The travel industry has gone through some huge changes in recent years. As so much research and booking are done online, travel agencies must engage customers with their website content and on social media, as well as in more traditional ways. The industry is also extremely competitive. If you want to be noticed and reach your target audience you need a strategy. Here are some of the most effective ways to promote your travel agency:
Find or Refine Your Niche
Before the internet, travel agencies were usually fairly broad in scope. Someone would call or walk into the business and book any type of trip or vacation. In the digital age, however, travel has become far more specialized and segmented.
If you want to reach the right audience, you have to identify your niche. If you're having trouble attracting business, one reason might be that you're not sufficiently specialized. You might, of course, have multiple audiences but you should appeal to them separately by criteria such as:
If you don't currently have a specialization you should consider finding one (or more than one) so you can create a more segmented marketing plan.
Make the Most of Social Media
Social media is crucial to promote any business nowadays. However, it's especially advantageous to connect with people on social media sites when you run a travel business. This is true for a number of reasons.
Be sure to focus on the social media platforms that your target audience uses most.
Reap the Benefits of a Host Agency
There are several advantages to working with a host agency.
A host agency can save you time and simplify many areas of your business.
Offer Add-on Services and Packages
Everyone likes to save money when they travel. People also appreciate learning about events and services that they might not be familiar with. As a travel agent, you can offer more value by connecting your customers with local tours, city passes, favorable rates on car rentals, transfer services, and other benefits.
The more you can customize offers to the needs of your customers and seek unique services offered in different areas, the better. For example, in large cities with metro systems, travelers often like to get day or week public transportation passes. If there are popular museums, amusement parks, or other attractions see if you can arrange for discounted tickets.
Integrating with GDS systems makes it easy to locate such deals for your customers. You can also connect with local tour groups and business owners to provide your customers with deals and discounts.
Optimize Your Website
Even in the social media age, your website is still your digital storefront. This will often be the first impression potential customers get of your business. It's therefore essential to make sure it's engaging, informative, and user-friendly.
Build an Email List
An email list lets you stay in touch with your customers and inform them about your latest offers. People who travel tend to do it regularly so it's important to do everything you can to attract repeat business.
These are some proven strategies to help you promote your travel agency. To reach today's travelers, you need to be in tune with their needs. This includes reaching them on social media and on their mobile devices. You also need to provide them with information that helps them find good value as well as find the travel experiences that keep them coming back to you again and again.
Written by Angie Habiger
So, you’re thinking of joining Travel Quest? That’s great to hear! My name is Angie and I’m typically the main point of contact at Travel Quest for agents new to TQ. I thought it would be helpful to do a little write up on the typical process of signing up with TQ.
Researching and Interviews
Starting way at the beginning, the best piece of advice I can give you is to research and compare host agencies. That way when you make your decision, you know it is the right one for you! If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend reading the Tips on How to Find the Best Host Agency post from HostAgencyReviews.com. It is full of really great advice and even has a nice Excel spreadsheet of questions to ask a host agency.
We think interviewing host agencies is so important that we actually have an ‘interview’ stage with agents looking to join TQ. It isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds - we just want to make sure that all of your questions are answered on us and, if you’re a newbie, the travel industry in general!
Registering Your Business & Getting an EIN #
Registering a business name in the state you reside in is a good place to start setting everything up for your business. It is also something Travel Quest requires in order to sign up with us! We often get asked is it best to register as a Sole Proprietorship, DBA, or LLC. Any one of them works for us. To make sure you are doing what’s best for your business, we suggest consulting with a tax professional or accountant. Each state has different costs and processes set in place so be sure to check with your State Agencies for what you need to do! The Small Business Administration has a great list of filing requirements for each state.
After you register your business, you’ll also need to get an EIN (Employee Identification Number) through the IRS. This is super easy to do online at IRS.gov.
Travel Quest’s Sign Up Process
Alright, you’ve been researching and interviewing host agencies and have made your final decision. I know that once you make that decision you want to get started right away so our sign up process is streamlined to get you set up in a jiffy.
We send all of our documents via an online signature program to make things super-fast and easy to track. Once you let us know you want to sign up there are just 3 stages:
The length of time it takes from start to finish depends mostly on how fast we get the documents back. Typically you receive your log in sheet 3-5 business days after you fill out the TQ Sign Up form! If you have any questions along the way, everyone at Travel Quest is there to help! Now that you know the sign up process, I hope we get to chat soon!
Written by Nicole Marson
Networking is a crucial element in the world of small business owners. That’s why I wanted to go over the importance and benefits of networking.Then I’ll go over some networking opportunities, essentials and best practices to get you going!
Benefits of Networking
Networking with fellow agents, vendors and other business owners can really help you grow your business and expand your reach. Whether it’s client referrals, partnerships, speaking or writing opportunities; networking can help connect you with people who can help you grow your business. Looking for more specifics on how networking can benefit you? Here you go!
Attending networking events on a regular basis is important. Not sure where to look for local networking events? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
The thought of attending your first few networking events may seem daunting but don’t worry - you’re not alone! Many people struggle the first few times out of the gate when walking into a room full of strangers and having to introduce yourself. We’ve put together a list of best practices to help you out!
Making conversation and knowing what to ask people can be just as terrifying as walking through that door. I’ve found that having a few questions prepared eases my anxiety and makes my interactions a lot more engaging and meaningful. The people you chat with will appreciate you taking the time to ask quality questions instead of the usual “Where are you from? What do you do?”. Here are some example questions to help you get started!