This week’s columns have resulted in some requests for resources where travel professionals can research for information on some of the social issues we have discussed. While the list below is by no mean exhaustive, it will provide you with a starting point for most of the topics we discussed this week. If you have others, please share them with us. On a personal note, I am extremely gratified by the attention the travel community is paying to this issue. Please pass these resources along in your own communities and let’s get the word out! Read the rest of this entry »
Your clients no doubt have a wide range of travel and cultural sophistication. Some clients are new to travel, new to the destinations and cultures they visit. Others are more seasoned veterans, well traveled and informed. In both instances, however, you are the professional in the relationship, an opportunity to provide information vital to the sustainability of travel and tourism.
Exploitation of a culture or the environment whether intentionally or through ignorance is an avoidable mistake. Educating your clients on issues important to the regions they visit is an invaluable service enhancing the travel experience and providing the client with greater insight into their journeys. A proper education protects the client against a mistake which may cost them dearly. A few moments of research on almost any destination will turn up all of the information you and your clients may need to avoid trespassing on sensitive cultural and environmental territory. Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel is inherently uncomfortable. No matter in what class you ride or how luxurious your accommodations, travel takes you out of the familiar and requires you to expose yourself to others’ schedules, environments and rules. A traveler must adapt, integrate and deflect and doing so is the very essence of the travel experience.
Few of us have failed to witness the bad traveler. The person who gets angry at the slightest inconvenience, the man who decides to win an argument with the flight attendant by cursing or the screamer at the check-in desk. Throw a few drinks down a tired traveler and the mix is often most unfortunate. Read the rest of this entry »
How fortunate are travel consultants in their opportunities to travel widely? We probably all have our favorites, many times based on our most recent travels. Right now, I’m pretty high on Iceland. If I had to choose a favorite, however, I would have to say Thailand is a very special country for me. My father and I first traveled there together 25 years ago, and I was struck then by the peaceful, friendly nature of the Thai people. Thailand is sometimes called “the land of smiles” and the title is well earned. Smile at a Thai person and the smile is very likely to be returned. Being there is a reminder of the truly amazing opportunity we have to expose our clients to a world vastly different from our own, to acquaint them with cultures and concerns that broaden our perspective and remind us of the wider context in which we all live.