Travel can be a lot like Valentine’s Day: high expectations, money spent, hopes raised and, sadly, often dashed. Not very romantic, is it?
They say the heart wants what it wants – for travellers, it’s a memorable experience. This is the demand that you must supply. Simple, romantic economics.
Connecting travellers, suppliers and operators
In the fairy tale of travel, there was once an accommodation, restaurant and activity supplier that made the mistake of thinking that they existed in isolation. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, product suppliers are a crucial component of an ecosystem including tour operators, DMCs, travel agents, and travellers, all of whom are connected. Let’s connect the dots.
One binding element is product content – it represents your brand and product to the world, draws attention to and helps sell your offerings. It needs to satisfy travellers, so that they are inspired to choose you above all others and so they keep coming back to you. And if they spread the news to family and friends of how wonderful you are and they fall in love with you as well, that word-of-mouth social proof helps grow your business.
Accurate, up-to-date marketing assets, attractively presented, sit at the heart of your proposition – it can empower your future guests to make the right decision for their next stay.
Generic no longer has the power to excite. The most important dot to connect here is understanding that travellers like a bit of content bling, like any girl on Valentine’s Day. And they want to be inspired! So do tour designers looking for great products to include in their experiences – and you’re just the one to lay it on thick.
Enabling collaborations through content
This is one travel romance where not being on your own is a good thing – you have a wing man. Whether DMC, tour operator or travel agent, your wing man’s interests are deeply intertwined with yours. Their success depends as much on yours as your success depends on theirs. When a tour designer makes overtures to prospective clients, they want to use attractive marketing assets that catch their attention, help sell their tours, and promote your products in the process too. For your part, you want to be accurately represented in their proposals and preferably by your own definition. A joint effort is a no-brainer.
Your support for DMCs can also help them provide their agents with a better selling experience. You can spare them the time and effort of sourcing marketing assets that add real value to the sale – that’s good business for everyone involved.
Competition makes us faster. Collaboration makes us better.
Still toting around that paper brochure from trade show to agent offices? In the fast-moving world of travel, printed sales and marketing collateral can quickly become outdated. Distributing them further afield, especially into new target markets, is also tedious and laborious – that translates into lost opportunities…
Make it your business to understand the technologies that improve the way the travel industry works, and how they can oil the wheels of collaboration. For example, how do you ensure your product makes it into the sales of tour operators that increasingly favour digital over paper itineraries? If that’s more convenient for them to view a product they may include in proposals and quickly insert it as they build itineraries, it stands to reason they may be better disposed to using products that have digital assets available.
Sharing information and networking are vital – being visible to the broader trade and getting exposure for your product depend on that. Connecting the dots means learning how to share a common space, both online in the cloud and offline in-person, at trade shows, workshops, or beating the pavements to trade partners’ offices. Interaction and collaboration beat operating in isolation – long distance relationships can struggle to work without some TLC and attention, right?
A little digital magic can keep the juices flowing and facilitate communication.
Through collaboration, you increase both your and your trade partner’s chances of winning the traveller’s heart. Establish that connection and commit yourself to supporting your tour operator, DMC and travel agent partners with content that helps them supply the demand of bucket list wishes. Your future guests will love you for it.
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