Though some ARTA members have reported slower-than-usual volumes
in the first quarter of 2003, other agents have told us that
they’re hitting the ground running with more aggressive promotions
and marketing projects in their cities to drum up demand and get
their phones ringing. Here are a few ideas:
Sheila Hyman, of Tanforan Travel, San Bruno, Calif., sent a
letter to her entire mailing list to remind them about trips near
home, including Yosemite, Carmel, Napa Valley, Reno, Las Vegas,
SFO/LAX/SAN cruises, California’s theme parks and the Pacific
She says the letter not only reminds her clients about quick
trips they can take closer to home, but it reinforces the fact that
she’s there to help them with travel plans. One client booked a
$12,000 FIT trip to Australia with her as a result of the letter
not exactly close to home, but I guess it stimulated thoughts of
travel in general.
Another owner in the Southeast says he’s taken this slower time
of year to comb through his sales database to find his agency’s
strengths. He was surprised that more than a third of his business
is single parents traveling with their kids a niche that he did not
know he had!
Now, he’s changed his Web site to focus on this niche, with
tipsheets for family-friendly destinations. Since unveiling (and
heavily promoting) his new Web focus, he’s closed 37 more family
vacation sales than he had last year at this time.
An owner in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area reports that
he has changed consortiums to get better commission rates on his
best-selling products. Also, he’s taken his outside sales agents
and broken out the top performers so that he can focus his time on
working with them this spring.
Other ideas that have been passed along to us: Take a quick fam
trip to a fabulous destination and, while you’re there, send back
postcards to your top 100 clients. Set up a travel book club with
your local bookstore. Or, start a vacation club for travelers to
send you regular deposits toward their dream trips.
The point? Don’t wait for the phones to ring on their own. Take
these tips from fellow ARTA agents or come up with your own local
promotions to generate demand in your city.