Vacations should be relaxing and fun, but having to shop around for a cheap plane ticket, book hotel reservations, and make an itinerary can be stressful. The advantage of going through a travel agency is to travel with ease of mind through one-stop booking. The key to designing a travel agency project is to give the travel client a discount while making sure that the destination, hotel, and daily activities will be exciting.
Find appropriate vendors. Vendors are all of the partner organizations that you will need to contact for your client, including hotels, tour guide organizations, and transportation agencies. Let the vendors know that you're part of a travel agency and that you're interested in cooperating with their organization. This is when you will ask them if they have any group discounts for travel agency referrals.
Plan out the dates and the number of days for your destination programs. After you've contacted all the vendors for the travel agency project and checked out the quality of hotels, transportation services, and amenities, you can start making an itinerary for your clients. Ask yourself: How many days does your potential client plan to spend at this location and then coordinate with the vendors to make sure that the appropriate discounts will be available for the time periods you are requesting for your clients. Make sure that the vendors give you discounts for booking during "off" travel periods.
Keep in mind the market for your travel agency product. Is your travel package a romantic getaway for couples or a budget-saving program for families? Make sure that the hotels, transportation, and activities will be appropriate for the clients. All-inclusive hotels and resorts offer a lot of activities for all types of travelers at a discount. If you're booking a travel agency project to a large city, architecture and landmark tours are fun for all ages and give a great overview of the city to clients while they're sitting on a double-decker bus.
Know your competitors. Even if you've designed a great travel agency product, you need to find our who your competitors are to stand out above the crowd. If your competitors offer a similar product, then you will have a difficult time selling your travel agency project. Think about what makes your project different from your competitors: Is it the quality of hotels, the 24/7 service you're offering to travelers abroad, or the specialized itinerary?
Advertise the project. In order to market your travel agency product, make sure that it will reach the ears and eyes of your potential clients. Buy website advertising on travel websites, sign up with travel promotions mailing lists, network with movers and shakers in the travel industry, and other places where you will be able to reach your target client audience.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not partner with any vendors unless you or someone from your travel agency has visited their locations. There's nothing worse than booking a hotel that looks good in photographs, but is something completely different in person.
- Follow the Four P's of Marketing: Product, Placement, Price, and Promotion.
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