This week we are are discussing ways a travel consultant might cautiously and quietly influence the mindset of clients. The purpose of doing so is not social engineering, but allowing the client to pull the most out of the travel experience while treading as lightly as possible on the terrain. When a client perceives their travel consultant as principled, as having a clear ethic guiding their practice, the client also has a better understanding of the character and personality of the travel consultant’s brand. That is marketing at its best.
Authentic marketing is about putting the personality of the company front and center. People want to do business with people, they want to know the personality of the companies with which they commit their energy and dollars. A big part of your brand has to do with the way you project the causes in which you believe.
As a travel consultant you have a big story to tell. It’s the story of who you are as a travel consultant, of the company you work for, the people you work with. It’s the story of the professional resources you have at your disposal and the associations to which you belong. But it is also the story of your belief in the importance of travel. No doubt you feel travel has an important role in the life of the individual. If so, then it certainly has a profound impact on families and on a generalized societal attitude.
Adopting an ethic does not equate to being “preachy” about a cause nor a weak-minded attempt at politicizing travel. Your company’s ethic, however, is about the sustainability of travel as an industry and about the way you envision travel as an activity in the lives of individuals, families and society.
Well-traveled individuals tend to adopt a more informed perspective which contributes to everyone’s understanding of different cultures. But not all travelers are well traveled. It’s been said that while a traveler may not know where he is going, a tourist doesn’t know where he has been. Helping your clients to be good travelers, respectful of the environments to which they travel, to the people they encounter and the situations they develop ultimately empowers everyone, your client not least of all.
Traveling is not an activity, not just transportation from here to there. Travel is both an inward and outward journey. Doesn’t it make sense as a travel professional to clearly understand, articulate and communicate a philosophy of travel to the public? Tomorrow and Friday we will take on a couple of “big” issues in the travel industry to act as case studies for your consideration.