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Wednesday, 02 September 2015 16:09

What are they looking for?

Written by  Katie Hultgren
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JAX FAX’s Caribbean editor and I were recently discussing the contrasts in the destinations covered in this month’s Caribbean articles. She pointed out that while Cuba is Spanish, Bermuda is British. Bermuda is quite familiar with welcoming Americans, yet Cuba is brand-new to tourism from the United States.

Both offer beautiful beaches - but one on the Atlantic and one on the Caribbean Sea. And, there are no rental cars in Bermuda, but a prime reason to visit Cuba is their classic cars. She’s very clever and observant, that Melanie Reffes.
Our conversation made me think about how this is true of many destinations. All countries have so many different regions, and therefore such diverse and unlimited travel opportunities. I have to give travel agents a lot of credit - it is quite a challenge to plan the perfect vacation for someone else.
The key to creating the perfect travel plan for your client is to ask lots of questions, and listen to their answers - even to what they do not say. The word “relaxing” or “adventurous” would be defined differently by different types of travelers, so dig deeper to learn what they really want. Ask them to describe their perfect vacation. You can ask for a wish list, and a must-have list - the perfect trip will have all the must-haves, and as many of the wished for items as possible. Keep costs within their stated budget, so their enjoyment is not overshadowed by thoughts of how they are going to pay for it all.
Even if a client calls to book a specific resort or destination, ask questions. Your knowledge and experience may offer them something better than what they have requested. You do this every day, and have much more information about what is available to them, and any special deals or offerings available for their travel dates. They will truly appreciate your expertise.
Though both Cuba and Bermuda are Caribbean vacations - they are vastly different. A client who wants relaxation and to “get away from it all” would be the perfect Bermuda traveler. Someone seeking more adventure and discovery would prefer Cuba. So, a client telling you that they want to go to the Caribbean is just not enough information. Ask the right questions, and you will find the right destination.

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