At Cary Travel Express, the busiest time of the year is almost behind us. Spring break season is extremely exhausting yet exhilarating! I often feel like I’m on a treadmill that won’t stop–only why am I not losing weight?
In an effort to weed out some of the clients who are strictly looking for the best price no matter where they’ve found it, and to avoid endless hours of research, we have decided to start charging a service fee. This is one way to know if our clients are serious or not. We don’t want to charge our long-term, repeat clients, but we will charge anyone who is new and requires a lot of research.
Visiting Oahu on a three-island FAM last October really inspired me to make a concentrated push to promote this beautiful island for the right clients. I think it is a great alternative for my all-inclusive clients who want to try a different destination, but who feel that Hawaii is out of their price range. There is definitely something for everyone no matter the size of the budget.
We are selling more cruises than ever too! The recent Costa incident has not deterred people from wanting to cruise. They have been calling and specifically asking for them. While many clients have presumed that cruises are going to be more reasonable since the Costa Concordia disaster, we have not seen any evidence to support this theory.
On the other hand, Mexico is still the toughest destination to sell right now. Every year during spring break, the media bombards us with reports of why Mexico is not safe to visit. The first thing we hear out of our clients’ mouths are “we don’t want to go to Mexico.” Since Mexico is one of my areas of expertise, it is very disappointing that the media has instilled fear in the average person. We try to educate our clients and clarify any misunderstandings, but it isn’t always successful. But, we still do sell a lot of it and I am happy to see that Mexico remains one of the top tourist destinations regardless of the negative media coverage. Many clients can see the benefits–easy to get to, a good value, and a variety of resorts for everyone’s interests.
Many tour operators have been visiting our office trying to motivate us to continue selling their products. And of course in addition to selling, we need to keep sharp on the industry. I attended a trade show last week, participated in a “Magic of Mexico” webinar, and completed some Starwood training. It’s important to stay educated even during the busiest of times.
Does anyone else feel like this is a 24-hour job?
Mary Jo Babiarz, Senior Travel Consultant with Carey Travel Express, has been in the travel business since 2005. Her love of travel has taken her to destinations such as Hawaii, many Caribbean islands, several Mediterranean port cities, and lots of Mexican vacation destinations. She is particularly knowledgeable about the Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but has extended knowledge in the Caribbean as well. An avid photographer, Mary Jo is known to thrill her clients with her first hand photos. You can reach Mary Jo at Cary Travel Express or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.