Travel Ideas by Alfa Travel Blog
Alfa Travel Blog
The Ideas in the list are things that every agent can do – right now – in order to adapt to and thrive in today’s environment, in which Travelers want personalized attention, good value, and the convenience of the internet.
1. Specialize Travel by Alfa Travel Blog
Pick a few destinations or activities and resolve to be a better expert at them than anyone else. Consumers now ave access to so much Travel information, particularly at their fingertips via the Internet that they have themselves become “generalist Travel agents.” When they seek help, they’re seeking a true specialist.
2. Personalize Travel by Alfa Travel Blog
Differentiate yourself from DIY, self-service online solutions – and instead give consumers highly personalized service, recommendations, etc., right from your very first interaction with them — whether online, by phone or
3. Develop a repertoire of unique experiences and special access It’s all about selling experiences. The more unique, the more value you’re adding. The more you can get clients access to special events or people, the more differentiated you are.
4. Be complex Travel by Alfa Travel Blog
Consumers can book the simple trips themselves (e.g. point-to-point trips such as Seattle to Las Vegas).
Travelers really need agents for complex trips (e.g. longer international trips or cruises). Your energy and specialization should be on these complex trips.
5. Go upTravel Market Segment the Travel Market into two Traveler types: Those with more money than time, and those with more time than money. Agents can only compete for the former segment’s business. Travelers with more money than time value purchasing a Travel agent’s expertise and ability to handle every aspect of the trip.
6. Work with net rates rather than take commission Especially for custom tours, agents should consider getting net rates from suppliers and marking them up rather than taking commission. This gives pricing flexibility and better cash flow, and reduces the hassle of collecting commission.
7. Constantly do a self-check: Am I delivering the best value?
The Travel Market’s constantly changing. For all your products and services that you offer, are you getting competitive rates? Do you have a variety of strategies to get your clients the most value?
8. Master your pitch
Have you perfected your pitch if clients ask: “Tell me about yourself and your agency,” or “What makes you
different from other agents?” What are the top three messages in your pitch? Memorize them.
9. Brush up on “trusted advisor” sales skills
It’s a consultative sales job: Most agents can sell a lot more if they can be perceived as a trusted advisor.
This means relationship-building and trust-building skills rather than pushy sales skills.
10. Develop a trusted reputation / Brand
Get yourself or your agency written up in national media or at least your local newspaper. Join the BBB. Get
clients to write you endorsements on LinkedIn. Build your reputation with real Traveler reviews on a referral
11. Have a good Travel Blog
Many agents have websites or Blogs that do them a disservice. Agent Blog / Sites need three key things: good
design + compelling content + easy to maintain / update. If you don’t have a good web developer, use services
like Intuit Websites or HP LogoWorks.
12. Be incredibly responsive & reachable – use a smartphone
Even when you’re not at the office, use a smartphone to be extremely responsive through voice, email, and
social media. Use Google Voice to have one number that rings you at your landline, mobile, or any other number.
13. Improve process efficiency by Alfa Travel Blog
Most agents have plenty of opportunities to be more efficient in their operational processes. For example,
streamline the time to develop a custom itinerary, the time to price a quote, etc.
14. Know when to ask for a fee
I don’t believe there’s a cookie cutter answer on when to ask for a planning fee or good faith deposit. Make a
judgment call on this for various types of clients.
15. Engage with social media by Alfa Travel Blog
I highly recommend a Facebook Page for your Travel business. Get your clients to be fans and to post reviews of
your services. Engage them with insights and tips.
It is fine to post some specials or Travel Deals, but a Facebook page is best used when it’s less about selling
and more about engaging with fans and being helpful with your knowledge. As an example, check out the Zicasso
16. Partner to get new leads
Be a good Travel Marketer – or if you’re not, hire a Travel Marketing agency to help you, or use a Travel
referral service like Zicasso for targeted, pre-qualified luxury leads. Save yourself the time and focus on
17. Improve your writing / email skills
Many clients prefer email communications. Good writing is a sales skill that helps build trust and relationship
with clients. Take a class to improve this skill and you’ll also improve sales conversion.
18. Sharpen your first response to clients
Obsess over the quality of your first interaction with a new client, whether it’s a phone call or an email.
Making a good first impression plays a major role in sales conversion.
19. Don’t sell Travel Deals : Sell expertise !
Many agents advertise Travel Deals on their website and send the message that they can find the best Travel
Deals. It’s tough to beat Travel Deals on the Internet, and will be even tougher going forward. Transform your
business and your message to sell expert advice and personalized service.
20. Be a lifelong student of change
This industry has changed tremendously and the pace of change will only accelerate. Be a constant student of
best practices and be ready to adapt and adopt new ways of doing things….no matter how many years you’ve been
in the industry.
Travel by Alfa Travel Blog have a request of everyone: as you achieve success, be a role model for the next
generation of young agents.
Recruit, inspire, and mentor them. This industry desperately needs new blood and young talent will only join
when they see successful role models. I wish everyone great success in your continued business endeavors.
21. At Pittsburgh Hotel, guests surrender digital devices upon check-in
The point of a break away is to immerse yourself in relaxation, but all too often this is forgotten by those
who find it hard to switch off from their busy work lives. The Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh
recognized this problem and decided to employ tough love with its guests. Guests must surrender their laptops,
cell phones and any other digital device when they check in TO THE Hotel. In their place, the Hotel offers a
selection of literary classics for guests to delve into
22. In Germany, niche getaways offer recovery from heartbreak
When Elvis first crooned out the words to his hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ he probably didn’t have Berlin-based Die
Liebeskuemmerer in mind. However, the company took his words and made them a reality, offering holiday packages
to the lovesick. There are a range of getaways available from cottage breaks, spa holidays and mountain
retreats and the only stipulation is that the tourist must be suffering from heartache, whether in a
relationship or recently coming out of one. Psychologists and health and styling therapists are on hand to give
guests a much-needed boost. A niche area that is perhaps overlooked, this Travel company is innovatively
catering for a unique Travel Market.
23. Enlisting the crowds to help find the cheapest airfare
While there are plenty of sites offering price comparisons on flights, Australian-based Flightfox encourages
users to challenge the rest of the site’s visitors to find them a good Travel Deal to their desired
destination. A finder’s fee of AUD 29 is offered as an incentive to find the best Travel Deal. As price
comparison sites become ever more prevalent, often overwhelmingly so, services such as this offer a more
personal alternative. On average, Flightfox claims to help fliers save AUD 369 on their trips.
24. In the Czech Republic, guided tours of political corruption
Many people go away on holiday to escape grim reality. However, others take an active interest in the history
of their chosen destination – warts and all. For these people, CorruptTour.com may be a welcome addition to the
selection of tourist offerings in Prague. The tour takes in major government buildings such as the Ministry of
the Interior, and reveals the dubious undertakings of previous administrations. This refreshing take on the
tourist experience seeks to shed some light on the political workings of the Czech Republic, and in so doing
reveals an aspect of the country that most tourists would be oblivious to.
25. Holiday destination searching based on recent temperature trends
Holidays can be meticulously planned down to the tiniest detail, but the one thing that can’t be controlled is
the weather. Netherlands WaarSchijntdeZonWel.nl aims to minimise the risk of bad weather by displaying possible
holiday destinations based on weather predictions. The site recognizes how much the weather can affect a
person’s enjoyment of their holiday and aims to please accordingly.
26. Site gives tourists discounts for allowing it to choose destination
One problem airlines encounter is the fluctuating popularity of certain destinations – whether it be based on
season or a place that has fallen out of favor with the masses. To counter this, GetGoing have added an
exciting risk element to the selection of a holiday destination, whereby the site’s users can enter two
preferred locations and then leave it up to the luck of the draw to find out which place they will be visiting.
For taking the risk users are rewarded with a 40 per cent discount on their holiday, and airlines can fill
empty seats. A win-win situation for all involved.
27. Luxury Hotel furniture sourced and made available to tourists
When visiting a luxury Hotel visitors can often come down with a severe case of envy after having enjoyed the
glamorous decor, and the return to drab normality can feel like too much of a wrench. Discover & Deliver came
to the rescue with a service that uncovers the source of luxury items in Hotel rooms and then offers them for
sale on their site. Similarly, pleasebringme.com recognized the importance of holiday tokens to return home
with, and set up a service where locals can request items from tourists and vice versa – a chance to forge
relationships across cultural divides as well as returning home with an authentic piece of the place visited.
28. Boutique Hotels bid to host Travelers with unique, tailored experiences
Soverinn asks tourists to enter their ITravel Deal holiday location preferences and then encourages Hotels
local to this destination to offer packages and Travel Deals to the user, personalized to their preferences.
Individualized Travel Deals are becoming increasingly popular as the Travel and tourism sector grows and
becomes increasingly competitive – Soverinn makes the most of this crowded Travel Market and gives Hotels a
chance to compete directly against each other with promises of unique experiences.
29. Service matches parents Traveling with young kids with babysitters on the same flight
For families, children are often one of the main considerations when planning a holiday, perhaps to the
detriment of organizing the rest of the trip. For parents with too much on their plate, Nanny in the Clouds
offers help in the form of a babysitting service during flights. To make matters even easier they match up
babysitters already Travelling on the same flight as those looking for someone to keep an eye on their
children, leaving parents free to relax on their journey.
30. City guides for Travelers customized with tips from local ‘soulmates’
Tips from locals knowledgeable in the history of a location can be invaluable and can help tourists stray from
the well beaten track. Nectar & Pulse decided to make the most of this advice by employing citizens to act as
visitors’ personal guides. The service matches tourists and guides by comparing interests and then compiles the
guide’s tips into a book. Berlin-based Plus One hosts a service based on similar thinking, offering a studio
apartment to stay in along with a selection of 28 local residents, from which the tourist can pick one to spend
time with and learn from their knowledge of the city. As with Soverinn mentioned above, and Springwise featured
Rambler — which gamifies Travel experiences — all of these services go above and beyond to ensure the tourists’
experience is as personalized as possible, drawing heavily on local knowledge and unique experiences — a far
cry from the generic tourist packages of old
Surya Agrawal [MTA]
Travel by Alfa Travel Blog
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