The Power of Seizing the Savings

Jim Flowers In these uncertain times, successful travel industry professionals are no longer relying exclusively on their own sales and marketing efforts. Instead, they are maximizing the power of business relationships by teaming with preferred partners for promotions that, in turn, produce growth and a

By: Jim Flowers

In these uncertain times, successful travel industry professionals are no longer relying exclusively on their own sales and marketing efforts. Instead, they are maximizing the power of business relationships by teaming with preferred partners for promotions that, in turn, produce growth and a competitive advantage. Last fall, Runaway developed, and has since refined, an exclusive Seize the Savings program, which draws on the efforts of travel agents, vendors and the wholesaler. Designed as a comprehensive campaign, Seize the Savings employs partners’ resources to maximize revenues for everyone. For example, promotional materials are developed so that agents can customize them for their own database. And, to generate a “bigger bang for the buck,” partners use financial resources and demographic knowledge to create a successful call to action in cooperative, four-color newspaper insertions and advertising. Also, a public-relations function was added to maximize exposure in specific locations. According to Janette Webber, partner of Avanti Travel in Redding, Calif., “We have never done any cooperative advertising like this before, with a partner who shares in the responsibility of producing a very professional, quality publication, which drives business directly into our agency. By working together as partners to present a promotional campaign to our target demographic, Avanti and Runaway were successful in generating hundreds of new customers. As a matter of fact, calls are still coming in, a month after this cooperative campaign was launched in our local newspaper.” Many critics wouldn’t advise a promotion while there is such upheaval in the industry, but Runaway and its partners knew they had to do something. And, through Seize the Savings alone, partners such as TravelStore of Los Angeles have seen their business grow by more than 100 percent. Dan Ilves, TravelStore’s vice president of leisure sales and marketing, comments: “Similar to TravelStore, Runaway sees the value in working together with travel partners to grow business. Ed Jackson and his team stepped to the plate, created an incredible marketing tool and it paid off for both of us.” And, William Koo, assistant vice president of U.S. and international sales for Aston Hotels & Resorts, affirms: “Runaway’s Seize the Savings program not only offers the best value in Hawaii, but is also highly effective in delivering business for Runaway’s preferred travel agents and hotel partners.”
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