How To Grow As A Successful Travel Agent After This Pandemic



n recent times, more and more consumers have become inclined to good travel operators and agencies, instead of planning the trip on their own. They want personalized attention, convenience, and good value out of a tour. This is rather a good sign of optimism for the offline travel agent industry. But now that the lockdown has dawned upon us, why not develop ourselves as the industry professional, to be more ready than ever for the future! So, in order to make you a little more hopeful, we have curated some useful tips that every travel agent can do right now.

1. Specialize

With fewer customers in the spew right now, You can choose a few destinations and become a specialist in them. Although now people have access to all the information through the internet, you will still have an upper hand because of your travel experience and expertise. This will definitely help you as a tour operator to acquire more customers, as you will be much more knowledgeable and inform them in detail.

2. Be complex

Customers can usually book simple trips on their own. But, the need for a travel agency is needed when there are longer trips and a lot to see within the time frame. You can practice on planning such complex tours so that the customers have full trust in you for carrying out and managing that tour.

3. Go Upmarket

You can divide the travellers into two broad segments- ones who have more money than time and the ones who have more time than money. People with more money and less time usually value the expertise of a travel company and trust them with their ability to manage the whole tour. This is why you as a travel professional should always strive for the upmarket customers and stay a step ahead in the competition.

4. Personalize

You should always strive to differentiate yourself from the home-grown, DIY type of travel agents. Through the personalization of a tour, you make sure that the whole planning is focussed on the needs and wants of the customer. Right from the first talk or meet, you can entrust the customer that the services you are providing are well thought and according to their requirements.

5. Work with Net Rates rather than commissions

As an agent, when you book a tour for the customers, consider getting net rates from the suppliers instead of taking a commission. This way you can avoid any hassles of collecting the commission, will have a better cash flow, and better pricing flexibility.

6. Make a great first impression

During your first interaction with any client, make sure to have a great impact. Sharpening your first responses to your customers will result in better retention and long-lasting relations.

7. Master your pitch

When a client asks you, “What makes you different from other travel agents?” or “Tell me more about your travel agency”, make sure you keep at least 3 answers prepared so that they get a little more confidence in you and think further about continuing or starting to avail your services.

8. Develop a repertoire of unique experiences and special access

In today’s scenario of travel and tourism, people are about experience. They get more attracted to what all experience they will be having rather than the destination itself. The more unique are the experiences you sell, the more value you are adding to the tour. This way, you will also attract more and more clients when you give them access to special events.

9. Constantly do a self-check- Am I delivering the best value?

The tourism market has always been changing. So, self analyze and keep a check on product and service rates so that you are not left behind in the competition. You have to stay updated in the industry and strive to provide the best value. For that, you can build up several strategies and plans as well.

10. Brush up your sales skills

Sales is an integral part of any travel company. But you have to hit that sweet spot where the customer can rely on you and you become their trusted advisor. Instead of the plain old pushy sales approach, you should work on building relationships and trust with your customers.

11. Have a good website

In these times, the website of a travel company can make it or break it for the visitor. So make sure that you have easy to navigate pages on it and a great design for a great impression. Other important factors are that the content of the website should be compelling and is easy to maintain & update as well. You can hire or outsource a good web developer for it or perhaps use online services too.

12. Be reachable and responsive

As a travel business owner, you honestly won’t have a chance to work within a limited timeframe. You have to always be on your A-game even when you are not in your office. Keeping your smartphone with you will always come in handy. You can always be responsive to your customers through call, email, text, or on social media.

13. Develop a trusted brand

Having a trust among the masses can have a great positive impact on your business. To build such a reputation, you can get yourself written up in a national media. If you are a smaller business, you can at least get yourself written up in the local newspaper. This way, people will be aware of your brand and your trusted services. Even by means of the reviews from real travellers, you can build trust among masses through a referral system.

14. Improve process efficiency

In most travel agencies, the operation part is what makes or breaks them in the industry. Sometimes the operation process gets complicated because of the factors like customer demands, flight timings, prices, location, access to a certain place, etc and makes you confused or frightened of the situation ahead in the tour. So, this is the best time to improve that process and make it more efficient. You need to streamline all the little things that go into planning and executing the custom tours.

15. Partner to get new leads

New leads are always great and necessary too for a tour operator. So, improve your marketing skill during this time to get new leads for the future. If not, you can also hire a marketing agency or travel referral services for your help. By outsourcing this part, you can save yourself some time and focus on sales.

16. Engage with Social Media

Social media in today’s time has become an integral part of any business. You can easily take advantage of this and maybe create a Facebook or Instagram page for your travel business. You can easily engage with your clients as they can put on reviews instantly and with ease. You can even post some special deals to let your target audience know about it.

17. Improve your emails

Emailing to clients or suppliers is an important part of the travel business and a good email is also a sales skill that helps develop your relationship with the customers. You can learn from online classes or someone who is an expert in emails. A lot of customers even prefer to communicate through email. So it is imperative that your emailing skills should be top-notch.

18. Know when to ask for a fee

As you gain more and more experience doing business and selling your services, you tend to know and get a hunch as to when you should ask for a fee. You can decide this according to the types of clients you have and what is your relationship with them.

19. Sell your expertise

A lot of tour agencies sell and advertise their deals on their websites, which is okay. Selling such deals online has become pretty competitive for travel businesses. So to stand out and be a step ahead in the competition, you can sell personalized travel services expert advice to your customers.

20. Stay updated

The travel industry changes tremendously at a fast pace. So be a constant learner and a student to stay updated. You should even adopt and adapt to new ways of operating and handling things in your business, no matter how many years of experience you have in the industry.