If you’ve ever been on a tour, you understand how much fun short journeys for educational and entertainment purposes can be. There are a lot of different types of tours ranging from museums and gondola rides in Europe to hiking and kayaking in the great American outdoors.
In the United States, tourism supports around 7.8 million jobs and provides an economic output of around $1.6 trillion. Affiliate marketers who are interested in promoting tourism and making money at the same time can utilize some of the best tour affiliate programs. These can range from international and domestic travel opportunities to tour guide books.
If you’re interested, the following list of the top 10 tour affiliate programs could help get you started. As you read through it, look for ways you could pull these programs into your affiliate marketing plans. Toward the end of this article, I’ll share some ideas of my own that you can use as springboards.
Table of Contents
Tour Affiliate Programs
- Select Italy
- Tour Radar
- Take Tours
- Urban Adventures
- Lonely Planet
- STA Travel
- Gray Line Tours
1. Select Italy
- URL: https://selectitaly.com/affiliates
- Commission: 5%
- Cookies: 30 days
Italy has always been a popular destination for travelers, but if you’re inexperienced, you might not know where to begin sightseeing. Select Italy makes it easier by providing travel packages that focus on travel to or within Italy.
Besides transportation and accommodations in villas, hotels, or apartments, tourists can book sightseeing attractions.
Tourist attractions include museums, theaters, cooking classes, wine tours, Italian-based cruises, and family-friendly tours. Guided tours include areas like Boboli Gardens, the Tower of San Niccolo, the Colosseum, and a variety of religious sites.
Why You Should Promote Select Italy: This company provides a nice variety of tours and rich cultural experiences for all types of travelers who want to experience Italy. The deep focus could attract some shoppers.
- URL: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Affiliates
- Commission: 50%
- Cookies: Unknown
While Select Italy focuses on Italian travel, TripAdvisor zeroes in on booking travel options in the United States, including local restaurants and accommodations. Customers can use TripAdvisor to check prices, plan tours, make reservations, and create full travel packages online.
TripAdvisor includes links to more than 500,000 individual websites. Some are city pages or hotel landing pages, so there’s a wide variety of deep-linking options that affiliate marketers can use. The TripAdvisor website also provides more than 760 million reviews, support in 28 languages, forums, and information about how to book accommodations.
Why You Should Promote TripAdvisor: The deep linking ability could mean more options for affiliate marketers who want to promote certain types of services or particular areas. The commission rate is spectacular, too.
3. Tour Radar:
- URL: https://www.tourradar.com/affiliate-program
- Commission: 5%
- Cookie: 90 days
Tour Radar is a travel company that operates in more than 160 different countries, with 1 million departures. This company offers more than 40,000 tours from 2,500 carefully-screened tour operators, and customers can get information about those tours from the 150,000-plus reviews.
This company runs its affiliate program through both Commission Junction and Commission Factory. It’s also been featured in several prominent media outlets, including Forbes, The New York Times, The Economist, and CNBC.
Why You Should Promote Tour Radar: Tour Radar includes a link in the footer for customers who might be interested in winning a tour. The attention from high-profile media could help build a sense of security in some shoppers, and the ability to work with either Commission Junction or Commission Factory could help affiliate marketers.
4. Take Tours
- URL: https://www.taketours.com/affiliate/
- Commission: 3-5%
- Cookie: 15 days
Take Tours is a travel and tourism company that offers package vacation and tourism deals as well as the ability to book private tours. Many of the tour options are exclusive to this company, and some of the vacation packages are steeply discounted.
One other nice feature is that this company allows customers to post their travel plans and look for travel companions on the website. There’s also a loyalty program, and customers can search for tours in more than 100 different locations around the world.
Why You Should Promote Take Tours: Take Tours asserts that it’s the only tour affiliate program that offers shuttle bus tickets. The discounted travel prices, ability to find traveling companions and options for private tours could convert some shoppers, too. The cookie length is a little bit on the short side, though.
5. Urban Adventures
- URL: https://www.urbanadventures.com/affiliates
- Commission: 10%
- Cookie: 6 months
Urban Adventures provides travelers with 1,369 unique itineraries in 158 cities and 68 countries around the world. This company works with more than 1,700 tour guides and can accommodate tour groups of up to 12 people at a time.
Urban Adventures has won several awards for responsible tourism, as well as awards for the best walking tours, innovation, and engaging people and cultures. The tours are dedicated to helping tourists get right into the culture of their destination in ways that support the local economy.
This company also supports community-oriented foundations, special projects, and sustainable tourism.
Why You Should Promote Urban Adventures: Urban Adventures provides fun, deeply engaging tours in a socially responsible way, and those aspects could make travel more meaningful for tourists. The commission rate and cookie length are decent, too.
- URL: https://www.tours4fun.com/join-affiliate-program.html
- Commission: 5%
- Cookie: Unknown
Tours4Fun provides sightseeing and adventures in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and other exciting destinations from around the world.
Customers can browse for tours by destination categories, such as national parks or western Canada. They can also search for tours based on their interests, including historical experiences, ecotourism, family-friendly activities, backpacking trips, and marine outings.
Tours4Fun has a rewards program called Rewards4Fun. Customers can earn reward points by booking tours, leaving reviews, uploading photos, and referring friends.
The average order value is more than $650. Tours4Fun administers its affiliate program through both ShareASale and Commission Junction. Affiliates are provided with banner ads, text links, and incentive programs.
Why You Should Promote Tours4Fun: Tours4Fun has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which could help some customers feel comfortable making purchases. The rewards program is another perk that could help convert some shoppers.
- URL: https://www.contiki.com/us/en/resources/affiliate
- Commission: 5%
- Cookie: 90 days
Contiki specializes in providing great tourism experiences for travelers age 18-35. The company offers eight ways to travel, as well as more than 350 different trips to book 40 different countries. Student discounts and financing options are also available.
One nice thing about the website is that it offers traveling advice for people who haven’t traveled much before. The information covers topics such as what to pack, how to get a visa, and what sorts of health precautions you should take before traveling out of the country.
This company has offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the UK, South Africa, and Singapore, so it can accept affiliates from around the world. High-volume affiliates can earn more than the base 5% commission rate, too.
Why You Should Promote Contiki: The helpful travel advice and focus on a younger traveling demographic could attract some shoppers. The commission rate and cookie length are decent, and the opportunity to earn more than the base commission rate is a great incentive.
8. Lonely Planet
- URL: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/about/affiliate-program
- Commission: 15%
- Cookie: Unknown
Lonely Planet is a different type of tourist company. Rather than providing booking services, Lonely Planet provides guidebooks that help tourists decide where to go and what to do. The guidebooks are available in both print and digital formats.
The company also offers a mobile app that allows customers to search out attractions in the cities they’re visiting. A second app makes it easy for travelers to upload photos of their trips and share them online.
Affiliate marketers earn commissions on the sales of e-books or print books. The guidebooks have a conversion rate of more than 12%. Affiliates can also earn money when their referrals click through to Lonely Planet’s travel service partners.
Lonely Planet runs its affiliate program through both Commission Junction and AWIN.
Why You Should Promote Lonely Planet: The guidebooks make this company stand out, and the commission rate is decent. The mobile apps could be fun features for tourists, too.
9. STA Travel
- URL: https://www.statravel.com/become-affiliate.htm
- Commission: $4 on flights, 10% on tours
- Cookie: Unknown
Like Contiki, STA Travel is designed to serve travelers under the age of 35. The company provides discounts on airfare and accommodations such as hostels for teachers and students. Customers can browse through tabs containing information on travel insurance, tours, bus and rail passes, and more.
One nice thing about this company is that it offers information on a variety of different travel options for students, including working abroad, studying abroad, and volunteer efforts.
Why You Should Promote STA Travel: The discounts and varied travel options could meet the needs of young travelers. The flat commission rate for flights is on the low side, but the commission rate for tours is decent.
10. Gray Line Tours
- URL: https://www.grayline.com/affiliates/
- Commission: 5% on sales
- Cookie: Unknown
Gray Line Tours has been in business since 1910. This company has a global network that includes 400 locations in 50 countries and six continents. Destinations range from Rio De Janeiro and Beijing to London and New York. Gray Line Tours offers more than 2,500 local tourism experiences to choose from.
Besides its longstanding service and its great reputation, customers can cancel many of their travel plans and tourism reservations for free for up to 24 hours before departure.
Why You Should Promote Gray Line Tours: Gray Line’s experience makes it stand out from other tourism booking companies. The wide range of tourism destinations and attractions could draw in some shoppers, too.
Affiliate Website Ideas
Now that you’ve read through the top 10 tour affiliate programs, can you see some ways to use them in your affiliate marketing strategies? I have a few of my own ideas to share, and you’re welcome to use them.
For example, you could feature affiliate programs such as Contiki or STA Travel on a website that focuses on lifestyles for Millennials. Besides travel options, a website like this one could include career advice, including continuing education options like student loans or online learning platforms like Udemy or Coursera. Indoor gardening and other eco-friendly practices could also be promoted on a website like this one.
Tours could also be promoted on websites that focus on family history issues, especially with programs that allow customers to create and book custom tours. A website like this one could also feature DNA kits, membership to genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, laptops and software, travel insurance, and photo book publishing services.
One final idea is to promote tour programs on a website dedicated to grandparents raising grandchildren. Besides family-friendly tours, a website like this one could feature savings programs, furniture and apparel for children, educational toys, and life insurance.
Boost Your Affiliate Earnings
These 10 affiliate programs are just the beginning of what's possible. There are hundreds of ways to earn affiliate commissions with your website, including product reviews, top 10 lists, how-to guides, and more.
But what about traffic and conversions? How do you make sure your affiliate links get clicked?
I used the affiliate training here to turn my brand new website into a six-figure income generator in less than two years. Build a business, not just a pocket-money side project!