Traditional travel agent positions are among the careers rendered almost obsolete by the advent of technology. Opportunities for online booking, research, and other aspects of crafting an customized journey are so abundant that the need for standard travel services no longer exist. However, that in no way means that there isn’t a need for travel agents — it just means that the industry has shifted and evolved in significant ways that are actually better for both clients and industry professionals, even those ways may no be immediately recognizable on the surface. Following are three concrete strategies designed to help today’s travel entrepreneurs stand out from the rest.
Develop a Niche
One of the best ways to stand out is to develop a niche in a desired travel category. Eco-tourism, for instance, is currently popular among millennials. Eco-tourism is defined as education-based travel designed to minimally impact the affected communities and provide mutual benefits for both visitors and local populations. A close cousin to eco-toruism is travel that strays from the beaten path and usually involves parts of the world that exhibit abundant natural beauty.
Pet-friendly travel is another possible niche. Many people prefer to travel with furry friends but may not have the time or the patience to research accommodation options in their desired destinations that provide amenities for pets.
Instead of simply providing assistance developing a travel itinerary, locating suitable lodging, and chasing down the best flight values, consider creating an all-inclusive travel service that meets other needs as well so that all the customer has to do is get on the plane and enjoy the vacation. For instance, you could include transportation to and from he airport in your travel package as well as arrange for pet boarding, mail pickup, having the lawn and garden areas watered and mowed, and other pertinent chores and tasks. For an excellent finishing touch, consider offering to fill their refrigerator with basics such as fresh eggs and milk to welcome them home from their travels.
Connect, Engage, and Interact
Developing a strong social media presence is a great way to help your travel business stand out. Encourage interactions by potential customers by enabling replies to posts and comments, and always be ready and able to answer questions. Remember that the personal touch is the major piece of the puzzle that’s missing from today’s technology-driven travel preparations, so provide that and give yourself an edge.
David Milberg is a financial analyst in NYC with nearly 3 decades of experience in the finance industry. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.