By Scott McKelvey
Nobody needs to tell you how competitive the travel industry is, with large agencies, small mom-and-pop shops, and a sea of travel websites popping up every day. Even Amazon launched a travel service this year.
What are you doing to stand out as a travel professional and earn someone’s business? How are you separating yourself from the field?
When you hear people say “nobody uses a travel agent anymore,” how do you inform them that, according to a report from the American Society of Travel Agents, 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all cruises, 81 percent of all tours, 45 percent of all rentals, and 47 percent of all hotels are booked by human travel agents?
A travel blog enables you to provide what people need before they go on a vacation or business trip – information, not a sales pitch. People need information that will help them decide where to go, what to do and how to get there. They also need information to choose a travel professional who can help them make those choices.
By using a travel blog to consistently create and share content, you become a trusted source of information so people think of you when they’re ready to plan a trip. Here are five ways a travel blog can position you as a true travel professional.
- A Travel Blog Informs and Educates. Suppose your blog provides a tip that prevents someone from wasting money or making a decision that could have ruined their travel experience. Think they’ll book their next trip with you? A travel blog enables you to share your knowledge and establish your expertise so people feel confident about working with you.
- A Travel Blog Overcomes Misconceptions. The example above about how much people rely on travel agents is just one example. You know the other popular myths. Travel agents are expensive. They try to cut you out of planning. They push you into the high-commission options. A travel blog allows you to fully address each misconception, one-by-one, without interruption.
- A Travel Blog Improves Your Search Ranking. Achieving a high search ranking can be difficult in such a competitive field, even if you pay for the privilege. The best way for any business to build its organic search ranking is by adding fresh, valuable content on a regular basis. A blog enables you to do this. Unlike traditional advertising, a blog post lives online forever and can generate search leads for years. In fact, a study from HubSpot found that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
- A Travel Blog Is Your Storytelling Platform. Travel agents have wonderful stories to tell about their own travels and the travels of their customers. A travel blog provides a platform for sharing these stories and strengthening relationships with customers and prospects.
- A Travel Blog Justifies Your Costs. When you regularly share travel stories and helpful information that position you as a true travel professional, price becomes less and less of an obstacle. The conversation becomes less about cost and more about, “Where do I sign?”
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