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Few people are thinking about their next vacation right now. That’s a given. But when people do start traveling again, Mexico will be among the top international vacation choices, according to several travel advisors who are working to keep the destination top of mind with their clients.
“Mexico has always been a common ‘first trip’ for people venturing out of the country,” said Lia Vincent, owner of Vincent Vacations in Oklahoma City. “I can see this being the case when things open back up. It’s not as large of an investment as, say, a European vacation. People tend to pull the trigger a little easier when it isn’t as much of a big-ticket item.”
Mexico will appeal to travelers’ desire for excitement, while also satisfying their desire to stay closer to home, according to Jessica Avery, founder and chief experience officer at Ms. Guided Travel, an affiliate of Coastline Travel, a Virtuoso agency in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“I absolutely believe that shorter trips will be in the cards initially,” she said. “Mexico is always a popular quick escape for North Americans, so I would expect it to be the perfect go-to when we get the green light to travel again.”
Mexico is always a popular quick escape for North Americans, so I would expect it to be the perfect go-to when we get the green light to travel again.
Staying in Touch With ClientsTo keep clients thinking about Mexico — and travel in general — at a time like this, travel advisors should use a truly personal touch, according to Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network and ATN Vacations in Amarillo, Texas.
“I personally have been sending handwritten notes to some of our clients,” she said. “When we suddenly had to make changes or cancellations, I made sure to send a handwritten note of appreciation to all travelers affected, with a message of positivity that we would be planning more adventures and soon. Just being proactive in a non-pushy manner is key to showing care to clients and keeping their loyalty.”
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Avery also uses multiple platforms for client communication.
“I email articles or information I receive from suppliers that I think would be of value to them based on their interests,” she said. “I’ve also been sending handwritten notecards in the mail. Everyone is so used to getting only bills and advertisements in their mailboxes these days; a genuine piece of handwritten mail in a pretty envelope is a welcome sight. I think a return to the old ways is an important means of connection, especially now.”
Avery’s business strategy makes use of numerous technological platforms.
“We hold live webinars with suppliers, hoteliers and travel experts from all over the world,” she said. “We also hold travel movie nights via Zoom and chat afterward. Technology offers us so many means to keep connected; the creative possibilities are endless.”
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Staying in touch with suppliers and tourism organizations is important, too, Meil says.
“Mexico destinations make up more than half of our travel sales, so it’s important we stay engaged with their resorts, tourism boards and tour operators so we can continue to keep sales strong,” she said. “During this time, many of our partnerships have been strengthened — with brands including Karisma Hotels & Resorts, AIC Travel Group, Marival Resorts and La Coleccion — because we all have a common goal to spread the news of positivity, hope and resilience.”
What Travelers Will Want in MexicoOnce they begin traveling to Mexico, Vincent predicts they’ll primarily be looking for relaxation.
Now is a great time to become familiar with Mexico’s many offerings and introduce them to our clients through our marketing.
“I think people will be attracted to the beach in the first weeks and months,” she said. “People have been talking so much about how the lockdown restrictions are putting so much stress on them as a family or a couple. Just think of all the healthcare workers working crazy long hours these couple months. They are due some quality time with their family. A trip to reconnect at the beach in Mexico, I bet, is on the top of their list.”
Qualifying clients will be as necessary as ever, notes Avery.
“I think many are dreaming of sand, sun and salty air right now, but really it comes down to knowing our clients,” she said. “Fortunately, Mexico is a very diverse country that can cater to a wide variety of interests. For those aching for rainforest adventures and history, the Yucatan Peninsula can offer a fulfilling experience. With its romantic Spanish colonial architecture, San Miguel de Allende is a quaint, romantic inland destination perfect for culture, culinary and art lovers. Now is a great time to become familiar with Mexico’s many offerings and introduce them to our clients through our marketing.”