Is your finger on the pulse of the travel trends?
What destinations are you selling right now? Caribbean? Hawaii? Mexico? If so, you might be missing out—big time! There used to be a time when the business development managers for the suppliers, consortia, and franchises would keep you “in the loop” on emerging destinations and trends. But, as budgets are being cut, you cannot always rely on that. Many of us (sadly) no longer have a business development manager. So, what’s an agent to do? Do it yourself!
Earlier this year CNN published a very interesting article, Top cities for international tourists are… And here’s the list, in order, based on arrivals:
- Paris, France
- Antalya, Turkey
- New York, Unites States
- Shenzhen, China
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Macau, China
- London, United Kingdom
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Singapore, Singapore
- Hong Kong, China
Notice anything unusual? Not many are coming to the United States. More surprising is that not too many are headed to Europe. Asia appears to be the new hot spot—at least according to this survey.
Of course destination flavors will change from year to year, but are you watching the trends? If you sell cruises, have you really studied the Asian itineraries and become familiar with them? Maybe it is time to familiarize yourself with the area. Take a Destination Specialist course or two.
The economy is on a rebound and people are traveling once again and if this survey is any indication, they are interested in Asia. While the survey is not reflective of each of our individual clients (mine are likely not interested due to time of travel and price—single parent niche) it is likely reflective of many. So, how do you know?
Create a survey on your website and the next time you send out your newsletter, link back to it. Ask them where they want to go next. And also ask them where they want to go regardless of time or money. Any overlaps should be high on your list for a long-term specialty. The “next” trips are your immediate concerns and finally followed up by the dream trips.
This is a very simple way of taking the pulse of your business and guiding you in a potentially new direction—as an added bonus, by emailing your clients a link to the survey (as opposed to sending the survey itself), you are apt to get the most engaged clients who are likely to give you the most honest answers.
Keep an eye on the world around us and make sure that you have your finger on the pulse!