Many providers are still in the process of restoring availability, and many eager Canadian travelers are already in reservation mode, which means prices will likely increase as availability decreases.
By encouraging your customers to book now, you’ll ensure they have a wider choice of hotels and destinations at better prices, making you look like the rockstar travel consultant you are when you book them the perfect property for their winter getaway.
Some additional suggestions that will help you:
1. If you produce a regular newsletter, let your customers know that now is the time to start booking for the winter holidays. Choose a destination or channel to highlight to inspire your customers.
2. In your social media posts, highlight the benefits of booking now at least 1-2 times per week.
3. Start each week with a short list of promotions your favorite vendors or agencies are running so you have a few quick recommendations that you know are value for money, with great reviews.
4. If your agency offers gift cards, start planting the idea of giving travel as a gift. Why give a sweater when you can give them the world?
5. Position yourself as the travel expert that you are. Share the regular updates you receive from suppliers, airlines and tourism boards on updated travel policies, promotions, flight schedules and current destination/resort information. Not sure what is the best way to share this information with your customers? Consider posting a weekly video on your social media, sharing on your Instagram stories, or doing a weekly “Update Blast” email as a few suggestions.
6. Highlight the trusted relationships you’ve established with station managers, BDMs and more. Share examples of the value you bring to your customers, things that a person booking themselves would struggle to do. Our Independent Advisor Caitlin Lajeunesse did just that recently.
7. Form a peer group and create a chat in your favorite app where you can share the great deals you find. With multiple people keeping your eyes peeled, you’re less likely to miss a great travel opportunity for your clients and it helps distribute the workload among colleagues. It may even draw your attention to a destination or property that you hadn’t noticed before.
8. If you’ve had clients who have always traveled on vacation, contact them with a friendly phone call to find out if they plan to resume this tradition and, if so, why you recommend they book now. In the best case, you will get a reservation. Worst case? Your client appreciates that you hit the ground running and this reinforces the benefits of booking with a travel consultant, someone who cares about them and their travels.
9. Lots of people stress over the holidays – what to buy, who to buy for, how much to spend? Why not suggest more “stuff” instead that they consider extended family vacations? We’ve seen a noticeable increase in large family getaways with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents telling us they’re skipping presents this year instead of giving each other a chance to get away. gather, share laughter and create new memories.
10. Have you planned your own vacation excursion? Share it! Let them see the experts ‘lead the lead’ and demonstrate that now is the time to book so that when the snow and ice arrives, they have a guaranteed reprieve reserved at a fabulous destination already on the calendar.
While the sun is still shining in our face, we may not want to think about winter, but as one of my favorite quotes says, “August is the Sunday of summer”. With that in mind, it’s time to look ahead and get your customers to book their winter getaways.