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Travel Alberta

Working With Inbound Operators

Receptive tour operators

A Receptive Tour Operator (RTO) is a Canadian-based tour operator specializing in packaging and selling Canadian tourism experiences and products to tour operators and travel agents worldwide. Alberta receives visitation through RTOs through an organized group tour that can be between 8-54 passengers and through fully independent travellers (FIT).  RTOs produce a listing of all standalone Canadian product in a publication known as a tariff. They offer the ability to purchase these products individually or within a range of packages or itineraries. The benefit of working with an RTO is having your experience or product featured in thousands of brochures in countries all over the world. If you want to work with an RTO your experience must be export-ready.

Tour operators

Group tour operators are companies that operate multi-day group tours with set itineraries. They may offer multiple departure dates or one or two departure dates throughout the year or season. Groups of 35-45 visitors typically travel by motor coach. Some operators offer tours to smaller groups of 15-20. 

FIT operators are companies that provide fully independent travel (FIT) options for consumers to travel on their own. The vacationers travel by car or other independent means but book components such as accommodation, transportation and potentially some activities through FIT operators. 

Travel agents

Products are delivered to customers in a variety of ways:
  • Packages are often purchased by travel agents from a variety of tour operators’ programs as described above
  • May be part of a tour operator company and sell only that specific tour operator’s product
  • May also put together a holiday and book each component directly with each supplier (hotel, air, activity) 

Online travel agency

Online travel agencies, also known as OTAs, are websites that sell multiple products – flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, tours and tourist activities – on behalf of suppliers, who provide inventory at a commissionable rate. Examples include Expedia.com, Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com. They differ from online booking agencies, such as Hotels.com, which sell only one type of product. In addition, OTAs provide the ability to run destination marketing campaigns with specific landing pages. 

OTAs provide you with access to a huge customer base and new avenues of revenue. Read more about how Travel Alberta is tapping into the massive audience provided by OTAs to make sure travellers know what your businesses have to offer. 

  • Travel Trade

    The Travel Trade team works with travel professionals, including tour operators, travel agents, receptive tour operators (RTOs) and online travel agencies (OTAs).  These travel trade partners typically package a range of vacation components and sell to the consumer through a variety of channels. They provide a simple, one-stop shopping solution for travellers, which may include but is not limited to accommodation, transportation, activities, dining and entertainment. The travel trade presents an additional outlet for consumers to purchase their travel needs and offers a further reach for Alberta destinations and suppliers into specific and additional markets that may otherwise not be reached through other marketing channels. Unless consumers book directly with you, they are using the travel trade. A significant percentage of visitors to Alberta book using the travel trade, providing considerable visitation and revenue from this important channel.

    For more information on travel trade visit traveltrade.travelalberta.com.