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05 Jun

5 Important Factors Travel Advisors Should Keep In Mind Before Choosing A DMC Partner

DMCs are overseas local companies, which work closely with travel agencies/advisors. A healthy and friendly relation between the travel agency and the DMC can do wonders to your travel business. DMCs provide great logistics and quality services of their destination to your clients from welcoming them at the airports and being with them ‘on the ground’ helping them to carry out all their activities that can make their stay comfortable and memorable.

But what does a travel advisor have to keep in mind before choosing a DMC partner?

 

Financial Stability

As a travel advisor, you should ask yourself, is the DMC that I wish to partner with financially stable? How can it deal with a non-usual event that can happen when it’s hosting my clients? Does it have issues with payment to its employees? In an effort to understand its financial stability you should take into account its growth potential and its intangible assets, e.g. the brand name. You may also want to do some market value due diligence of the company. The knowledge of this information can give you a clue if the DMC is worthy to be your partner.

Expertise Level

As the travel advisor, you need to know the experience level of the DMC of your choice. You should identify how the company runs its services, how long it has been in the industry, has it ever sold similar services you want to give it, and whether it is aware of customer’s demand from its base.

The Reputation

It is very important to learn about the DMC’s reputation in the global market. It’s always good to undertake thorough research in finding out how other travel advisors comment about the partner you choose. A good reputation is how the company handles your clients, i.e. in a kind and trustworthy manner and what specific skills or characteristics is it known to have.

Is it connected?

A DMC that has few or no contacts with local service providers ought not to be on your list. Therefore you should ensure that the partner you choose is well connected with local service providers such as hotels, transportation companies, tourist attraction management agencies, local restaurants etc. Without these connections, it can be difficult for the DMC to execute your terms of the agreement.

Is the DMC reliable?

The DMC works and acts as an extension of your travel agency. Therefore before choosing any, you should be at least hundred percent sure that it will not disappoint your clients on the ground services and will not also discourage your effort as a travel advisor. The Destination Management Company should be a reliable partner who will support your ideas with their quality services without any doubts and fears.

In conclusion, I believe there are many other factors that a travel advisor can consider before choosing a DMC partner. Learn more about Forty Travels and find out how it can be your DMC partner. Visit forty travels for more information.

30 May

Top 7 Summer Travel Tips

The sun is out and shining bright, and travel calendars are filling up fast. There are so many places to visit this season, whether in Europe, Asia or America. Luxury travel or a backpacking adventure, summer is one of the best times in the year to travel. Let me share some of the best summer travel tips with you as you plan your holiday.

Pack light clothes

Oh yeah, the weather is quite warm, and the temperatures are relatively the best in the year. Make sure you carry with you some light cotton clothes, which will not add weight to your luggage and keep you fresh in the heat. However, many places get chilly by night, so ensure to pack a warm set of night ware as well.

Book mid-week

Here is a secret I’m revealing to you. Most people love to book during the weekends, probably due to weekend getaways but guess what? Mid-week flight fares are somehow low compared to the weekend ones. Some good days I advocate you try booking is between Tuesday and Thursday. For sure, you will save some dollars and thank me later.

Identify the holiday that suits you

This may sound funny, right? But honestly, you have to identify the holiday type you wish to enjoy. Are you looking for waterfront and beach activities?  Or you will spend your holiday with outdoor activities such as wandering in the forests, hiking, camping or biking? Or is it that you wish to explore a city life and its culture and food in a new country? Once you identify the nature of your holiday, planning rest of the days becomes easy. Personally, I love outdoor adventures. What about you?

Stay Hydrated

Summer is different from winter or spring or autumn where you must not take long before quenching your thirst. The temperatures are high, and I strongly advise summer travellers a drinking water bottle wherever they go. Summer heat can make you dehydrated, especially if you are out in the sun enjoying. So, as you pack, ensure you carry water with you all the times.

Understand the Currency Exchange

Smartly planning the currency exchange can help you save some of that greenback. Currency exchange rates and service charges may differ for same currencies in your home country and at your travel destination. Airports generally charge a premium on Currency exchange rate. Also, track the currency of your travel destination for fluctuations in advance, exchanging it at the right time would definitely save on your journey costs.

The photo on Visual Hunt

Try an All-Inclusive Holiday

Don’t believe the age-old notion that an all-inclusive (room, food, and drink) holiday is always expensive. No matter how true it may sound, the truth is that there are destinations that will offer the same all-inclusive holiday packages at lower prices. Forty travels provide great deals and all-inclusive packages. Check out the latest deals at www.fortytravels.com

Are you now ready for this summer holiday? What other summer travel trips can you add to the ones listed above? Feel free to share with us!

28 May

DMC – A Creator Of Memorable Experience In Tourist Destinations

Destination Management Companies are professional service providers with local knowledge, expertise, and resource of local places and can be the best travel agencies and advisors to the tourists. Along with meet and greet services and local transportations, DMC bear the best knowledge of the latest events and activities, excursions, hotel accommodations, gala dinners and parties across the city.

Being local companies, they have equipped themselves with complete knowledge of that destination.

They are the best providers of preferential rates of travel-traded services. Their role extends to the branding, marketing, and also communication activities pertaining that destination while it makes its services known to tourists.

Most travel agencies have created strong business relationships with overseas destination management companies so that they can be effective in their operation in this world of competitive tourism. Although sometimes, for instance, travel agencies plan holiday itineraries for their clients, they work hand in hand with the DMCs who help them to create memorable holiday experiences for their clients.

Since they are the local companies at the destination, they are better able to plan comprehensive tourist packages and programs. They do this by combining different aspects of the holistic travel experience and include some unique and specific themes to enhance the alluring ‘power’ of that destination. Some of these themes include festive gala dinners, themed events and local market visits etc.

In addition to this, DMCs also acts as good bridges for marketing the less popular tourist attractions with the tourists.

Most of these DMCs have a strong online and media influence, and therefore they play a significant role to market and advertise less explored places and popularize these places to the world outside.  In this way, they attract new market segments and create added value for the destination product. Appropriate marketing and good knowledge of such places will attract more tourists and eventually benefit the growth of the tourism industry of that country.  (Get in touch with www.fortytravels.com to learn how you can popularize your destination)

DMCs also specialize in arranging business travels such as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. MICE events have outwardly manifested growth impact in the tourism experience. Both local and foreign tourists show a high level of trust to companies within the destinations that have precise knowledge and information about the place and the overall situation within that destination. An excellent example of such a company is Forty Travels Destinations which is a DMC specialist in countries like Rep of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro.

Photo credit: VISITFLANDERS on Visualhunt

In conclusion, destination management companies help to create a memorable experience in the travel industry like never before. Their presence and amazing services had both encouraged and attracted even the savvy DIY (do-it-yourself) travellers to embrace them undoubtedly irrespective of their nature of organizing their holidays.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your comments below.

22 May

How Technology Is Changing Travel Industry

The advent of new technologies has helped the travel industry to grow and develop in new dimensions which did not exist couple of years ago. It has taught the travel industry many innovative and new ways to operate. Tour agencies and tour operators are now able to meet the customer expectation and satisfaction more efficiently leading to a brand reputation of the industry.

Below we shall discuss how technology is changing the travel industry and what can we learn from the new changes.

World of Internet Technology

Perhaps, we’re the luckiest generation to live where we have access to the internet. The affordability and accessibility of the internet usage, have brought an impact to the travel industry both to the “sellers and the buyers.” For instance, travellers can now find directions to points of interest, get travel ideas such as finding best destinations to visit or sharing their travel experiences with their allies through the social media platforms. Travel agencies, on the other hand, give timely responses and facilitate quick bookings to the satisfaction of their clients.

 

Photo credit: Christian Junker | Photography on VisualHunt.com

Air Transport Advancement

Technology has brought the innovation of bigger planes with capacities to carry many travellers with Airbus 380 which can carry up to 853 passengers. This is a high boost to the travel industry which mainly relies on the air transportation of its clients from one location to another. Some good news is that some of the airlines are cost-effective as they sometimes lower the flight charges with the aim of attracting more customers.

 

 

Mobile Phone Evolution

The mobile technology has greatly impacted how technology is changing the travel industry. Travellers are now able to book flights, packages, accommodations and even car rental when sitting on their sofas using the smart phones. A statistics done in 2015 showed that the travel and tourism app is the 7th most downloaded app category. It continued to reveal that 60% of smart phone users downloaded this app and 45% in this group uses it regularly to plan for holiday trips. Today, 85% people use their smart phones to plan their leisure trip holiday.

 

 

Emergence of Chatbots

Many business industries including the travel industry have adopted the usage of chatbots that helps to reach and communicate with clients. Clients are now able to communicate with tour agencies or operators through the AI chat messaging irrespective of where they are, either at home, on the plane or in their holiday destinations.

In conclusion, we can say that the future of the travel industry will rely and depend on technology.  Therefore, tour agencies and operators have to keep it in mind how to continuously improve their services so that they can sustain this competitive industry. They need to seek and adopt every advantage that technology is bringing forth.

Let us know what you think about how technology can help to improve the travel experience. Share your ideas with us.

11 May

How to Build your Travel Brand?

Branding can easily be defined as the perception or image that comes to a client’s mind about your product or service even before you tell them. Travel agencies need to concentrate much on their branding because it outwardly gives the impression about that agency even before its services are known.

Travel companies should ask themselves why business companies like Coca-Cola never stop branding and re-branding their product. Your image means a lot to your clients. As a matter of fact, an agent’s physical appearance, dressing code can tell if he’ll get the business.

Below I outline few steps on how to build your travel brand.

Have the Right Logo

Your logo should be a captivating image that leaves a memory in the minds of your clients either on your business card or website. It should be a communicating tool that creates an identity, invites old and new clients, giving you an upper hand with your competitors.

Power of the Name.

What is the name of your agency? Names give clients a more in-depth knowledge of your services. Your name should be appealing, informing and creating awareness of your service.

Be Consistent

Don’t be hit and run business that appears once after a long time. Don’t make a mistake of changing your brand now and then; you will confuse your clients. And whether there’s business or no business, always keep your agency operational. Keep posting travel alerts on your social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Let your clients hear from you!

Do a detailed Research

It’s actually required to do thorough research on the name and logo you are to give your agency; or else you find yourself fighting lawsuits for using someone else’s name, logo, or trademark. Research also helps you to know who your competitors are and what they offer different from yours. It will also help you to understand who your potential customers are.

Advertise Aggressively

Don’t be ashamed to talk about your travel brand. Whether it’s a new agency or a non-existing one spread its services to those near and far from you. Spend both time and money advertising it, and you will be building a robust, non-comparable firm brand.

Do you have something you would like we add to this article? Please don’t hesitate to write your comments and opinions on www.fortytravels.com.

11 May

How To Excel as A Good Travel Advisor

In this competitive world, both professionalism and perfectionism are required to achieve success. Travel advisors who aren’t “good” and skillful in the services they give, will eventually lose morale, get tired and go home.

A travel advisor who masters the effectiveness of being a top agent will by no means attract more travellers in his network.

Below I outline the top eight secrets behind a good – successful travel advisor.

Never Stop Learning

 

An excellent and successful advisor never stops learning. He’s always increasing his knowledge and skills to not only offer the best customer service but also have a specialization. If you got a certificate in travel-related training, plan to scale it up & get a diploma, bachelor or master level certification. Travel knowledge is needed in this competitive era. To know more about how formal training helps travel advisors, read our blog here.

Understand Your Clients

 

You can’t be a good travel advisor if you don’t understand your clients. Know exactly what they want, how they want it and where they want it. Your work is to give appropriate advice where it’s needed.

Have A Right Attitude

 

It is such an uphill task when we have to preach a gospel that we don’t believe in. You might not have travelled so wide, but reading about the place itself will give you the right attitude to be a great travel advisor. To improve your attitude watch travel documentaries, visit official tourism board websites, follow travel influencers, etc. You will be amazed how much interest you can develop in places that you haven’t visited.

Get In Touch With Hotels To Get Their Rates

 

Many hotels always have discounted rates which they offer to travel agents. As a travel agent, get hotel details and contacts and create a good rapport with them. You will make high sales, attract more customers and your business will never go dwindling.

Encourage Local Tourism

 

Sometimes we feel that the tourism experience is meant for foreigners or people with so much disposable income. This can be overridden by practically planning short and affordable tours and trips around the country. For example, a hike to the Menengai Crater in Nakuru, Kenya or a road trip to the famous Maasai Mara or even an Easter vacation to Mauritius. These are a few examples that can help you make a proper itinerary as a travel advisor.

Take Advantage of Travel Opportunity

As a travel advisor, you must be excited about any opportunity that crops up to travel any part of the world. If you enter a competition that awards you with a safari – I will advise – go for it. Prepare your travel bag and find out about the safari that you could win.

Share Your Stories

 

Wherever you go, talk about it. Document whatever you see, the games you play, the food you eat, the entertainment sessions, the saunas the boat rides, the dinners – post them all over your social media – and you will be a convincing travel advisor. Please don’t wait for an attractive model to pose for your photos. You are the best model and the best travel agent, right?

Provide Options

 

A traveller won’t want to feel stuck with one way of the itinerary. A great travel advisor will provide options because things may change along the way and the client needs to know what his options are.

In addition to the above points, you are the only one who can master the skills to be the best travel consultant.

And finally, remember that we’re in a competitive world that demands the BEST!

 

If you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share the goodness. Share it with your friends, colleagues or anybody who aspires to excel as a Travel Advisor.

11 May

5 Effective Ways Formal Training Helps Travel Advisors

There are many challenges met by travel advisors who haven’t gone through formal training. These problems include mishandling clients, giving misleading information and deceiving clients for more profitable gains. Another challenge, though a minor one is that of a language barrier. Knowledge of only one language can lead to dissatisfactory holiday to the clients. Most formal travel training institutions encourage agents to know more than one language.

Today’s travel agencies are looking for learned advisors with diplomas, bachelors or master’s degrees of various subjects in tourism, hospitality, business, communication, marketing or any related studies. And we can bet the effectiveness of this progressive step for the travel industry, right? All this leads to the attempt of re-shaping and re-molding the travel industry to gain its roots of competence.

So how will formal training help travel advisors?

Enhancement of Good Customer Relationship

Due to the professional skills, the travel advisors have acquired in their training; you can be sure of their impact on service delivery. With in-depth knowledge on how to relate well with the client, the advisors will quickly understand the client’s needs and want, giving them a satisfying package.

Create Confidence

Giving a satisfactory package to the client in conjunction with formally handling him will trigger the client to create confidence with the travel advisor. And whenever this confidence is created, be lest assured that you had won the heart of that client. The happy client will not hesitate to sell your service to his/her friends, and you can bet the remarkable reputation the advisor will have created for himself.

Intensive Knowledge of the Industry

The fact that the travel advisor has undergone formal training indicates that he has an intense knowledge of the travel industry. He becomes a reliable advisor who can direct the client to holiday destinations that suit the client’s interest. His expertise about specific a location is a guarantee that he can re-plan a client package.

Growth and Productivity.

No doubt that continuous learning is essential for consistent growth. The more knowledge and wisdom of a particular field, the more assurance of its growth. Travel agent’s mastery of their industry will indisputably increase both growth and productivity.

Career Investment

In business, we know that anything kept as an investment becomes an asset and gives financial assurance to the one who puts it about tomorrow’s fate. If you have all the knowledge, know-how and passion to a travel advisor, then you can use that knowledge to operate your agency.

A successful travel advisor ought to often attend travel seminars, conferences and, expos. For instance, the American Society of Travel Agents (ATSA) is famously known for holding such formal training that helps the travel agents to sightsee in their free time. Another association that holds such practice is the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA).

In conclusion, remember that the future of a travel advisor in this industry will depend on their aggressiveness towards being outstanding in today’s competitive market.

If you enjoyed reading our blog, kindly share it with your friends and colleagues in your social media accounts. For comments and opinions, kindly direct them to us, and we will give you quick feedback.

25 Apr

4 Unique Ways of Handling Your Clients

The number one reason why a traveler will approach a travel agent is that they believe you have the best info pertaining a holiday vacation they desire to have. Their expectation is concentrated on having a successful vacation from the booking process – all – the – way – to their accommodating hotels.

Building a positive relationship with your clients requires you to have a good understanding of their needs and want. The way you handle them will tell if you will create a long-term travel relationship or a one-time relationship.

Below are few points that will aid you how to understand and win the confidence of your client.

Listen Attentively

Most clients know where they are going and have an approximate cost for it. Your great work is to listen keenly and give appropriate advice accordingly. However, remember not all clients come into your office knowing what they want. For such clients, ask them questions like; what kind of vacation would you like? Do you have a preferred destination of your choice? What makes you choose there? Have you ever been there? As they open up to you, you will have broken the ice if they were your first-time clients.

Feel their Feeling & see their Sight

The clients have a feeling that you will give them a beautiful, memorable trip. Please don’t lower their high spirits. Show them how the vacation will be fantastic because you already know what they are going to see in their destination. If possible let them find more surprises when they reach there which was not on their itinerary.

Create a Rapport

Build a healthy relationship with your clients. Always ensure you keep communication open. For instance, call them to know if they arrived. Ask them whether things are flowing as they desired. Even after the vacation is over, don’t stop communicating with them. Your concern will make them fall in love with your services and be lest assured to get a good number of referrals.

Give Timely Feedback

Handle your customers with care especially when they ask/need something from you. Let your feedbacks be timely and if possible giving a satisfactory solution to their problems or questions. When they share how their trip was on their social media platforms (even if it’s a negative comment), be among the first to comment positively and show your concern.

Clients are delicate like eggs in a basket. You handle them, and you are good to go. You mishandle them, and off you walk on a sloppy-slippery ground.

25 Apr

Why Travel Agents Need Specialization?

Being a Travel Agent, you must have heard this all the time: Specialization. Why do people prefer a specialized travel agent? because they have extraordinary knowledge and experience about the particular type of travel or destination.
Earlier, people were dependent on travel agents to plan the entire itinerary for them and book the services right from transportation to local amenities. In this digital age, the dependency of travel agents has shifted drastically. Travelers are savvy and technically sound to plan and book their trip.
Like a consultant or an analyst, a travel counselor will attend to client questions, know their pain, and offer expert advice to guide them in making one of the most important decisions—how to spend the most awaited vacation time off.
Roger Block, the chairman of the Travel Leaders Franchise Group, said an agent profiler is an answer to what clients want today. “With all the research that clients are doing online, they are expecting to speak to someone more knowledgeable than what can be found on the Web,” he said. “You, the agent, had better be in the know. There’s no more bluffing.”

Becoming a specialized travel agent, you need some careful planning and exploration. Build on what you already know. Find your niche. Explore your own expertise and skills, and build your market.

For an instant, specializing in romantic travel may mean organizing a couple’s dream honeymoon or destination wedding.
There are many niche travel possibilities but building a successful business takes more than your travel agent expertise. Here are a few tips to consider.
1. Study demographics and interest of your target market.
2. Become an expert on what you claim to be.
3. Create & market your identity to the right place and people.
4. Stay focused on one area.
5. Identify & build your niche.

There is something special you know or do that motivates you to be a travel agent. Look at your interest and skills and stay focused towards them and be the expert you would like to be!

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  • 19 Apr

    Why Travel Agents Should Constant Self- Check and Deliver the Best Value

    Successful travel agents are visionaries with exceptional organisational abilities and people skills. Here is a list you can use to check whether you have what it takes to become a successful travel agent.

    No one can predict the future of the travel industry. But with speed it’s growing we can foretell that future will be brighter, bigger and better than is already today. Hence travel agents have a lot to do with catching up with this enormous growth. They need to acquaint themselves with all the necessary knowledge and skills required to woo all clients who come across them and not forgetting the savvy clients.

    1)    Professionalism is at Hand

    Having a specialization in travel & tourism will help dealing with clients better. Being in an era that demands both professionalism and specialisation, an agent needs to “upgrade” from the normalcy services to professional services.

    2)    Competitive Times

    We are in a competitive world that gives prizes to those who win. As an agent, evaluate your work and basing on your performance, give yourself a prize. If you aren’t happy with that prize, then you have to scale your performance to the best you can give.

    3)    Savvy Clients – A nightmare

    The advancement of innovation and technology which has led to the availability of internet and smartphones should make a travel agent have a self-check. Savvy clients are on the internet, and they are really “good” at it. You need to “know more than they know.” For instance, don’t just know that Dubai is a nice place for holiday vacation, they already know that. Have a deeper knowledge about Dubai. Which locality in Dubai has best, cheap and affordable hotels, are there free transport from a bus station to the hotel, if no; how much does taxi charge, does the hotel offer special amenities and which one exactly?  Agents need to do a lot of research to “update and upgrade” their travel knowledge.

    4)    Is there a Growth?

    Travel agents should always ask themselves this question, “ever since I joined the travel industry, have I grown?” Your growth should obviously be manifested by having a significant crowd attraction of clients on your network. Growth is a necessity for a successful travel agent.

    5)    Are You Profiting

    You are in business and that business ought to give you profit. If you don’t get profit, then there’s a problem somewhere. Play your cards well. Have a right strategy. Give the right, and appropriate travel services and the truth is, that clients will be on the hunt for you.

    6)    Maintain Your Reputation

    The last and not the least reason why I believe an agent need to have a constant self-check is to maintain a reputable reputation. If your reputation is worthwhile and attractive, it will ultimately sell and bring you many referrals indisputably.

    And lastly,

    Hire fresh blood. Inspire and mentor them to have a vision and become a role model for them.

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