Make up a crisis! Now I’m not suggesting running into your local theater, screaming “fire”, and trying to sell people trips on the sidewalk as they evacuate. Something a lot more discrete (and a lot more legal) would be best. Take a look at the past and the ever-changing world of travel and see if you can create a demand for travel-or at least, a demand to think about traveling. At worst, your name will rise to the top. At best, you will receive some bookings.
In 2007, WHTI became effective. If you were in the industry leading up to that, you remember how frantic travelers were to get their passports. There was confusion: you now needed passports to go to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. You may have needed them to go on a cruise, but then again, a card might have done the trick. The passport offices were taking 3 to 4 months to process applications. If I remember right, I think they tossed in a government shut-down to keep things interesting.
So, what does the panic of 2017 have to do with the here and now? Passports expire in 10 years. And there will be a rush of people renewing and likely will cause a backup.
- Contact your clients and tell them to renew now—nothing requires you to wait until expiration is imminent.
- Send a press release out to your local and regional media forewarning of an upcoming “passport crunch.”
The other morning, a friend and I were discussing that it was exactly a year ago when we all were going to die of Ebola. Obviously, that scare (as with many in the travel industry) proved to be much ado about nothing—thankfully. But perhaps the anniversary of the scare is a good time to remind your clients about vaccinations and inoculations that might be needed for travel. Certainly some need to be administered shortly before departure, but there are many that are just good practice for general health, including travel health:
- Measles, Mumps Rubella
- Chicken Pox
- Hepatitis A and B
Fall, for me, tends to be a slowish time. People are beginning to hunker down for the winter and prepare for the holidays that are looming. But the New Year and spring are busy, and I want to make sure that my clients and prospects will be calling me when it is time to travel. Do not wait for the New Year and hope that the business rolls in. Do something to create the business. Give them a reason to call you. Create your own crisis.