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Like a lot of people in the travel industry, our editors sometimes spend a great deal of time looking for the next big destination. And rightly so — there’s no question that it’s exciting to be one of the first to share a new, exotic locale. But as much as we seek out these faraway experiences, it’s also important for us not to lose sight of the overlooked gems closer to home.
In this issue’s cover story, “Uncovering America’s ‘Third Coast’” (page 14), we take a look at one such underappreciated destination: the Great Lakes Region. As the story points out, the Great Lakes Region has thousands of miles of coastline; dozens of quaint towns, along with exciting big cities; and a seemingly endless array of activities for all types of travelers. Plus, it’s close to home and away from perceived security concerns. There are also well-established, top-notch companies ready to work with agents. Best of all, the area is still relatively unknown to most travelers, which means it has the power to overdeliver on expectations.
“What draws people here — and inspires them — is the incredible scenery, from the shores of the Great Lakes and Mackinac Island to the Tunnel of Trees and glittering lights of Chicago, a cultural gem in the center of the country,” said Wendy Mainerich, product manager for North America for The Globus Family of Brands. “While the Midwest is a lesser-known and -visited region of the U.S. compared to the East or West coasts, it’s full of surprises that keep travelers inspired and happy.”
When selling travel, it can be easy to lose sight of this type of near-hanging fruit. Despite what you think you know about the Great Lakes — or what you think your clients might know about it — many people have not experienced this part of the country for themselves. And just as there are travel bucket lists that include exotic lands, many Americans want to visit all corners of their country and will be happy to check these quintessential Midwestern towns off their lists.
So before your clients break out the passports, find out if they are curious about some of the amazing experiences that can be found at home. You might just surprise them with the best trip they didn’t know they wanted.