How ITO uses Booker to support Indigenous tourism operators
Here’s how Indigenous Tourism Ontario is using Booker to help support Indigenous operators – and keep funds in member communities – with a customizable, functional and easy booking process that everyone can use.
Supporting the growth of Indigenous Tourism in Ontario
When your mission involves every Indigenous operator across the province from ice cream shops to fishing tours, you’ve got to be on the lookout for innovative tourism tech solutions that work for everyone. Enter Booker! We’re thrilled to be working with ITO to deliver an easy-to-use, functional and sophisticated booking experience for their members.
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is Ontario’s first and only dedicated, not for profit Indigenous tourism organization. It supports Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs and businesses with resources, training, and networking opportunities, and promotes Indigenous tourism experiences including Indigenous cultural tours, outdoor adventures and accommodations—all while working to preserve Indigenous cultures, languages, and heritage.
From ice cream shops to fishing lodges: How Booker works for everyone
With such a diverse range of businesses in their roster, it’s a priority for ITO to provide sales support tailored to each of their member’s tourism products—not just the ones that fit the classic booking model. Because Booker was built specifically to meet the needs of DMOs and their members, its custom options are equally beneficial for ITO. Operators can create different types of bookable experiences on their own websites—from accommodations to tours to experiences to gift cards. It’s an easy-to-use, functional and sophisticated booking platform for everyone (even those operators who currently take bookings over the phone).
Leveling the digital playing field
When it comes to digital marketing, we know that not every business owner is operating at the same level. Many DMO members don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to stay competitive online.
We’ve all seen those early 2000s websites with tiny photos - and only a phone number - for small tourism operators. That clearly doesn’t work for today’s traveler (how will they know if the kitchen is TikTok-worthy?). From millennials to Gen Z, we know no one is picking up the phone to book anything these days.
At the same time, some of ITO’s operators have invested in really beautiful websites—but they still have to link to an external corporate booking site to support their sales, and are losing revenue in the process.
Both situations just scream ‘wasted opportunity’. To help level the playing field, Booker comes with free websites and easy-to-use templates, along with our main purpose: keeping that revenue (and those clicks) in the community.
Making it easier to turn ‘just looking’ into actual bookings
It’s important for ITO to help increase revenue across their membership—especially for those businesses that have the potential to be left behind. They’ve recently launched a beautiful new consumer website that includes a central database of member listings—and each one will include the embedded Booker. Visitors can book any number of tourism products, from the operator’s own (good-looking!) website.
The main thing, though? Booker helps keep the revenue in the member communities. Booker’s fees are a fraction of the cut taken by big corporate booking sites, and ITO itself keeps a percentage of each transaction. That added revenue stream helps them build their marketing and support budgets, so they can do more for their members.
While ITO’s membership is more diverse and spread across a larger geographic area than most DMOs, it still benefits from the key features that make Booker the perfect tool to simplify tourism sales and amplify revenue: our sweet customer support and streamlined onboarding process, beautiful and easy-to-use website templates, and an embedded booking system that keeps clicks on the operator’s website—and dollars in the community.