Travel Trade Overview

Travel Trade

The area of Travel Trade is handled by the marketing department of Tourism Saskatchewan. Travel Trade provides a way to promote your business to the North American and overseas markets in a strategic and cost-effective manner. Working within this market segment requires patience and the willingness to ensure that you are providing the best possible experience for both the end consumer and the travel professional along the way.

For more information on travel trade and to find out how you can get involved, please contact the following Travel Trade Market Consultants at Tourism Saskatchewan:

Heidi Wesling
Phone: 306-798-3168

Amy McInnis
Phone: 306-787-2199


Getting Familiar with Travel Trade


Below you will find a few basic definitions for this market segment. For more in-depth definitions, click here.

What is Travel Trade?
Travel Trade is the buying and selling of product that is either sold directly to consumers or to other buyers. The products include accommodations, attractions, transportation, food and beverage, etc. It is a distribution network for travel. Suppliers pay commission levels between 20 and 30 per cent to the buyer on a per-booking basis.

What is a Buyer?
A buyer is a tour operator seeking to add a supplier’s tourism product or service to an existing package and product offering.

What is a Tour Operator?
A tour operator is a business that employs people to design, develop, manage, market and execute packaged travel and tours to a variety of destinations. Tour operators sell travel products through travel agencies or directly to consumers. They typically receive 20 per cent of the advertised or retail price of the travel service or good.

What is a Receptive Tour Operator (RTO)?
A receptive tour operator is a wholesaler that specializes in particular destinations, providing services at the destination to group travel organizers and tour operators. An RTO receives 30 per cent of the advertised or retail price of the travel service or good.

What is a Supplier?
A supplier is a company or individual that provides the actual travel product, such as an accommodation, organized activity, transportation or attraction to a tour operator.

Export Ready Criteria
Once you as a supplier have made the decision to work with travel trade, the next step is to determine whether your product is export ready. The following list outlines mandatory criteria that are expected when working with travel professionals in this market segment.

Industry standard export ready criteria include:

- Have you been in business for at least two years with a proven track record of safe and professional operation?

- Can you guarantee price and capacity 12-18 months ahead of guest arrival?

- Can you provide suitable collateral and detailed descriptions for sales and marketing tools? Do you have high-resolution images you can provide?

- Do you have adequate liability insurance (Minimum of $2 million)?

- Are you willing to return deposits? Do you have a flexible cancellation policy?

- Do you have waivers in place that your guests are required to fill out (For their safety and for yours)?

- Are you prepared to pay the trade for their efforts (i.e. commission levels range between 20 & 30 per cent paid on a per-booking basis)?

- Are you willing to invoice for billings and accept vouchers?

- Can you provide what is promised in your product description?

- Are you willing to invest in the travel trade relationship for the long run (Minimum of 3 years)?

- Are you willing to host Familiarization tours and site inspections?

- Can you be reached year-round by phone or email (The supplier must be able to provide confirmation of booking arrangements within 24 hours)?