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Visit Scotland | Alba
Top: Matt Davis
Right: Glen Ord Distillery / Jakub Iwanicki

Develop and grow your business

Information and practical advice

Before starting your journey of developing and growing your business, there are a few factors to consider...
  • understanding what type of customers you are looking for
  • knowing whether, and when, you have capacity or space to accept more customers
  • identifying which market(s) best fit your product or experience - taking into account visitor profiles and expectations

Understand your customers

How consumers plan and book their travel varies from market to market. Many elements will influence their decision-making process, such as the destination or the type of holiday. Cultural norms with regards to holiday booking and planning in their country may also come into play.

Many consumers rely on an intermediary booking channel as trusted source. They expect a familiar brand to understand their needs and deliver the quality holiday they are looking for. Because of this, it’s important to understand how your potential customers are planning and booking their holidays.

Which channels do they use to inspire, plan and book? Options range from search engines and large tour operators to their own personal travel advisor and OTAs such as and Expedia.

The purposes of distribution channels are two-fold. To give potential customers the information they need to make a holiday choice, and to allow them to book once they have made their holiday choice.

Choosing the best distribution channels for your business to develop and grow requires time. It also requires research.


Your routes to market

You can gain business direct via your own website where you pay no commission (direct), or via an intermediary - travel trade or OTA (indirect). There are benefits to diversifying and growing your business in more than one route to market.

 Direct route to market  Indirect route to market

Where a customer books with your business in person:

  • by phone, email or direct message
  • through website's online booking engine

Where a customer uses a third party to research and book their travel. This could be:

  • an OTA
  • a travel agent or advisor
  • a traditional tour operator

In this section, find out more about these different channels and how they can help benefit your business.