“Public Relations” refers not to a single tactic but to a varied number of ways that a travel agent can reach out to the public at large and raise the profile of their travel agency. Public relations tactics tend to be a favorite of guerilla marketers as they depend more on personal effort than outlays of capital and, properly executed, can be highly effective.
Unfortunately, most travel agencies neglect public relations. Other marketing channels seem much more accessible and easily accomplished. Public relations depends heavily on the direct participation of the travel agent via public speaking, publication or networking. As a result, many travel planners relegate public relations tactics to a low priority in their marketing plan. The truth is, however, that for the travel agent willing to put themselves in full view of their community, few marketing tactics are as effective for establishing the travel agent as a local expert. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
Cruise ship dining has slowly evolved over the last two decades from the time when dining was a formal affair every night, with an upscale menu to match. Changes in dining have come about gradually, moving to more casual dining attire, more streamlined menus (some would argue less exciting), moving to less traditional dining with freestyle – any time – my time dining, specialty restaurants with surcharges, Chef’s tables and now the new dynamic dining on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
Silver Wind dumped half of its passenger load in Limassol, Cyprus. The reason: Our next two ports of call were in Israel, and apparently quite a few people were afraid to travel to this country in the Middle East. So they booked a half voyage. I can only say, Boy did they miss out. Read the rest of this entry »
Social media and social media marketing are deceptively easy to undertake. Sign up for a Facebook page or a Twitter account and start posting and tweeting. Hundreds of millions, literally, of individuals and companies do it, right? So how hard can it be?
Like many business undertakings, social marketing is a study in fundamentals. Far too many travel agents jump into the fray without serious consideration of the need to be authentic, intentional and consistent in their social media Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Supplier Profile
Your brand is a promise of quality. Wrapped up in a brand is the perception of your company held by everyone who has come into contact with your travel practice. What this means is that your brand is not entirely under your control. In fact, the center of gravity of your brand is somewhere between your intentions and the experience of your brand by consumers. Some of those consumers are clients, others are people who are aware of you through your marketing efforts and reputation. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Customers are not customers until they purchase. Businesses can’t grow without more sales, and your travel business profits won’t increase without new sales. Sales are the key component.
While it seems very obvious, I hear all too often from travel agents that they are not salespeople. They consider themselves a counselor, consultant, a group specialist, or cruise specialist. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 60-Second Geography
Situated in the southern Caribbean sea and off the Venezuelan coast, lies the island of Curaçao. Although tiny in size, Curaçao is a Caribbean island like no other. Its vibrant culture and alluring history, offers travelers a captivating escape that is real and different. Read the rest of this entry »
Marketing drives sales. Marketing sets the expectations of the consumer and thereby preconditions the attitude with which the potential client approaches the travel professional. As marketing raises the profile of the travel agency in a target community, it serves the dual function of both acquiring new clients and retaining former ones. Marketing creates a relationship in the mind of the public between the concept of “travel” and the travel consultant. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Travel Agent Diaries
We all have heard over and over again that “change is difficult” but I have to say, that while change can be difficult, what I have found change to be is “constant!” It’s something we have to live with.
This year, our agency left American Express Travel Network and moved to Travel Leaders. Of course that was a big change and necessitated not only our engagement and learning curve but we had to “train” some of our clients as well. And while I was afraid we’d lose some of our American Express clientele, we did not. In fact, I think we’ve had more business from them than we had in the past! Read the rest of this entry »
Are you going to make mistakes in your travel practice? Absolutely! As my father used to say, if you aren’t falling down on occasion, then you aren’t trying hard enough. That said, however, everyone’s goal should be to minimize the problems likely to be encountered in building up the marketing and sales programs for your travel agency. With that in mind, this week we are going to talk about the most common mistakes travel agents make in five very important areas: Sales, Marketing, Branding, Public Relations, and Social Media. We start off the week discussing the most common sales mistakes travel agents make. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 1:1
Jim Tedesco is an 8 year veteran of the Flight Centre USA brand portfolio. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration in Management, Jim began his career in retail and has made wholesale his home for the last five and half years. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
One of the more frustrating aspects of being a travel professional is that so many people are unaware of what our job actually entails. You know what is involved. I know what is involved. And anyone that reads the Travel Agent Diary series knows what is involved. But often it seems no one else understands.
Most of our clients don’t get it. They think that we just push a few buttons on some website and—presto there’s a trip. Many times, even our own partners—our travel suppliers don’t understand. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
Is it hard to believe we are only two short months from 2015? It certainly is for me. During the next two months you can do yourself no greater favor than to begin working through a marketing plan, a budget and a calendar for 2015. Getting into the travel planning business is very easy. Staying in the travel planning business is a bit more of a challenge. True we can sometimes simply luck our way through, but in so doing we inevitably waste resources and miss opportunities. Working with a plan is absolutely essential to achieving the best possible results. Sporadic marketing, chasing one opportunity and then another, seldom resolves in a productive manner. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, we have been looking at ten follow up steps you can take when your travel practice achieves a great media placement. By actively marketing the placement forward, you extend its value to your business as more people are exposed to the article or interview.
The final two steps today seek to ingrain your success in your business culture. Just as the initial opportunity was likely the result of hard work and planning, so too will be the next media exposure you achieve. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
There are experts everywhere. We are surrounded by self-proclaimed experts in virtually every facet of our lives–just look around. There are experts for social media (even specialized experts in one platform of social media), experts for websites, experts for sales…if you can think of it, there’s an expert out there for it! It can be difficult to weed out all the riff-raff and find the GOOD experts, the ones who not only know what they’re talking about, they have a historical record of positives to back up their expert claims. I call these experts my “certified gurus.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
Recognized as a leading expert in the industry, Diane Moore joined Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2010. Although Diane originally had joined as Executive Vice President, she was quickly promoted to President. As a seasoned veteran of the cruise industry, Moore was previously the President of Windstar Cruises. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Departures
Iceland ProCruises, the only Icelandic owned expedition cruise line, proudly sets sail to Iceland and Greenland beginning in June, 2015. With over 20 years experience in Iceland tourism, the owners of Iceland ProTravel, a leading ground operator, are excited to launch Iceland ProCruises as a unique way to explore Iceland and Greenland in a distinctive setting that highlights wildlife, nature, culture and history. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
Walking into Silver Wind’s reception area late Tuesday afternoon felt a lot like coming home. There were familiar faces, the first of which belonged to Flavio, the affable hotel director who hails from picturesque Positano. Flavio is a genuine reflection of Silversea’s Italian heritage. I had sailed with him in Australia and New Zealand on Silver Shadow a couple of years ago.
Read the rest of this entry »