Although 2010 definitely started out much better than 2009 ended, the progress we were hoping for is somehow still eluding us. Even though our efforts have intensified enormously, it’s almost as if we are learning what not to do by a process of elimination. Unfortunately, this has proved to be very costly, in dollars and time.
How is it that there is so little helpful information available regarding marketing group travel or growing your group travel business? Although we have purchased everything regarding this segment of the travel industry that we could get our hands on, (and at no small expense I might add) it appears that these courses cover everything except the most important part of all, finding and signing up participants.
With our first group trip to Israel scheduled for July of this year, we have been networking and marketing like crazy. We even bought some radio time and a banner ad on the station’s website. My partner approached her professor at the college she attends as well as all of her classmates, and still not a single person has signed on. It is discouraging and frustrating, to say the least. Now the deadline for the initial minimum deposit has passed and we are uncertain as to whether this trip will even take place.
On the plus side, all of the marketing we have done has brought us more visibility as a club and increased our membership base. We have come to realize that this effort needs to be continual on our part; and not just when we have a trip to promote. Mathematically speaking, we both know that the larger our membership base gets, the better chance we will have at filling future trips. Right now, we are focusing on that intently.
So in the meantime, we have decided to promote very affordable local activities like skydiving, sunset dinner cruises and deep sea fishing excursions for our club. This seems to be going over very well as we already have people signed up without even promoting these events yet. All we had to do was mention it and they asked, “Where do we sign up?”
This has been the the silver lining in our otherwise cloudy forecast. Not quite the progress we were hoping for, but at least its progress!
April Scarlott is a lifetime Houston Bay Area resident, travel and adventure junkie, and member of the International Travel Writers and Photography Alliance. She attended college at the University of St. Thomas and currently holds multiple licenses in real estate and is a member of OSSN. She is full partner for Thrillseekers Travel Club which arranges group tours for other travel and adventure enthusiasts. She has combined her passion for writing and adventure travel into a full time dream career. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-888-970-8747 or visit at the website at www.thrillseekerstravelclub.com.
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