Travel is a lot like Valentine’s Day, with high expectations, money spent, hopes raised, often sadly dashed. It boils down to supply and demand. Not very romantic, is it? A popular little ditty has proclaimed that the heart wants what it wants: in the case of the Traveller, that’s a memorable travel experience. This is the demand that you, the Supplier, must supply. Simple, romantic economics.

Connecting traveller, operator and supplier

Once upon a time there was a travel product Supplier, a Tour Operator, DMC or Travel Agent, and a Traveller who made the mistake of thinking that they existed in isolation. But Cupid sees the big picture – he knows that everything is connected and all they needed to learn was to see how they are connected to each other. Time to connect the dots.

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You already know that content sells – imagine how much further excellent content will take your brand!

Your content needs to satisfy the Traveller, so that she keeps coming back to you. And if she tells her friends how wonderful you are and they fall in love with you too, so much the better.

After all, you want to grow your business and increase your market share. The key is to present your Traveller with accurate travel content, attractively presented, and empower her to make the right choices for her trip.

Ensure you show due respect to the technological sophistication of your average Traveller by making that content available to her on her mobile device, wherever she is. Cupid knows as time progresses, digital consumption of travel content will become increasingly prevalent.

The Traveller will only become more demanding about easily accessible, good content..

Do you keep an eye on social media? Your ear to the ground? If not, how else will you learn what travellers are complaining, bragging and dreaming about? The Traveller will read reviews about your product or service and take the experiences of other travellers very seriously. You can choose not to get involved in those discussions, but then permit yourself to be misrepresented. There is a definite trend growing towards entering into conversation with one’s clientele in order to improve the selling and buying process, and ultimately your relationship with your client.

You can’t throw the Traveller a generic, vague pebble of promise and expect her to get excited about it. The most important dot to connect here is understanding that the Traveller demands a bit of content bling, like any girl on Valentine’s Day. Because she just wants to be inspired.

Enabling collaborations through content

The good thing about this travel romance is that you’re not on your own. You have a wing man. Whether DMC, Tour Operator or Travel Agent, your wing man’s interests are so deeply intertwined with yours, you could be soul mates. His success depends as much on yours as your success depends on his. The Operator romances the Traveller through the Supplier. He wants to use the best tourism products to promote, market and sell his packages. And you want to be accurately represented in those packages. How do you get in there but by some sort of seduction?

The travel industry is racy that way – if you don’t keep up with the pace, you get dumped… and left behind.

So interconnected are your respective objectives, that it makes perfect sense to collaborate with each other.

It’s vital to understand the Operator’s objective to convert more leads to sales and that this is achieved by giving his agents a better selling experience.

To work more efficiently, he desires fabulous content to work with to produce fabulous itineraries and have great products to market. You need to supply that demand.

Competition makes us faster. Collaboration makes us better.

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Make it your business to understand the technologies that improve the way the travel industry works. What if, for example, the Operator favours digital over paper itineraries: what will you do with your content to ensure your product gets noticed?

In Travel, the complacent heart often dismisses the relevance of travel tech and chooses to carry on with outdated practices. We become jealous of technology if we aren’t part of the movement – we are daunted by it and that’s just silly. Technology is the arrow in Cupid’s bow. It carries our desires and best efforts directly to our Traveller’s heart and nourishes its wanderlust.

4 5Sharing information and networking are vital – after all, low visibility and underexposure never helped anyone build their brand. Connecting the dots means learning how to share a common space on- and offline, engaging with each other on the Internet and in person, at trade shows, workshops, on educationals or fam trips, at site inspections, or via representatives visiting each other’s offices. Engagement beats operating in isolation – I’ve never heard of a long distance relationship that worked. That is to say, without a little digital magic to keep the juices flowing..

The smart way forward sees operators and suppliers adapting to travel tech advances and collaborating with better sales tools.

4 6Cupid knows that when the Operator and Supplier collaborate, it increases their chances of winning the Traveller’s heart. Their needs and objectives are too intertwined to work in isolation. Once that connection is established and you’ve committed yourself to a collaboration with your trade partners, you’ll find that daunting demand of travel bucket list wishes far easier to supply.

Collaboration’s the thing, because no matter how unique you are, everyone’s interests are connected. Cupid, that saucy imp, wears a knowing, cheeky grin.. and the Traveller? She’s seduced, invested and living her travel dreams.

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