Even though JAX FAX has been a constant resource for travel agents over the past 47 years, the travel industry itself has changed a lot. Agents have come, and unfortunately, some agents have gone. We do our best to keep track of our subscribers, using the postal service’s address change notifications, and updating our subscription records when we are notified by a subscriber or the mail carrier that someone has moved, or wants to cancel. But, some of our faithful readers seem to have have fallen off of our list. It does not have to be that way!
Many travel agents rely on repeat customers and referrals from satisfied clients, but sometimes we need to market ourselves in order to continue to build our client base. Where can you find new clients? Advertising can be expensive, and many travel agents no longer have brick and mortar facilities, so can’t rely on curb appeal to bring in drive-by business. The answer is in groups. Friend groups, church groups, PTO groups, club groups, and - social media groups.
Here we go again! The kids are heading back to school, and there are already a few red and yellow leaves along the sides of the roads here in Connecticut. That does not mean that vacation season is over! It just means that we have to help clients find other reasons to travel!
There has to be a good reason to put your life in a suitcase, leaving all that is familiar behind. To wait in long lines at at airports, or sit in traffic getting wherever you are going. The promise of what you are about to see and do is worth the hassle, and even to some, a memorable part of the journey.
When you plan a trip for a client, are you considering all travelers in the group? It is often easiest to take direction from the “group leader” or the person who has reached out to you for assistance in planning the trip. Their voice is the one you actually hear. In planning the trip, you may gather all the pertinent and necessary information about each passenger, but are you also considering their individual wishes for their vacation?
The news seems to be an overwhelmingly negative lately. Worldwide, so many people have been affected by terrible weather events, political conflicts, and even worse. As individuals, there does not seem to be much that we can do to help, or to effect positive change. A donation to relief organizations and volunteering your time and energy make a difference, but is that all we can do?
Happy New Year! More than just a holiday, New Year’s Day represents a new start. You can finally discard the scribbled on calendars and date books from 2017, and begin to use the fresh, new 2018 ones. If you have not gotten one yet - they are probably on sale now that the New Year has begun! Here are steps you can take to ensure 2018 is your best year yet.
Many tour operators have published new online brochures - download or bookmark them so you have up-to-date pricing, and information about all the new products and offerings.
Nature has shown us its absolute power over the course of the past few months. Damage, destruction and lives lost will make the 2017 hurricane season a sad chapter in history. Hurricane Harvey in late August put Houston, TX underwater. Hurricane Irma, followed closely by Hurricane Maria, devastated parts of the Caribbean.
As I write this, the light outside has changed, and my social media feed has become filled with images of people wearing funny cardboard glasses. Today, we are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime full solar eclipse. Of course, it is not full where I am, nor is it once-in-a-lifetime. I can clearly recall at least 2 other full-solar eclipses at earlier points in my life. But for some people, including my children, this is their first full solar eclipse, so I am trying really hard to not express my “it’s no big deal” thoughts. Because it is a big deal - to them.
In this issue you will find our annual guide to Host Agencies, Co-ops and Consortia. The services and support that travel agents gain from working with these companies are great examples of partnership. Being supported, and knowing where to turn when you need help is essential, and we all need to work with partners we trust, and who care about us and our success.
There are many things to consider when finding the right fit in any business partnership. The partnership should always be mutually beneficial. Both you and your clients should be able to benefit from your partnerships though the industry connections, supplier contacts, and products offered to you.