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It’s clear that people shouldn’t visit Hawaii during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. In the meantime, however, many travel advisors are doing their part to keep the islands front of mind for clients who are considering future trips.
We asked a few agents to share how they’re spotlighting Hawaii at a time when travel has been turned on its head — while also ensuring that their agency remains as proactive as possible. Here’s what they said.
Marilyn Clark of Lighthouse Travel in Huntington Beach, Calif.“I’m sending an ongoing series of emails to my master list of clients. The emails include information such as the Hawaiian philosophy of life; Hawaiian quotes, words and expressions they can learn; cultural experiences available to visitors; and a ‘Paradise on a Plate’ recipe they can try at home. I’m also creating a new website that will have a similar page on it, hoping to instill some of the positive aspects of visiting Hawaii.
My goal is to get clients excited about visiting Hawaii when the time is right. Every one of my clients who has canceled or postponed their Hawaii trip still plans on visiting the islands when they can.”
Brian Harris of Aspen Travel Advisors in Aspen, Colo.“To keep clients dreaming of Hawaii — and other destinations — I've launched a virtual reality YouTube channel. For instance, one of the videos takes clients on a virtual outrigger canoe ride in Waikiki. The goal is to help lift spirits for everyone stuck at home and allow them to virtually visit the beautiful places I've been so fortunate to visit.
I’m telling clients that, at the moment, it’s best to stay home. But as soon as it's safe to travel again, there will be amazing deals to be had.
I’m telling clients that, at the moment, it’s best to stay home. But as soon as it's safe to travel again, there will be amazing deals to be had. Hawaii will be accessible before any international tropical destination is, so after everything calms down, let’s look for a date when you’d like to travel there in the future.”
Sharon Millar of Ultimate All-Inclusive Travel in Gilbert, Ariz.“We’re still promoting Hawaii, but we’re letting clients know that Hawaii has asked travelers not to visit in the near future. We won’t book any travel before late summer, so clients hopefully aren’t impacted.
Meanwhile, we’re trying to stay proactive and ahead of the game. We’re working on our business strategy and marketing plan to see if there is anything we need to change, add or eliminate to gain maximum impact with our advertising, especially when this is over.
We were lucky in that we put a certain amount of our profits into a savings account to get us through times like this. It reduces the stress.”
Susannah Tomlin of TravelStore in Pasadena, Calif.“Facebook is a great way to post travel information about Hawaii and other destinations to make sure people don’t forget about this beautiful world that is out there to see.
We’re calling our clients to see how they’re doing, talking about future travel and just reassuring them that we’re here if needed. In addition, we’re keeping sharp by participating in webinars and training for Hawaii and elsewhere.
After clients have been cooped up for weeks, I’m sure that some of them will jump at the chance to go to Hawaii to see the blue water, swaying palms and overall beauty of the islands.”