As the whirlwind of winter/spring tradeshows comes to a close, I am faced with a mountain of business cards on my desk. Each of these cards represents a chat with an industry friend or the making of a new industry acquaintance.
For years, the tourism industry organizations in the Caribbean have been working to market the Caribbean as one region connected by a common sea. The idea is to create awareness of the Caribbean as a region to draw potential worldwide travelers. And, while it is true that a united effort can accomplish much more than a fragmented approach to enhancing awareness of the region as whole, this strategy can also backfire when certain parts of that region are faced with adversity.
Understanding why your customer wants to travel is equally, if not more important than knowing where they want to go. This was a common theme at two of the year’s best conferences, that JAX FAX attended in December. During the USTOA Annual Conference, the results of a recently completed project exploring the reasons people travel were announced. Also, at the Signature Travel Annual Sales Conference, generation research expert Jason Dorsey explained to a packed house how different age groups perceive the process of vacation planning.
On Friday, October 6th, Clif Cooke, founder of JAX FAX and lifelong aviation buff, boarded his final flight to the great beyond. He was 86 years old. For 56 of those years, he was my Dad. During those 56 years, I had the privilege of working with him for 25. To say he was my inspiration and mentor would be an understatement. He shaped my life through childhood and into my adult years. I am proud that he was my Dad. He was an honest, intelligent and hard working man who genuinely cared about his friends and customers in the travel industry, where he worked from 1952 until his retirement in 2002.
As you read this page, summer is coming to an end. As sad as that is, the good news is that your clients are now starting to plan their holiday and 2018 vacations. Now is the time to kick your marketing into high gear and capture that business. Below are 6 sales strategies you can use now brought to you courtesy of travel industry speaker and marketing consultant, Mike Marchev, who recently co-hosted a webinar highlighting these and other sales strategies you can use to build your business. That webinar can be found in our webinar library at www.jaxfax.com
JAX FAX recently hosted a webinar for Image Tours during which they gave travel agents tried and true marketing ideas. Keeping your client and prospects pipeline full is key to creating a steady income stream. Below are several ideas garnered from the webinar as well as a few of our own.
For the past 45 years we have been striving to give you, our travel agent readers, the best possible travel intelligence in the most concise, easy to use formats. Our magazine has gone through several incarnations over the past few decades. Our long time readers will remember our pre-internet issues that numbered over 300 pages monthly.
Prior to 1995, the revenue from selling airline tickets was essential to the survival of most travel agencies. Since 1995, very little revenue comes from commission on the sale of airline tickets for most travel agencies. And while it is true that there is little money to be made on domestic U.S. airline tickets, there are great opportunities to make money selling air to your clients who are traveling internationally by working with Air Consolidators.
One of the highlights of USTOA’s (United States Tour Operator Association) annual conference, held this year Dec.7-10 in Scottsdale, AZ, is the release of the annual Travel Trends Survey done by PriceWaterhouseCooper. Over 88% of USTOA’s active tour operator members participated in the 2016 edition.
JAX FAX recently had the honor of attending a black-tie gala celebration in honor of the 40th anniversary of Sky Bird Travel. Held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, I joined over 100 top airline executives and other guests in celebrating a true family success in the travel industry.