As a business, you might like to offer the option for customers to choose whether to book a tour privately. This could be the entire tour, or simply the equipment (bus, boat, helicopter, van etc.) that is used for the tour.
Zaui now offers the ability to set up separate activities for your public vs. private tours. This article will walk you through how to set up these options (new feature!) so that if a customer books a private tour, that piece of equipment is no longer available on the same public version of that tour or for other guests. Similarly, where you already have bookings on a public tour, the private option will not be available that day/time.
This article will cover the following topics:
New Feature Benefits
In the past, the only way to set up private tours was by using Pricing Options. Pricing Options were the only way to 'block off' an entire piece of equipment for one booking to make it private. This meant more manual labour and limitations. In the past, there was no way of specifying how many passengers would be on a private booking.
Here are some of the key improvements and benefits of this feature:
- It allows you to seamlessly create private tours without requiring pricing options to be set up.
- Private tours are resellable through OTAs and Zaui Connect.
- The private booking option is highlighted in the Online Booking Engine making it easy for customers to upgrade from a public to a private booking.
- This feature allows you to specify the number of customers that will be a part of the private booking and offers greater flexibility with pricing.
How to Create Private Activities
As you know, there are various ways of setting up the tours you offer. In this article, we will walk you through configuring Standard, Interval or Rental private activities, where equipment is included.
Creating a Stand-Alone Private Standard or Interval Activity
The only difference in creating a Private activity versus a Public activity is in the Capacity/Inventory Assignment section on your activity set-up page.
Whether you are setting up a Standard or Interval activity and would like to make it private, simply check the Private Tour checkbox. By checking this box, activities can only be booked by a maximum of 1 booking (1 group) within the same timeslot or piece of equipment. The group can bring as many guests as the activity capacity can accept, but once booked, the activity is sold out regardless of the group size.
Standard Activity Setup:
Interval Activity Setup:
Private Equipment Rentals
The Private Tour checkbox is also available for Rental activities. However, instead of booking out the entire fleet, a single booking regardless of group size will book a piece of equipment privately. Say, for example, you rent 4-passenger ATVs. If the Private Tour checkbox is ticked when creating the activity, a group of two bookings on this rental activity will have their ATV blocked privately for them, without the risk of another group of 2 being added to the same piece of equipment in an attempt to maximize bookings.
Rental Activity Setup:
Creating a Private [Child] Activity Sharing Inventory with a Public [Parent] Activity
The following set-up would be in place if you wish to offer both public and private options for the same tour. The way the Private Tour feature would work in this set-up is as follows:
- If a customer books on a public tour, additional customers would be able to book on that public tour (until capacity is filled) but no private bookings could be made on that same timeslot and piece of equipment.
- If a customer books on a private tour, no public or additional private tours can be booked on that same timeslot and piece of equipment.
Configuring the shared public/private tours:
|Interval Parent Activity||Interval Child Activity|
|Standard Parent Activity||Standard Child Activity|
In the above scenarios, the public tour should always be the parent tour. Make sure you tick the Private Tour checkbox on the child activities only. Zaui will automatically display the option to book the private child tour within the booking engine:
Configuring Tours Using a Shared Pool of Equipment
Examples of use:
Companies that offer several different private tour options that share the same vehicles such as wine tours, or tours in a particular language. In the example below, if there was only one vehicle available, a booking on Wine Tour A would prevent Wine Tours B and C from being booked on the same date/time.
Companies who offer public tours where multiple concurrent bookings can occur but the equipment/vehicle is limited to one booking/party for each timeslot such as cars on a sightseeing train or seats at a table.
|Rental Parent Activity||Interval Child Activity|
|Rental Parent Activity||Standard Child Activity|
In these scenarios, the child activity is not marked as a private tour. This is because, when booking the tour, the customer is not booking all the equipment that is available. By setting the flag on the rental parent activity, the booking will be assigned to a single piece of equipment that is then marked private for that booking alone, regardless of the capacity of the equipment and the number of passengers in the booking.
|It's important to note that the private tour option should be the same tour or activity as the public tour. For example, you cannot have a parent activity used as the inventory manager for a child activity and create a private version of the child activity.|
How to Price Private Tours
As with any other tour, you can price your private tours with a price code, pricing options or a combination of the two. Here are three common pricing styles for a private tour:
Per Person Pricing:
This style of pricing might be used if your tour can accept multiple bookings that are each assigned to a private piece of equipment. In this case, you may wish to charge a higher premium to each guest booking to compensate for any unbooked spaces.
To achieve this style of pricing, simply create a price code for the rate per person, and add it to your private tour in the Pricing Information section on the activity set-up page.
Using Graduated Pricing
This style of pricing is also set up as a price code (Settings > Manage Price Codes). Where graduated pricing differs is that you can set one price for the tour no matter how many customers are added to the cart.
This way, you can have a set price for your private tour, but enable customers to select how many people are in their party.
In the example below, the price for the tour is $299 whether there are 1 or 100 passengers. For the first range, enter 1 - 1 and input the total price for the private tour. Then, input 2 - 100 and enter $0.00. This means when you have 2 or more passengers on this private tour, there will be $0.00 added to a total of $299.
Using Pricing Options
This style of pricing is typically used when a single group booking will buy out the tour or timeslot which uses a single, large piece of equipment. You may wish to charge for the cost of the equipment and allow a group of any size.
To achieve this, instead of using a price code, add a pricing option to your tour, configured at the full rate of booking out the equipment. To make this a mandatory component of the private booking, select Selection Range from 1 to 1.
In the below screenshot, this pricing option will be added, mandatory, to any booking on this tour and result in a cost of $1000. Since the range is 1-1 and the optional flag is disabled, any booking will have this pricing option added.
Note that the pricing option does not need to be considered part of the inventory as the tour will be marked private, and therefore your end customer can use the passenger selections as normal to indicate their group size and composition.
Per Person + Private Booking Fee:
In some cases, you may wish to combine a per person rate with a fee for opting for a private booking. To achieve this, combine the above two examples: a price code at the desired base rate per person, and a pricing option for the private tour fee. Ensure that the pricing option range is set from 1 to 1 and marked non-optional so that it is added for each booking on the private activity.