Travel professionals who see the big picture understand that developing a healthy trade serves everyone.

Do your business objectives align with what travellers want? Ultimately, the longevity and prosperity of tourism depend on how well you integrate new ways of doing things and respond to changing demands, and how you give them the experience they want.

What travellers want

The basic answer is that they need help make logistical sense of their confusion of travel wish list – sometimes it’s as straightforward as getting from one place to another in the most efficient, pleasurable way; sometimes it requires a reality check on what’s possible and available, where.

It used to be that people were ticking things off their travel list. Now people want to do it because they have a personal passion.

Scott Wiseman

And they definitely want to be treated like individuals, with your human touch reassuring them that if anything happens to them, you will take care of them. So, they want to know whom they’re dealing with and what values your brand espouses. They’re after transparency and next level customer service.

With the steady growth in global tourism over the last five years expected to continue, let’s consider how you can:

  • build client loyalty for repeat business
  • develop strong brand identity
  • expand market share
  • keep pace with competition
  • be profitable!

Building loyalty

To earn repeat business, you need loyal clients. Loyal clients are happy clients whose emotional needs and demands have been met. They want your time and attention. Better access to you and sincere, open communication equals service and relationship building.

Align your business with what travellers demand by circulating client information throughout your company. It spares your clients the indignity of repeating themselves if they happen to speak to different members of your team.

Treat them with humanity, engage them with personalised e-mails and social media attention, and update them regularly with non-invasive newsletters.

Personal interactions have always been a hallmark of great service, consumers now see these interactions as a critical cornerstone of memorable brands.


Make an emotional connection between brand and client by putting faces/voices to the names they interact with. Present your staff to the world on your website and social media pages – you can produce a company video or get your staff to take turns writing blog posts, sharing their own backstories and destination knowledge. It humanises the buying experience for your client from start to finish and keeps them coming back for more.

Developing your brand

Your products are a reflection of your brand, and so is the way you promote them. It should be easily identifiable and consistent across your marketing assets and throughout your sales funnel.

An honest brand exposes itself (almost to scrutiny) because it’s fearless and proud of what it represents. The same applies to partnerships – do your partners share your values? Any specials and value-adds incorporated into your offerings should stick to the script: if luxury is your core offering, don’t confuse clients by hooking them up with an activity company that transfers them from their five-star lodge in a shared minivan when they’re expecting private chauffeur-driven luxury transfers. Certainly don’t fake it. Portraying a brand as something different from what it actually offers simply attracts the wrong kind of client.

Authenticity is integral to any relationship-based business such as yours.

Market share

Want a bigger slice of the pie? Compete for business in other geographies and target other language groups. If you can, recruit multilingual consultants and produce translated marketing content to service those new markets.

Time also helps you gain a bigger market share – invest in available technologies to create and share marketing and sales assets faster, even customised proposals.

The demand for a personalised travel experience originates from travellers having complex or unusual requirements that don’t match up with anything existing in the market. Fill that void with your expertise and time-saving tech.

Successful travel professionals will be masters at crafting personalized travel experiences.



Keep tabs on your competitors. Find out what they’re doing, learn from them, then do it better. Consider why a traveller should buy from you and not your competition:

  • Do you anticipate and address their interests (or prescribe what you think they should want)?
  • Do your product suppliers provide their best content and specials for your proposals?
  • Do you knock their socks off with your quick turnaround time?
  • Do you share knowledge acquired from trade shows, educationals with your entire staff?
  • Do you make buying travel easier?

Then there’s working with the frenemy: the ones that supply you with accommodation, activity, day tour, and restaurant options for your tour proposals. If they target the same markets as you do, it makes sense to collaborate on a superior experience.


The business bottom line is about doing more in less time with the resources you have. This starts with a combined human resources and tech approach: identify what tech resources will improve efficiency in your business practices; and upskill your staff on those technologies. Happier, empowered staff takes better care of clients; and that makes a happy traveller!

Is your website hitting the mark? Ensure it is responsive and relevant, and that all your communications drive traffic towards it.

Some argue that they have little to no use for a website. This attitude is a little short sighted – how will you attract new customers and service tech savvy travellers down the track?


Being objective about your website can be hard; so, get an outsider to assess it. Approach your website’s user experience thinking like a traveller, not like a travel professional. Invest in visual, multimedia content – helps the visitor make a decision, while a streamlined process makes it easy to take action.

The reason you do what you do is your love for travel. Your target customers have never been more emotionally driven. From that perspective alone, your objectives and their needs seem perfectly matched!

Sharing is caring...