Cross country skiing at Heritage Ranch
Join the Team
Are you passionate about creating outstanding Central Alberta experiences? Let’s work together to share what makes our region so amazing. We’re looking for others who believe in collaboration and who share our passion for crafting adventures for cultural explorers who love the outdoors.
Who is a Good Partner?
The first thing is a belief in putting the visitor at centre of all adventures. We’ll be working on a shared definition of our ideal guest as a group but for now here’s a little more information on who Pursuit Adventures’ guests are.
Next is a commitment to experiential travel with a sense of adventure. What do we mean by that? Experiences are memorable activities that create connections with place and people. Adventure is about doing things that are new and different for each of us, doing things that can be a little scary but that also make us curious to explore further. It can be indoors or outdoors, fast or slow, heart pounding or relaxing but it always creates a feeling of wonder.
You don’t have to be “in tourism”. In fact, many of the best experiences for our visitors are designed for locals. That brings an authenticity that is often lacking and that our guests crave. What matters is that you are passionate about what you have to offer and that it aligns with our shared ideal guest.
As a minimum you meet all industry standards, from insurance to permits and regulations. We also expect you to go beyond the basics to meet or exceed all industry best practices when it comes to risk management.
Things like sustainability and ethics aren’t done just to get a gold star. Like us, you believe in doing the right thing because, well, it’s the right thing to do.
Finally, you’re always improving. None of us are perfect but we’re all committed to learning from our actions, searching for new ideas to improve our operations and always making the experience better for our guests. One of the best ways to do that is by collaborating with other like minded experience providers.
Why Should We Work Together?
Whenever we work together great things happen. There’s a lot of benefits to collaborating as a region, here’s a few of them.
Having a community of people facing similar challenges provide support, from navigating industry standards to answering technical questions on the platforms we all use. More importantly, it offers a sounding board to work through problems or dreaming up new adventures.
We all need a little extra from time to time. Partners are there to help each other, whether it’s an extra vehicle, hand or piece of equipment.
Stronger Voice Together
Most of us are small businesses, making it harder to raise our concerns or celebrate our success. As a collective we have a stronger voice when working with Travel Alberta, Tourism Red Deer, municipalities, suppliers and others.
Our partner to partner platform allows for cross promotion and exposure to more visitors. It makes it easier for each of us to offer packages and add-ons to our adventures.
We work together to run group campaigns. These are pay as you go, leveraged through Travel Alberta’s Coop Funding whenever possible and include social media, online ads, and in person events.
As a group we can develop stronger itineraries that we can then take to tradeshows and events like Canada’s West Marketplace and Teachers Convention.
We can also leverage our efforts to create engaging content and host influencers exploring our region.
What Are The Requirements?
Partnerships are not easy but we know they are well worth the effort. There are a few things we each commit to and there’s a few minimum requirements we all have to meet before working together.
Show up and Participate
First things first, you must be willing to work with others. Pretty obvious but that also means making the commitment to check-in online and participate in the discussions. To do that you’ll need to use tools like G Suite, Slack and Trello. Don’t worry if you haven’t used them before, they’re easy and we’ll teach you how they work.
We also meet in person on a monthly basis to discuss plans and share how we can keep growing the region.
This is a group of experience providers working together to promote experiences. We welcome all kinds of adventures, including lodging options, but there must be something that can be pre-booked online. You must have at least one experience that:
- has a retail price set at market rates (i.e. not “admission by donation”, $2 or free tours);
- is available on a regular basis, either as a public or private tour; and
- appeals to our ideal guest.
There are a few other requirements we can work on with you, like having a flexible cancellation policy, having an online booking system (we recommend Checkfront) and having an efficient booking process for us to work with.
If you offer general admission tickets or similar products we can include those on the website, as long as you also have bookable experiences listed.
Commission and Net Rates
You will need to offer the industry standard 20% commission on experiences listed. Keep in mind that you do not need to list all your products and there are some exceptions to this requirement, typically for products used as add-ons in packages.
The commission is split with our vendor partners who get 15% of each bookings they generate and Explore keeping 5% to cover costs of like credit card fees, and tracking and paying commissions. If you offer an on account option where vendor partners are invoiced after the booking, the commission is split 50/50 with them to account for the extra administrative work involved in those bookings.
Participating in the Travel Trades program is optional but it allows us to resell complete itineraries to other tour operators. Commissions for these bookings are higher, currently we need you to offer a minimum of 25% for those bookings.
If you use Checkfront, we can send the booking directly to your system which saves us some work and saves you 3% on commissions.
Keep in mind that as a partner you’re also reselling experiences offered by others in the group, earning 15% on each of those sales.
How Does It Work?
We try to keep it simple and build a process that works for all of us.
There are no membership fees. We do require a minimum commitment each year of $200 toward general marketing campaigns and a minimum of $200 toward a campaign that specifically includes your experiences.
How does that work? At our monthly meetings we look at campaign opportunities and those who wish to participate share the costs of that campaign. For example, if we are looking at running a $2,000 ad campaign on social media and 5 partners are interested, the costs would be $400 per partner. Assuming that the campaign qualifies for Travel Alberta’s coop funding program, we could leverage our contributions. In this case, each partner needs to put in $200 for a total of $1,000 between the 5 partners which would be matched by Travel Alberta.
Explore Central Alberta website
We take a content first approach for the website and our marketing. That means that our first goal is to create engaging content about the region for visitors. We’re not a listing site and we focus on creating guides that help visitors plan their trip to the region. You can see an example of how that works here.
We will work with you to build content that matches the website and highlights your experiences.
There are a couple options when it comes to bookings, depending on the system you use. If you’re not currently using a modern online booking system we can help you get setup.
The first option is for you to use Checkfront. This way the bookings go directly to you, no delays in getting paid and you handle all interactions with the guests. This option also gets you a 3% discount on your commission since you are taking care of those details.
The other option is to have Pursuit Adventures handle the bookings for you. They’ll handle the booking, collect the payments, answer guest questions and all the details associated with the reservation. They’ll need you to have a simple way for their staff to confirm availability with you.
1. Fill out the application form below with as much detail as possible.
2. We’ll contact you within 14 days to let you know if your application was approved or with any questions we might have. Each application is reviewed by the current partners to ensure its a fit. We’re looking for culture fit and shared values, we do not exclude based on having similar experiences.
3. Once you’re approved we’ll arrange a time for an orientation meeting. This will be about 2 hours and we’ll cover how to use Slack, Trello and G Suite along with how to make sure all your experiences are properly listed.
4. Add the booking links on your website and train your frontline staff to take partner bookings. That way you can start earning a 15% commission on all bookings you send to partners.
5. Engage in Slack, attend monthly meeting and get to know the other partners.
Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 10 days to get you setup or answer any of your questions.