It’s the month of love, the perfect time to reflect and celebrate our first love: travel.

We are all involved – in a seriously fun relationship with tour operators, DMCs, travel agents, accommodation and activity suppliers, restaurants and venues… and of course, travellers. Our holiday romance starts with being inextricably linked and our individual interests interconnected. Let’s see how this story unfolds.

The traveller

Yearning for memorable travel experiences at the heart of this love story is the traveller. Travellers don’t fancy spending ages on the Internet researching what to do or see. They’re happy to pay for good service and a pleasant, hassle-free buying experience with trustworthy brands. They need accurate, excellent travel information, conveniently available in order to make informed choices.

Most of all, they just want to be inspired.

The product supplier

The suave hospitality product supplier’s main desire is to satisfy guests, to keep them returning for future visits. If the guest tells more friends how wonderful the property or activity was, and they become smitten too, that helps increase market share and grow the business. That’s why the supplier is always looking for ways to provide travellers with a better buying experience.

The traveller is in high demand – to stay relevant amidst all the competition out there, the supplier understands the need to market well to convert more enquiries to sales. Pride in and passion for the product offering must be at the heart of the proposition to make the strongest possible impression on the traveller.

The tour designer

The smooth operator, DMC and travel agent must romance the traveller with fabulous tour products and itineraries. They need help from product suppliers to make that happen, to produce seductive itineraries that sell more travel.

They know that travellers have many suitors, and must constantly conjure ways to entice them and retain their loyalty. So, they do thorough research on what would make travellers happy, keeping tabs on social media in order to determine what type of experiences will strike the right notes.

Travellers are fickle – at the slightest hint of neglect, they will snatch away their business and go elsewhere. They will brag about their beloved experiences on social media or lambast poor service, inattention and a lousy buyer experience. They don’t easily give second chances.

This love story has a happy ending, a way that everyone wins. And that’s when the tour designer and product supplier work together to win the traveller’s heart.

Their needs and objectives are too intertwined to work in isolation.

Collaborating on common goals

Both industry partners want to develop more effective business practices. Both need to promote destinations and provide travellers with a comprehensive view of what to expect. Both need to keep up with travel tech trends, so they’re not left behind. They want to increase or sustain visibility in the industry, develop their brands and build loyalty amongst themselves.

  • What sours the relationship

Jealousy. We are competitive and we’re suspicious of the competition. As tourism professionals, we get comfortable and complacent in the way we’ve always done things. We tend to cling onto staid, old practices with nostalgia for some past golden age of travel done manually. We become jealous of technological innovation because we are daunted by it. That’s just silly. Technology is like an arrow in cupid’s bow, carrying our desires and efforts directly to the traveller’s heart.

In travel, there’s absolutely no excuse for lacklustre marketing assets – it’s the stuff of dreams and fantasies; inviting landscapes, escapism, fun, memories, a whole host of emotional motivations. Tour designers need better ways to source what they need to showcase their experiences, and suppliers need to take control of presenting their products in the most attractive, relevant way possible.

After all, why should travellers be at the receiving end of low-quality, outdated content?

  • Networking and sharing info

This is the love potion, if you will. Trade partners must forget about jealousy and learn how to collaborate with each other on- and offline: meeting in-person, at trade shows, workshops, on educationals, at site inspections, rep visits, as well as digitally. The fact is that underexposure and low visibility never helped anyone build their brand.

Engaging travellers with the most seductive content is aim, goal, objective and entire reason for networking. In the final analysis, what they can’t get from you, they will seek out elsewhere.

  • Winning with collaborative content

Promoting each other’s brands and doing joint campaigns will make love stay. Collaboration benefits everyone involved. Among all the product suppliers out there, operators, DMCs and agents have their favourites. Imagine the supplier had some new offerings on offer – this info should be instantly available for trade partners to include in their proposals.

Competition makes us faster; collaboration makes us better.


Collaboration celebrates the connections among trade partners. It ensures consistency across the board and creates trust in the experience being marketed, sold and bought. Everybody wins.

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