TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community


Marketing Your Way

An unfortunate temptation in marketing your travel agency is to scurry from one tactic to the next looking for the magic “trick” that will make clients come streaming through the door. The lure of the newest, the latest and great marketing gimmick is strong, but often comes at the expense of fundamentals.  Thus, you sometimes see new travel agents that have not yet mastered the art of networking in their local communities leaping onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to market their new travel business because they heard that some other agent, somewhere, managed to wring a sale out of the online world.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am all for creative niche marketing and I, too, enjoy learning about new marketing strategies and tactics.  However, I am equally convinced that in the eagerness to quickly build business, too many agents dart from one “technique” to the next rather than honing tried and true fundamentals. Even with social media, it is the media that is new, not the tactical efforts. Every tactical effort, however, is not for everyone. The truth is, it is far better to have one or two tactics that you can accomplish very, very well than a whole repertoire of marketing techniques to which you give marginal time and attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Jump in as we learn about Travel Show Marketing Group, and their place in the travel industry. From tradeshows to Hosted Travel Agent programs, Travel Show Marketing Group does it all.

Travel Show Marketing Group (TravelSMG), an independent event organizer which caters to the B2B leisure travel agency channel, has implemented a number of new initiatives crafted to enhance the overall travel agent and supplier engagement experience, while offering a plethora of unique educational opportunities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Every travel agent spending the least bit of time thinking about their travel agency website has heard the truism “Content is King.” I’m here to suggest, however, content is so much more than King, if by “King” you mean it is content bringing visitors to your website through basic search engine marketing. Indeed, it is relevant, original content responsible for most of the organic, (i.e. “free”), traffic visiting your site. However, merely getting visitors to your site is only a first step. In addition, to be successful you need to also entertain (the Jester) and please (the Queen) your visitors, or they will soon be off to find better content and digital turf on which to spend their time. The Knight – he’s the enforcer, the one who makes you write often and well and with great design on a consistent basis.

Let’s spend a bit of time at court.

Read the rest of this entry »

So….you’re having a dinner party….

Imagine for a minute if you will. You and your spouse/significant other/pet hamster decide to throw a dinner party. You plan the meal, you make a great Spotify playlist, maybe bought some new programmable lamps to finally use that whole “smart home” thing you bought a few years back. Your friends begin to RSVP. Everyone is stoked for the party and can’t wait. They ask what to bring and as a good host you tell them, “nothing, just yourselves.” The big night arrives and the first guest arrives and before you wave them in and take their coat, you tell them that there is a $20 cover charge. Who the hell does that? Read the rest of this entry »

Your Sales Plan – Three “Must Haves”

I was recently interviewing a prospective client, who repeatedly asked, “Dan, what are we going to do about my marketing plan?” After reviewing her efforts, I told her, “Maybe a tweak or two – here and there – but for the most part your marketing is fine.” I replied, “What’s missing is a sales plan.” The phone went silent, and I waited while she processed what I had said. “A sales plan?” she asked, “I’m not even sure what that is. I thought all I needed was a marketing plan.” As I explained the purpose of a sales plan, I could almost see the light go on in her head.
Read the rest of this entry »

Are Cruise Lines Our Partners?

I’ve heard grumblings from a variety of travel agent sources over the last few months.  The complaints vary: cruise lines poaching agency clients, marketing that encourages direct sales, cruise fares we can’t book, and lack of marketing support from our cruise line partners.  I’ve touched on some of these topics in the past, but it warrants a revisit in light of the current concerns from travel agents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Making the Most Out of a Travel Conference

Attending conferences can be expensive, with an overwhelming convergence of new information, connections and business tools. While scheduling effectively and paying close attention is key, it’s your preparation before you even attend that can make the real difference.

Because of the expense of traveling to the conference site, it is important to choose the show that makes the most sense to your business goals. Obviously, if you are home-based, conferences such as the Home-Based Travel Agent Forum would be geared toward specific relatable issues. There are also shows put on by Consortiums, such as and other industry associations.

Read the rest of this entry »

In our modern world, we can become so engrossed with the busier ways of the world that we don’t take time to appreciate the lesser-known sites beyond where mass tourism thrives. There’s nothing wrong with a visit to the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty, these are classics. But, there is always much more character to cultures than the great monuments. This is where Back-Roads Touring Co. shines.

Read the rest of this entry »

Host Hunting

There is a TV show that I occasionally watch called “House Hunters,” which is a reality-style national television series about finding and purchasing a new home. The show takes viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for and decide whether or not a home is meant for them. Focusing on the “emotional experience” of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode shows the process as the buyers go through the search.

The same emotions and decision factors can be similar when looking for a good home (host) to place your business.

Read the rest of this entry »

Although it is the oldest inhabited city in Croatia, Zadar is still relatively less traveled. Such a fact is surprising given the quiet, historic streets and access to some of the most beautiful beaches. Zadar has many unique features and activities that make it a destination that should be at the top of everyone’s travel list in 2018. Thanks to Via Tours Croatia, the supplier sponsor of this article, you won’t miss a beat of what Zadar, and the surrounding region, have to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Travel Leaders Network


Today’s 1:1 Interview is with a panel of agency owners from Travel Leaders Network, a passionate community of professionals who are focused on mutual success—empowering agencies to grow more profitable, more professional and more efficient thanks to the enhanced commissions, powerful tools, advanced lead generation, innovative marketing and exclusive offers that only an internationally-respected powerhouse can provide.

Read the rest of this entry »

Iconic NYC with New York City Vacation Packages

New York City is the most iconic city in the United States. The silhouette of its skyline has represented the American way of life in films, books, and photography. The Big Apple, if you can make it there—you can make it anywhere. For anyone looking to visit this amazing city, there is something to do for everyone. Museums, diverse and topnotch food, the Statue of Liberty welcoming those coming to America, and Broadway musicals to blow the mind are a small piece of what New York City has to offer. All five boroughs within the city have something to offer visitors. Thanks to New York City Vacation Packages, the supplier sponsor of this article, you can get more out of New York than the movies have shown you. Read the rest of this entry »

Mission: Cancellation

Travel Agent Matthew Exline shares one of his client stories for this week’s Travel Agent Diaries entry.

I have a story I would like to share about how I was able to save a client’s trip, and ensure that he reached his destination safely and on time.

The client, whom I will call “Joe,” was traveling to an extremely remote and dangerous area of a Southeast Asian country on a humanitarian mission. The stakes were high due to major security concerns, and it was extremely important for Joe to arrive at his destination on time in order to carry out his mission. I was responsible for arranging his complex air itinerary from Florida to a tiny obscure airport in this remote area.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow me on Blogarama