don't need another place to buy travel. Consumers have an almost unlimited
access to travel product. They can buy direct from suppliers, from other travel
agents, from monster-sized online sites and from organizations and clubs like
AARP or Costco.
travel everywhere. Most travel agents will overtly agree with the idea
they do not sell travel. However, too often their web sites betray another
self-image. On the home page of many travel agency web sites, dozens of
supplier logos flash at the viewer like the reels on a slot machine. Most of
the text is about suppliers, supplier properties and features. In fact, there
is often very little information about the travel agency at all, and what
information is available is couched in vague language about “great customer
Your travel agency is not about suppliers. Your travel agency is all about you.
This is no way to run a truly great travel practice. That type of website
invites price comparison. Travellers don't need another place to buy travel;
they need educated, professional advice on how to make intelligent buying
Your travel agency is not about
suppliers. Your travel agency is all about you. Your reason for being
has to do with the benefits clients receive when they do business with you.
Listing the dozens of tour operators and suppliers your clients use indicates
more about the transactional nature of your business than it does about the
relationships you build with clients. If you are nothing more than a vending
machine for travel, if you simply move from one transaction to another, why
should anyone do business with you as opposed to any other travel agency?
If all you are doing is selling travel, then everything comes down to price. My
guess is that you cannot compete for very long on the basis of lowest price.
Travel I can get anywhere. You, I can only get from you.
are unique. YOU cannot be found for less on the internet. Your skill set, your
experience, your insight, care, and patience are some of the characteristics
that set you apart. Your clients benefit from the remarkable combination of
qualities resident in your travel practice. You have personality! That's what
sets you apart and that's what you should be marketing.
Travel I can get anywhere. You,
I can only get from you.
Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online , an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.