How to Attract More People to your Travel Agency this Season
By Catharyn Pilch
The industry of travel is calculated to make $17.3 billion by 2020, according to the statistics website statista.com, projecting an increase from the approximate $15 billion dollars in revenue for 2015.
You are up and running, but you want to know how to attract more people to your travel agency and increase your gains as well. Several strategies could not only strengthen the bond and loyalty between you and your current customers but also garner your business new and interested customers as well.
Making your company available in-person and online is key to ensuring access to multiple types of clients. These include “instant-gratification” travelers and “planner” travelers, and they don’t only use travel agency services online. Maintaining an up-to-date website is important, but don’t neglect the in-person aspect of your business. Offline sales are responsible for 45 percent of tour and attraction purchases, according to trekksoft.com. Hours of operation that reflect the availability of your clients will make you a preferred destination for your “in-person” client.
For those that prefer to do their travel shopping online you will need to make your website easy to navigate, contain constant real-time updates and be user friendly on a variety of platforms. Online clients do not access your site only via their desktop or laptop computers. Your website is being accessed by mobile phones and other devices as well at an increasing rate.
“Seventy percent of travelers with smartphones have done travel research on their smartphone,” trekksoft.com reports.
Additionally, 79 percent of those mobile users completed their travel booking while on their mobile phone in 2017. There are a variety of smartphone formats and you will want your website to be easily usable on all of them.
Keeping up with traveling trends can be a difficult task but it can also reap rewards. An example of a current trend is traveling “green.” While maintaining a green business is good for the planet, it can be good for the bottom line as well. Not only can the “reuse” portion of the three “r’s” reduce, reuse, recycle save you money, but offering “green” vacations can open up your business to more travel options for a more diverse client group.
Social media goes hand in hand with what’s trending. As of April 2018, the top three social media sites with active users are Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, according to dreamgrow.com. Get your company seen and heard on those sites by being an active user as well. But how often? Make one concise and clearly crafted Facebook post a day and one or two posts on Instagram a day, according to coschedule.com. Post a photo when you go traveling. It isn’t a direct invitation for a client to call, but it may spur their thoughts of travel and lead to business.
Does your logo correctly reveal your identity? Is it inviting and distinguished? Logos can be the face of a business and satisfied clients can become attached to the familiar branding. Put it everywhere you want to be “in the store, in your customer’s homes [and] online,” says 99designs.com.
Offer discounts to special interest groups like the military, emergency responders and people with disabilities. Even those outside of special interest groups will appreciate your support. Reward existing customers with discounts and special member status. Your happy clients will advertise for you and make referrals.
“A friend’s recommendation is most important to travel agents,” says travelweekly.com.
Thirty-seven percent of people who used a travel agent did so on the basis of referral. Ask for testimonials to put on your website. The more specific your clients can be, the more potential customers will be able to appreciate your quality service. Continually exceed expectations and think of everything to make your customers happy. They are, after all, why you are in this business.
Build a Team
You know your business, and you are good at it. Improve your access to clients by building a team to help you reach them. This frees you to focus on what you do best and demonstrate how fantastic the service is that you provide. Hire a person or company to build you a visually appealing and easy to use website that is compliant with all the current laws, including ADA. There are 47 million Americans with some type of disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and including them in your business plans increases your potential client base. Hire a photographer to take quality photographs that accurately represent what you want to express about your employees and your company. Maybe it is time to hire a marketing agency? We’ve explained how to determine if the time is now and why marketing is key to bolstering your business.
You now have some tips on how to attract more people to your travel agency. Have you used any of these already? Do you have more tips to contribute? With U.S. residents projected to take 2.2 billion domestic person-trips in 2018, according to ustravel.org, you’ve got some booking to do.