It’s already December?! Thanksgiving has come and gone and the holiday season is kicking into high gear. Hopefully some of you reaped the benefits of Small Business Saturday and gained some new travel clients. In our field, the holiday season also (usually) brings an increase in clients who have been hit with cabin fever and yearn for warmer destinations. At least, I can only speak for parts of the US where winter’s cold bite can hit hard (rolling my eyes at you Florida).
While I’m not one for shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday are more my style, I do appreciate the boost that it brings to our economy. However, in our day-to-day lives it’s amazing how much people value possessions and materialistic things – enough to fight fellow shoppers – instead of spending that time with friends and family or experiencing things like the great outdoors (check out REI’s #OptOutside campaign). One of the greatest things about our industry is that we help to sell experiences and lifelong memories, not flat screen TV’s or robot vacuums.
As a millennial, I know my generation tends to get a bad rap for many things, but one of the great things about my generation is that we are adventurous and tend seek experiences over possessions. This means that those big online travel agencies can’t fulfill our needs because cookie cutter tour packages and escorted tours aren’t what we seek. I believe the need for travel agents who can specialize in unique and custom travel will continue to thrive in the next years, and some studies corroborate this. It’s my hope that my generation will help with the resurgence of the travel agent industry.
Over the past year, I’ve tried to share my trials and tribulations through my growing experience from a hosted agent to an independent agency. From dealing with too many clients (yes, there is such a thing when you’re part-time), bringing on additional part-time staff, closing sales, my new found appreciation for [certain] FAM trips and the issue that helped lead me to creating a new travel client lead generator. It’s been a year of growth for me personally as well as my business, and looking back through my previous posts, it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since beginning this writing journey. I’ll be the first to admit that writing is not my forte, but the opportunity to write with TRO has been a great experience and I hope that sharing my experiences has been beneficial to at least one person out there.
With that, I want to wish everyone an early happy holidays and a very happy and prosperous 2016! It’s the end of this column for me, but hopefully not the end of working with TRO.
Nathan Graeff is the owner of Capital Travel and Events based in the nation’s capital of Washington, DC. His agency is a full service travel agency serving leisure and business clients but specializes in adventure travel, non-profit agency travel and accessible travel. Nathan is a home-based agent and a member of Millennials in Travel and OSSN.