>Are You Ready?

It has become obvious to all of us that it is not a question of IF travel will return, but WHEN. 

Earlier this month, one of our Professional Educators, Kim Specht CTIE, delivered a stunning webinar–titled Are You Ready?–that discussed many aspects of your business you should immediately be preparing yourself for. You can view this webinar at The Travel Institute’s Premium Access Library. If you are not yet a subscriber to the Library, we encourage you to join and access a tremendous amount on-demand education. 

Now let’s continue with Kim’s tips on what you should be doing while you are in a holding pattern before travel rebounds.

Are you ready?

It’s a new year and a new travel industry. Last year, none of us could have imagined what travel (or lack of travel) would have looked like. Your business plans and your clients’ vacation plans were all put on hold. 

Normally, at the beginning of a new year, you focus on setting goals for your business. This year, that is still the same; however, based on what you have learned over the past year, your goals will need to be more fluid, flexible, expanding, and changing. Some of those changes and goals should include:

Analyzing and refreshing your website to truly tell your story: When clients find you–and they will–what will your story tell them about your value and expertise? Does it showcase your experience and your education? Does it show all the training you have been doing during our holding pattern? 

Communicating with your clients: Hopefully, you didn’t go completely radio silent on your clients during this last year. What are some of the practical and creative things you have been doing to stay in touch while continuing to increase your clients’ awareness of your value? What will you continue to do in the future? Have you scheduled newsletter topics for the rest of 2021? Have you planned virtual client nights?  

Discovering new destinations: Previously, we worried about over-tourism in popular destinations. Now, clients will be looking for the less-traveled destination, and many of them domestically.  How familiar are you with these destinations and what they have to offer? What are you doing to showcase your knowledge to your clients about these destinations? 

Enhancing Value: You’ve always focused on giving clients good value for their money. This year, in addition to value, they will be wanting peace of mind. True, they always have wanted that. That’s why they book with you. But, this year, providing it will be essential. Your skills and qualities will need to include creativity, the ability to provide reassurance, and the power of honest persuasion. You will want to focus on destinations and suppliers that have these same qualities and skills. 

Organizing information: Keeping up with all the constantly changing information is going to continue to feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. At times, it is overwhelming, if not stressful. Figuring out how to keep up with it can be a challenge. But this is the time when your organization skills and research skills will come in handy. Spend time now, finding information from reliable suppliers and destinations. Then create digital folders and email rules that allow you to organize that incoming information and make it easy for you to access it in the future. 

Nothing about 2021 will be the same as what you have done in the past. Booking travel–even travel itself–in 2021 is going to be all about being nimble, flexible, and adaptable. It will be the rebirth of the travel industry, somewhat familiar but, at the same time, different. Above all, you will need a sense of humor and patience. Will you be ready? 

You can check out Kim Specht’s recent webinar in the Premium Access Library. The Library also contains the spectacular series of On the Road Again! webinars–also hosted by Kim–in which your fellow agents share current and timely updates on destinations they have visited during the pandemic restrictions. Additionally, if you are looking to enhance your destination knowledge or be nimble and pivot into a new niche, such as Wellness or Luxury Travel, be sure to check these courses inside the Premium Access Library.