The last twelve weeks of 2008 are just ahead of us. Certainly there have been and will be still some anxious moments in travel as this year winds down and we begin 2009. But I dare say there is also some pent-up demand for travel right now. For almost a year, people have slowed their travel spending as the dollar lost ground to other currencies. With just a bit of luck, the tide will turn in the traveler’s favor and travel agents will find themselves speaking to clients about that trip that has been put off too long or that over-due vacation with the family.
Tough times make good business people smarter. Midway into the fourth quarter, there are a few things you can do to ensure that when demand for travel picks back up, you are ready to take advantage. Firstly, keep marketing yourself. Keep newsletters and emails headed in the direction of your clients. Use this time for study and planning. Work on your marketing plan for next year and polish all of your business collateral. Stay in touch with your best suppliers and strengthen the relationships you need to grow your expertise. Now is a good time to evaluate your professional commitment to travel planning and to look at your association memberships and educational goals.
The HAWAII VISITORS AND CONVENTION BUREAU (HVCB) is offering up a pretty good lesson to agents on how to approach the last quarter of 2009. Hawaii has felt the recent economic slow-down too, so they did exactly what you should do – they have picked up their marketing efforts. Along with their wholesale partners like USTOA tour operator Blue Sky Tours, Hawaii is trying to retain the public’s mind-share by marketing. Did you know you can now send a client to Hawaii for less than 2007 prices? That’s the theme of their new campaign, and they are offering plenty of incentives to the public, and to agents, to back up their claim that no place on earth offers a greater return on your vacation dollar than the Islands of Aloha.
There’s a good lesson in there somewhere, the way that true professionals kick into marketing high gear when things slow down a bit. So join us starting this week as TRO begins to focus on the Islands of Aloha. A series of Webinars and articles, along with additions to our video series will be made available to you. All of the material TRO produces will be designed for agents to forward on to their clients. so watch for some great marketing tools over the next couple of weeks to head your way. With some help from the HVCB, you might just be able to make some of your own luck this quarter.