oregon. Polymath’s vision is to make the world a better place, built on a foundation of thriving small businesses. Ingrid loves doing this by taking topics that most business owners put on a scale from boring to terrifying and turning them into a fun and rewarding part of entrepreneurship. Ingrid is the creator of the AskABookkeeper.com online education series, a member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, and leader of the Southern Oregon Woodard Group. She is recognized as one of the accounting profession’s Top 40 Under 40 and as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting. When Ingrid is not teaching or playing her favorite video game (QuickBooks!), she is usually playing Irish music or frolicking with her goats.

Marcel Whalen

Marcel is an online paid advertising specialist with his own digital marketing consultancy. His client portfolio includes everything from small tour and activity businesses to multinational publicly traded companies. He has managed advertising campaigns for his tour and activity clients for over six years and produces incredible results that he shares with the ITA community.

Collaboration makes us better, faster, and stronger... together.

Take it from someone who has been generating revenue as a marketing and growth leader for over 10 years.

Prior to starting my own tour business in Spain’s Canary Islands, I designed and launched innovative online marketing and sales campaigns that generated over $100MM in new revenue for growing technology startups and a couple of established tech companies, too.

When I first started in the tour business, I had no idea what I was doing and made a lot of expensive rookie mistakes.

In our first 2 years, we spent over €50,000 in marketing and paid out over €100,000 in partner and OTA commissions. Ridiculous.

Despite these mistakes, the marketing skills I had developed earlier in my career allowed us to generate 240.000€ in revenue our first year and 450.000€ in our second year of business. We were on track to reach over 800.000€ revenue in our third year, and then… COVID-19 landed like an invisible tsunami on the whole thing.

We accomplished all of this with a single 10-passenger boat.

Throughout my journey as a tour operator, especially when things got tough, it became abundantly clear just how little support tour operators have to succeed.

That’s why I created ITA and dedicated myself to building the world’s definitive resource and community for independent tour operators: so we all have a place to go for valuable, actionable information for starting and growing a tour business in the most effective, empowering ways.

It’s A LOT easier when you have a community and others to guide you and help you.

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

– African Proverb

Successful entrepreneurs consistently attribute their success to having mentors and a strong community they can turn to for help.

ITA offers you both... and more.

Here is everything that’s included with your ITA membership:

$1,175 Value

Bi-Weekly Webinars: Discover New Growth Strategies Through Webinars That You Pick

Twice a month, ITA hosts tourism experts that share with you, step-by-step, how to grow your bookings and increase revenue. You get to vote on which webinars we produce. Here are some of the webinars that you can expect:

Creating New Products In A Post-Covid World That Stand Out And Sell Themselves

How to Generate Bookings from Local Customers

How To Get More Direct Bookings Using Assets That You Control

Building An Automated Sales Funnel That Does The Selling For You

How To Automate Repetitive Tasks So You Can Reach More People And Do Less Work

And many, many more...

$300 Value

Private Community for ITA Members Only: Discuss Ideas, Network, And Learn From Other Tour Operators

You will gain access to a private Facebook group of ITA members who are actively building and growing their tour business.

Share your thoughts with other tour operators and get answers to your most pressing questions.

Gain valuable insights into how others are running their tour businesses.

Learn how others are handling difficult situations, like COVID and travel lockdowns.

Discover new ways to grow your bookings.

Get inspired by creative tactics that other tour operators successfully use in their business

$150 Value

LIVE

Commission-Free OTA from Touriosity: Grow Direct Bookings Without the Expensive Cost

Get direct bookings without paying expensive commissions. We’ve partnered with Touriosity to grant ITA members early access to a new, commission-free OTA. Built by tourism marketing veteran, Chris Torres, Touriosity will function as an outsourced marketing company and sell your tours for you, commission-free.

Get direct bookings for zero-percent commission

Chris and his team will advertise and market your tours for you

Hands-off, done for you marketing that drive bookings for free

Get 14 years worth of tourism marketing experience without the high cost of an agency

* Available to Charter Members for an additional discounted price of $10/mo

$950 Value

LIVE

Powerful, Private Link Exchange: Increase Your Organic Rankings and Drive More Customers To Your Website

Organic search is one of the most effective and profitable ways to grow your direct bookings. Links are the most important factor for increasing your website authority and organic rankings.

Exchange links with other tour operators businesses.

Increase your website authority and climb in organic rankings.

This is the fastest way to increase your organic rankings.

Completely safe "white-hat" methods designed by SEO experts

$250 Value

Launching this fall

Listing in Independent Travel's Directory: Get More Direct Bookings For Free

Add your company to our new consumer-facing tour directory where new prospective customers can learn about your company. In an effort to increase your direct bookings, Independent Travel features unique content and marketing to drive visitors to your website to book directly with you.

Feature your company on a new resource for travellers around the world

Get direct bookings when travelers look for things to do in your area

Get a powerful SEO-friendly link back to your website to increase your website authority

Even More ITA Member Benefits

$95 Value

Association badge that you can include on your website

Increase consumer confidence by adding the ITA member badge on your website.

$250 Value

Trip exchange with other ITA members

Travel to other destinations and take tours with other ITA members in a Trip Exchange Program.

Launching this winter

$500 Value

Major discounts on services, products, software, and tools

We are partnering with product providers to help grow your tour business and save you money on critical services that you already use and pay for.

Launching this winter

You Also Get These Immediately-Accessible Bonuses As Soon As You Join ITA

What if you had the resources, support, tools, and skills necessary to generate a consistent and predictable flow of bookings in your tour business… without putting your destiny in the hands of expensive OTAs?

$49 Value

SEO for Direct Bookings: The MVC Formula That Doubled Our Direct Bookings Revenue

Position yourself for customers that are already looking for you

Drive BUYERS who are ready to pay, not those just browsing

The simple website structure that packs the biggest punch

Creating content cheaply and easily even if you don't have time to

The one most important element to climbing organic rankings

$49 Value

Facebook & Instagram Ads: The 1-Hour Campaign That Makes Your Phone Ring Today

Build a pipeline of local customers with less than $5/day

Launch in less than an hour

Get your phone ringing today with new potential customers

$49 Value

Proven Marketing & Growth Strategies: 4 Tour Marketing Experts Share Their Secrets

How to pick a niche in your market where you can thrive

Free hacks that will get your products to the top of Viator

Using Whatsapp as a CRM to increase efficiency and revenue

One easy way to increase your website's authority overnight

$49 Value

Grow Bookings by Marketing Local: 3 Insider Lessons You Need to Succeed Right Now

How to "geo-fence" your marketing to target locals

How and where to follow your customers around until they buy

The key elements to include on your website to drive bookings

$49 Value

5 Free Tools to Turn Your Website Into a Treasure Trove of Information and Insights

One line of code lets you “spy” on your website visitors

Understand exactly where in the world your customers are from

Improve your website experience to drive more bookings

$250 Value

COVID Resources Portal: Fast-Track Your Tour Business

Get the latest travel restrictions for every country delivered to your inbox in real-time

54 graphic design templates that you can use in your marketing materials to quickly communicate safety and extra precautions

25-point reopening checklist to sort out your sanitation, operations, marketing, and communications

Join ITA as a Charter Member

Everything included in your Membership...

  • New Growth Strategies Every Two Weeks
    New Growth Strategies Every Two Weeks $1,175 Value
  • Private Community for ITA Members Only
    Private Community for ITA Members Only $300 Value
  • Access to the Commission-Free OTA
    Access to the Commission-Free OTA $150 Value
  • Directory Listing in IndependentTravel.org
    Directory Listing in IndependentTravel.org $250 Value
  • Access to the Private Link Exchange
    Access to the Private Link Exchange $950 Value
  • Association Badge for Marketing Materials
    Association Badge for Marketing Materials $95 Value
  • Access to Trip Exchange with ITA Members
    Access to Trip Exchange with ITA Members $250 Value
  • Discounts on Products and Services
    Discounts on Products and Services $500 Value
  • MVC Formula for Organic Search
    MVC Formula for Organic Search $49 Value
  • The 1-Hour Facebook and Instagram Campaign
    The 1-Hour Facebook and Instagram Campaign $49 Value
  • Proven Growth & Marketing Strategies
    Proven Growth & Marketing Strategies $49 Value
  • The 5 Free Tools for Information & Insights
    The 5 Free Tools for Information & Insights $49 Value
  • COVID Resources Portal & Graphic Templates
    COVID Resources Portal & Graphic Templates $250 Value

Total value: $4,116

The next 500 ITA members will receive a discount of 70% off for life.

MONTHLY

$

13

/mo

Normally $45 / month

OR

YEARLY

$

149

/yr

Normally $499 / year

Get One Month Free + Expert Website Audit Free (Worth $250)

ITA connects you with the training and tools to...

Cancel Anytime

No contracts or long term commitments. Cancel your membership at any time.

90-Day Guarantee

We only want you to be part of ITA if you are receiving value from being a member. That’s why we offer a zero-risk 90-day guarantee. If at any time in your first 90 days you no longer feel that ITA is for you, we’ll give you your money back.

Available On Mobile, Tablet, and Computer

You are on the go most of the time. ITA is built from the ground up to be accessible on the devices that you already use -- no special software or downloads are required.

Our Members

A few of our incredible ITA Members

FAQs

The Charter membership is a discounted program offered to early adopters of ITA’s platform. It includes access to features and distinction which will only be available to them. Charter Members will also be the first to receive access to new tools, technologies, and information.

As tour operators ourselves, we know how difficult this time is right now. ITA wants to do its part to help as much as possible. We are not interested in fleecing tour operators with high rates. Charter Members will lock in this price for life, even as the ITA platform continues to improve and release new features which help grow your business.

ITA is built for day-trip and multi-day tour operators who want to grow their business.

Any tour operator who falls into one of these categories (not exhaustive):

  • Cultural Tours
  • Historical Tours
  • City Tours
  • Bus Tours
  • Photography Tours
  • Bike & Cycling Tours
  • Nature Tours
  • Boat & Fishing Tours
  • Shopping Tours
  • Rentals
  • Food & Cooking Tours
  • Water Sports
  • Beer & Wine Tours
  • ATV & 4×4 Tours
  • Any other tour type

 

If you’re not sure if ITA is for you, please email us here

ITA is a travel association that is squarely focused on growing your business. The entire platform is designed for only one thing: getting you more bookings. No other travel association offers the services that we have already built or are planning on releasing. 

Yes, all of our content is developed in such a way that any tour operator around the world can successfully use the strategies and tools to grow their business. Our live sessions are also recorded and made available for access in any time zone. 

Yes, the entire ITA platform will always be available on any device. A dedicated mobile app is already being developed.

Yes, our platform, tools, and training are all designed to be accessible to anyone, at any technical skill level. 

Low season is the best time to learn new skills and update your strategies. ITA offers resources that you can employ during both high and low seasons to keep your business growing over the long term. 

No, you can cancel your ITA membership at any time from within your dashboard.

Absolutely. Please click here to email us and we’ll set up a demo for you. You may also enroll risk-free to try it, protected by our stellar 90-day guarantee.

We will perform an in-depth analysis and review of your website that includes:

  1. Technical factors that may prohibit you from ranking well in search engines.
  2. Conversion analysis to ensure you maximize your revenue.
  3. Basic keyword research to ensure you are showing up for the right terms.
  4. Usability and performance analysis to ensure your website is accessible.
  5. A list of recommendations to improve your revenue capacity and video review of your site.

We understand that this is a particularly difficult time for tour operators. We do not want to prohibit your potential growth if you are currently in an unfortunate position. If you are unable to afford ITA Membership, we will make concessions on a case-by-case basis. You can apply for a financial concession here

We are already working on ITA Platform 2.0:

  • Networking with regional chapters and tour operators in your category
  • Technology that automates parts of your marketing for you
  • A learning management platform
  • A mobile application to give you an incredible experience from your device
  • Resources that will increase your conversion rates and drive you more bookings
  • And much more… 

Who Should Join ITA

Tour operators who..

Who Should Not Join ITA

Tour operators who..

Our valuable workshops offer step-by-step growth strategies you can implement in your business today

A really really useful group. Vitaliy Levit is doing a great job creating and sharing very practical content. The community is also very active sharing ideas and experience and the webinars very useful and easy to follow. Thank you for creating the group and keeping on creating good content.

Jordi Domingo Lapeira

This group has been amazingly helpful in providing technical advice, support, shared knowledge and also offered a place where similar business can bounce ideas, share resources. They have also provided courses, training and webinars on a variety of subjects to help improve your business… by far the best group on Facebook I am a member of. Thanks to all in the group and the admin as well.

Simon Murray

ITA has opened my eyes and filled my brain with amazing webinars, and courses aimed specifically at the tour operator, in our biggest time of need. Its been great to join a community of people from all over the world who share ideas and give encouragement. So glad I found this group.

Alice Bartlett

ITA has been amazing as a community and has provided easy to follow step by step actions that are already having an impact on my tour business.

Erik Hatterscheidt

 I have found the webinars and interaction very useful, and intend to re-visit some of them, and spend more time implementing the ideas and advice now that our summer season is coming to an end!

Geoff Spencer-Tucker

The group has been very valuable. There is this friendly atmosphere of sharing ideas and experience, which helps to notice areas of improvement in your business even where you haven’t been looking for them. The webinars are top quality – a great source of inspiration.

Agnieszka Jórczyk

a place where you can share your skills to grow up toghether

Adriano Murgia

I find it very helpful, great valuable content and support. I’m very glad this group was created

Pawel Pluciennik

It has connected us with other operators, which has been on the most part great 🙂

Michelle Jamie

I’m ready to come back stronger than ever knowing I’m protected by a full 90-day money back guarantee

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