I spend many of my columns speaking to the importance of positioning and differentiation – setting your travel practice apart from the crowd. From the emails and comments I received, however, it’s clear that it’s not always easy to really BE different. Where do the ideas arise that will energize your travel practice in such a way that travelers will choose you over another agency or booking on their own?
The most important thing is to lead with your personality. You are the one thing that is truly unique about your travel practice. You are the one thing not duplicated online, in your office, or at another agency. You are the human element with which people want to engage. Learn to infuse your creative thinking with your own personality. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s important to continually foster creativity in your travel practice. When you finally arrive at an idea that seems reasonable and workable, how do you figure out if it will work before investing too much time or money?
Imagine you have decided to promote yourself and your travel practice through a travel blog for your local market. You feel that when people read your blog about local drive market travel they will begin to see you as a local travel expert and therefore be more likely to consult with you their travel needs. Read the rest of this entry »
A few responses to this week’s series on brainstorming for travel agents have asked about the best way to brainstorm in a group. Here are some techniques that have worked very successfully. Like always, however, these are suggestions only. Your particular office may find variations or other techniques that work better, and please feel free to share those with us. One rule pertains above all others in the process of brainstorming: no criticism allowed! For the initial brainstorming sessions, postpone criticism Read the rest of this entry »
Immersing yourself in the culture of travel is a good way to provide the right side of your brain with creative fodder for brainstorming. One way to keep yourself current and fresh in the travel industry is to mix with other travel professionals. The interchange of ideas, the trading of new techniques and destinations, is a nearly invaluable opportunity for you to learn how other agents are successfully putting new concepts into practice. What works in other markets is very likely to have some applicability in your own. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel agents do well to bring popular culture into your brainstorming sessions. Remember, however, brainstorming is not daydreaming. Rather it is an active attempt to disrupt stale patterns of thinking, to break up and re-arrange your established notions. Anytime you need to develop new ideas or opportunities, when you want to improve the services you offer by some radical degree, brainstorming is the place to turn. Yesterday we discussed brainstorming with your office team and your existing customers, bringing their experience of your travel agency’s services into the discussion. Today, we want to look at popular culture as an resource for creative ideas for your brainstorming efforts. Read the rest of this entry »
New ideas can sometimes seem hard to come by. Whether you are looking for a new angle on marketing your travel practice, or a new product idea for a particular demographic, finding exactly the right approach can seem like swimming upstream. There are, however, a few well-known strategies for coaxing new ideas into existence. There are repositories of good ideas available to travel agents to research, try out and investigate. You just have to know where to look.
Here’s the good news – great ideas are everywhere you look. Most “new” ideas are really just a modification of an existing one. When TRO decided to give away destination guides to travel agents, the “new” aspect of the idea was not destination guides. There were already services providing destination guides to travel agents Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday we discussed the need to continually foster creativity in your travel practice. When you finally arrive at an idea that seems reasonable and workable, how do you figure out if it will work before investing too much time or money?
Imagine you have decided to promote yourself and your travel practice through a travel blog for your local market. You feel that when people read your blog about local drive market travel they will begin to see you as a local travel expert Read the rest of this entry »
Where are new ideas born? Sometimes it can seem like all the good ideas are gone and that the energy has drained out of your travel practice. The truth is, however, you have not even scratched the surface – the universe has no limit to the possibilities for you and your enterprises. But creativity requires time to think around your business, not on your business. Our proximity to the day to day mechanics of our travel practice can make it hard to obtain a clear perspective. There are a few very dependable techniques you can count on to pump new energies into your thinking and to generate some new ideas for marketing. Here are a few tips: Read the rest of this entry »