The entire month of September went by so fast! In the beginning of the month, I attended a Luxury MICE Event in Amsterdam, where I met high-end hotels and resorts throughout Europe and some from the Middle East. It was a great forum that enables Art Of Travel to build high-end products and packages both for our Leisure and our Meetings & Incentive clients.
Immediately after, I flew to Manila for the Philippine Travel Exchange, a forum that gave me the chance to meet old friends and suppliers for our Philippine programs. We focus mainly on culture, sun, and sea products that we sell extensively during the winter months in Europe. I then did a side-trip to Hong Kong and Bangkok to visit our local office and with the same purpose of meeting friends and suppliers to build on our winter product offerings.
Now that all this is done, we are currently preparing prices and programs for winter, which we start to roll out in the beginning of October. Since the lead-time for bookings is shorter than it used to be, we expect sales and bookings to pick up, generally around November for travel in December and January through April.
So for the next two months, we’ll be heavily focused on selling and promoting Southeast Asia through our various sales channels, but mainly B2B. We will also be doing marketing through various social media channels and through our website, of course, where we expect to generate direct bookings and attract new agency partners worldwide.
But looking ahead, it seems I still can’t get away from traveling again. During the last week of October, I am heading to Southeast Asia with the Czech Tourism Board for a Roadshow covering the 5 major Southeast Asian markets. I’ll be participating in shows in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, and Jakarta promoting our inbound business to the Czech Republic and Central Europe.
By doing this, it means we’re already talking about developing sales for 2017. When I think about it, this cycle and the seasonality that goes with the travel business makes me reflect on how amazing it is to be in our industry. We certainly can’t miss a beat. Otherwise we miss an entire season’s worth of sales. And this goes on year after year like clockwork.
Outside of our business, one might think that this vicious cycle could be boring and redundant. On the other hand, even if it’s an on-going cycle, nothing in the travel business is ever the same. People change, suppliers change, client demands and preferences change, and markets change. It’s constantly dynamic. No wonder I find many friends in our industry who’ve been at it for many, many years now, and it’s just amazing to see their enthusiasm hasn’t waned at all. This is why I believe we as travel agents will continue to be relevant even with the changing times and the ever-evolving technology that comes with it.
Vincent Soriano is the Founder & Managing Director of Art Of Travel. Based in Prague, Czech Republic, Art Of Travel specializes in delivering travel experiences throughout Central & Eastern Europe. And with its strong affinity to Asia, Travel Agent partners and customers also rely on their expert knowledge of Philippines, Thailand, and the rest of Southeast & North Asia. To know more, visit www.ArtOfTravel.eu. Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org