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An SMP Training Co. Publication “Hey, no more searching for an idea... it’s all here. C’mon, let’s go!”


Travel Agents

By New Business Idea Generator Steve Crowhurst, CTC

273 “No Fluff – No Theory” Marketing Ideas For Travel Agents By Steve Crowhurst, CTC Hi and thanks for taking  a look in the book!    There are two purchase options:   

1: Soft cover available from  www.bigbarkgraphics    

2: E‐Book format from my Store    If you have any questions email  me here:  

Photo credit: Alan Mitchell

Your Local Area Marketing Resource Book Featuring 727 Resource Links and Hundreds of Additional Tips & Suggestions!

TABLE OF CONTENTS About The Book About the Author How to Use This E-Book / Legal No-Fluff No Theory Workshops Opportunities Creativity -The Ultimate Resource 1. Academic & Educational Tours 2. Accessible Travel 3. ACT 1 The Privacy Act 4. Activities & Interests 5. Adventure Travel 6. Advertising 7. Affiliate Revenues 8. Agency Atmosphere, Look & Feel 9. Agency Checklist 10. Agency Entrance and Window 11. Agency Names and Claims 12. Airline Consolidators 13. Airline Schedules 14. Airline Ticket Office Signage 15. Angels R Travel 16. Aromas -The Smell of Attraction 17. Asking for the Sale 18. Attracting Attention To Your Agency 19. Avery Office & Marketing Products 20. Baggage Tags 21. Balloons 22. Bands 23. Banks And Trust Companies 24. Banners For Your Window 25. Banners On Your Website 26. Been There Done That 27. Before You Die Marketing 28. Bereavement Travel 29. Bike Shops 30. Binders In Offices 31. Blogging 32. Boardroom to Beach Towel 33. Bon Voyage Gifts 34. Bookmark Marketing 35. Books - Customized 36. Bookstore Promotions 37. Boosting Your Insurance Sales 38. Brandmouthing 39. Brochure Racks 40. Brochures 41. Build A Better Clientele 42. Business Card CDs

5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 16 18 23 25 27 28 32 33 34 36 38 39 41 43 45 47 48 49 50 52 54 55 58 60 61 62 64 65 67 69 70 71 72 73 74 76 78 80 82

43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94.

Business Cards Calligraphy Calls To Action Camera Stores Canadian Traveller Magazine Car Rentals Car Signs CDs & DVDs Charity Ads Children Christmas Thank You Cineplex CITC Designation Clothing Store Promotions Coffee Mugs Collect Calls Colour And Marketing Materials Condominium Clubs Contests Corporate Account Acquisition Corporate Accounts – Advanced Niche Corporate Accounts – Vacation Spin Off Corporate Gifts Cost Of Issuance Formula Courier Service Billboard Creating Your Own Logo Cross Promotions Cruise Marketing Cruise Night Planning/Marketing Cultural Event Marketing Customer Comments Customer Experience Mgmt Customer Mind Time + 3000 Customer Service – The Product Customer Service Checklist Customer Service Excellence Customer Succession Plan Cut It Out Date Marketing Destination & Map Marketing Destination Specialization Discount Policy Distribution And Fulfilment Donating Free Trips Driving Holidays Drumming Up Business DVDs E-Bay E-Book Marketing Edu-Travel Elevator Advertising E-Marketing

83 85 87 89 92 93 95 96 97 98 100 101 102 104 106 107 108 110 111 114 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 125 128 131 132 133 134 135 136 138 140 142 143 144 146 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 157 158 159

95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146.

E-Marketing With Invitations E-Marketing With Newsletters E-Marketing With Photographs E-Marketing With PowerPoint E-Marketing With Puzzles E-Marketing With Viral Videos Emotion Marketing Empty Buildings And Condos Envelopes As Marketing Tools Environmental Support & New Clients E-Signature Marketing Ethnic Holidays And Events Ethnic Newspapers Ethnic To Mainstream Fam Trip ROI Family Vacation Niche Features & Benefits Fees For Service Film & Print Processing FIT Custom Travel Fly Now Pay Later Follow Up Marketing Forced Choice Prioritizing Foreign Currency Forming Your Own Agency Group FREE! Fridge Magnets Friendship Marketing Gay And Lesbian Market Getting The Word Out Gift Certificates, Coupons, Cards Gifts By Type Google, Etc. Graphics Tips And Tools Green Travel Greeting Cards Group Business Group Travel Marketing Ideas Guarantees, Pledges & Promises Home Based Agents Honeymoon Market Hourly Rate Impact Movie Inbound Travel Incentive Travel Internet as a Marketing Resource Invoices Is there Anyone Else? Key Tags Kodak Picture Kiosks Language Schools and Systems Last Copy Marketing

161 162 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 172 173 174 175 176 178 179 180 181 182 184 186 187 188 190 191 192 193 194 195 197 198 201 202 204 206 207 209 213 214 216 218 219 221 222 224 227 228 229 230 231 232 233

147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160. 161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198.

Luggage Stores Lunches Luxury Rail Luxury Traveller Profile Mailing Lists Management Consulting Marketing With Humour Marketing Your Reputation & Image Meetings as a Niche Membership Cards Message Marketing Mobile Marketing Model Aircraft Mouse Pad Marketing Movies and Travel Sales Moving Text Displays LEDs Mug Shot Marketing National Geographic Newsletters Niche Markets Niche Markets Within Niche Markets Northstar Travel Media Old Brochures Open House – Soft Sell Marketing Outdoor Signage Outfitters Packing List Promo Passport Camera Profit Centre Permission Based Marketing Personal Journeys Personal Marketing Plans Personalities & Celebrities Persuasion Selling Phone Box London Style Phone Stickers Photo Contests Picture Postage Podcast Marketing Point Of Difference - POD Polaroid & 1st Photo Marketing Pop-Up Agencies Postcard Marketing Posters Power Walls Press Releases Pricing And Your Image Product Knowl-edge in Marketing Projecting Your Image Quality Control Marketing Real Estate Companies Real Estate Tours Reality Shows

234 236 237 239 241 244 245 246 248 249 251 252 253 254 255 257 258 260 262 264 266 267 268 269 270 271 273 275 276 277 279 280 281 282 283 285 287 288 290 291 292 293 295 296 297 300 301 303 304 305 306 307

199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207. 208. 209. 210. 211. 212. 213. 214. 215. 216. 217. 218. 219. 220. 221. 222. 223. 224. 225. 226. 227. 228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235. 236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241. 242. 243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250.

Referral Plans Restaurants Retail Merchandising Reunion Marketing Ringtone Marketing RSS – Real Simple Syndication Sandwich Board Signs Scratch & Sniff ‘n’ Smell ‘n’ Sell Screensaver Marketing ScreenScape Place Based Marketing Selling Add Ons Selling By Weather Selling Coach Travel Selling Down To Sell Up Selling More Add Ons Sellsumers Service Fees Or Advice Fees Skype - VOIP Sales & Service SlideShare Marketing Slogans – Marketing Headlines Social Site Marketing Soundview Executive Book Summaries Spa Vacations Space Travel & Zero G Flights Special Event Themes Special Events - Local Special Interest - Choosing Your Niche Specialty Agent Programs Sporting Goods Stores Staff Meetings=Marketing Ideas Star Dedication Stock Photo Agency Websites Storybook Destinations Supplier Relationship Marketing SWOT Analysis For Marketing Targeting Editorial Telegram Marketing Telemarketing The 5-Mile Radius Opportunity Map The Cheaper To Fly Promotion The Job Loss Promotion The President's Tour The Sales Letter The Six Tele-Skills The Thank You For Calling Gift Themed Cruises Thinking INSIDE The Marketing Box Ties – Necktie Marketing Tombstone Tourists Toolbar Marketing Top 10 Marketing Trade Show Attendance

308 310 311 313 314 315 316 317 318 320 321 322 323 326 327 328 329 330 333 335 338 340 341 343 345 346 347 350 352 353 354 355 356 357 359 361 362 363 365 366 367 368 369 371 373 374 375 377 378 379 380 381

251. Tradeshow Marketing 252. Travel Bucks 253. Travel Club Marketing 254. Travel Comics 255. Travel Trade Surveys 256. Travel Writing 257. T-Shirt Marketing 258. Umbrella Marketing 259. Uniforms – Wearable Marketing 260. Vacation Checklist Marketing 261. Web Page Marketing 262. Web Site – The About Us Link 263. Web Site Layout 264. Webinars & Webisodes 265. Web Sites of Interest 266. Weddings 267. Welcome Home Marketing 268. Why Should I BOOK With You? 269. Women Only 270. Word of Mouth Marketing 271. WordArt - A Marketing Tool 272. World Wonder Marketing 273. You’ve WON! Resource Books

383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 403 404 405 406 408 409 411 412 413

REGISTER FOR ONE OF MY WEBINARS. SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM WITH TOPICS TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS. Agency Owners, Managers, Senior Management; Frontline Counsellors; OSRs, CITC Members Only, Home Based & Virtual Agents and Suppliers Don’t forget to subscribe to THE EDGE newsletter!

About the Book

People to Thank

The writing of this book started over 27 years ago! Hard to believe. Back then I was collecting and penning ideas, had written a manuscript for an idea book when an IBM Selectric was the word-processor of choice. I made contact with the editor of Success Magazine, Bob Anderson, in 1984. Bob had been the editor of Success Magazine for six years and prior to that had been the editor for the Chicago Tribune. He wrote the newsletter PMA – Positive Mental Attitude with Clement Stone and also penned the biography of Ray Kroc, (the man behind McDonalds). When it was mentioned in an issue of Success Magazine that Bob Anderson was moving on to become Editor-at-Large and focus on travel related writing I wrote to him about my book. He replied. We spoke by phone. We met for dinner in Seattle and over dinner he agreed to publish my book. I was so excited I was awake at 3:30 am the next morning, in my car and driving back to Vancouver. I kept my large metal hotel key as a memento.

First of all my thanks to David Rowley who thoughtfully read through every page, making notes and reporting on what would make the information brighter, deeper, more acceptable and easier to understand. Of course I have to thank Bob Anderson for his belief in the concept so many years ago and I hope wherever he is he’s happy with the final product. I must also say thanks to Arthur Proudfoot (deceased) who turned up in my office one day in the late ‘80’s with a Kaypro ‘computer in a box’ telling me to ‘get with it’ and join the world of computers! Then there’s my pal Mike T his joyful disposition, thoughts and ideas make every day a bright one – he sent the Mark Twain quote found on the back cover. Thanks Mike! Thanks also to the many people who chipped in to listen, read, consider, comment, suggest and for their overall support. One person I’d like to thank in particular, who went out of his way to think how I could best market my book – Flemming Friisdahl, VP Thomas Cook. Another person is Scott Barker of Big Bark Graphics who made the call to say – “Let’s do business! I’ll give 10% off to anyone who reads your book!” Exactly what this e-Book is all about: See-Think-Act-Do. Thanks Scott.

Time moved on. Bob and I worked by phone and letter. Some $20,000 of editing time went into the book with Bob’s assistant June Packer doing the editing. Bob and I flew to Minneapolis for a one-hour meeting with an airline but no sale. We carried on. More time went by. Then Bob decided to die! I still have the letter from Bob’s wife dated March 12th 1990. Later I received two blue floppies in a pre-Colombian PageMaker program. Someday I promised myself this book would be written. As I am about to self-publish this book it is almost 20 years to the month that I received that letter about Bob.

Then there’s the team at Canadian Traveller Magazine and in particular Rex Armstead and Stephen Fountaine who gave me an outlet for my ideas. I must also thank the idea man behind CITC, Steve Gillick, COO, for his continued support and his ability to grasp an idea and run with it such as our pioneering of training agents at their desks via tele-seminars and webinars.

Since that time I continued to collect and I recorded every idea that generated new business for the travel firms I worked for and again when I owned my own agency. I recorded my competitor’s ideas and their creativity too. I picked up ideas from other industries. At certain times you would find me scribbling down a note as I drove past a store window, or when a van with a message passed me by, as TV commercials caught my attention, from billboards along the highway to book titles and posters, bus panels and word of mouth. I became an idea sponge and became known as The Idea Generator. Ideas and New Business Generation have become my life. Ideas are my business and it is ideas that form the foundation of my workshops, webinars, articles and keynote speeches.

Last but not least, sincere thanks to my author, speaker, adventurer buddy Anthony Dalton who has shown me the importance of sticking to the project and getting it done. It was back in 1979 when we first met and talked about writing books. Well soon after that conversation Tony became a photo-journalist and travelled the world with camera and pen writing articles for in-flight magazines to yachting magazines. Today he is the author of six books – his recent title Adventures With Camera & Pen is a collection of his past adventure articles, his current book is River Rough – River Smooth – Historic Adventures on Manitoba’s Hayes River. His continual “Have you started yet?” and “One page a day…” coaching have finally paid off. Thanks TD. l

Dedicated to my one and only Kimiko who allows for my wild and whacky ways. Let’s love ‘n’ laugh forever! Page 5

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About the Author W

ho knows where it comes from, or how these things get into our heads, but from a very early age I was an explorer. I always had the urge to go travelling the world and that urge, that feeling, never ever left me. It permeated my day-to-day thoughts, my life at school and when I started work. As a pre-teen kid in the UK I would be outdoors with my bow and arrow made from a tree branch or bamboo stick and dowel rods. I had bowie knives for throwing and carving spears for hunting rabbits ‘over on the common’ – that would be the wasteland at the end of our street. During my secondary school days I met a teacher by the name of Brian Spencer who taught maths during the day and went outward bound on the weekends. He planned weekend camping trips for the school and I was gone many weekends in the summer when my parents could afford it. During those school trips I learned to camp, kayak, canoe, trek, climb mountains, ridge walk, scree run, abseil off rock walls, spelunk and also capsize and fall off those same mountains. In my mid teens I developed a love affair with Japan and all things oriental. I studied Japanese culture, tried to learn the language, practised several martial arts and during those teen years I planned my overland trip from London to Tokyo. It was a good plan that included rail across Western Europe and Russia and from Vladivostok on to Japan by freighter. In the meantime at age sixteen I had left school and joined Horizon Holidays of Hanover Street, London – my retail travel career had started. It was August 1965. In 1967 an opportunity came my way. The god of travel answered my prayers and I signed on in the British Merchant Navy to scrub decks around the world onboard P&O cruise ships out of Southampton. My first sailing was an around the world voyage and it took me to Japan. I had three ‘personal journeys’ to complete. One was to get to Japan. Another was to practice Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo. The other was to circumnavigate the world. Checked off all three. I was nineteen years old at the time. In 1970 I emigrated to Edmonton, Alberta. My Canadian travel trade career was about to start and it started at the Thomas Cook office located on Jasper Avenue, managed by David McLean who taught me by example the detail and the professional finesse that went into selling travel. After Thomas Cook, I managed a Simpsons / Sears Travel agency, returned to Thomas Cook as manager then opened my own agency called The Charter Place – Specializing in Vacation Travel. I had two locations. I scored a number of “firsts” in the industry introducing a sit down / stand up counter with in-agency video, a travel accessory store, a women’s only concept called Woman’s World Travel, a specialty corporate travel department named The Executive Alternative and tied into the Golden Bear Cruise Club. I developed tours around movie themes such as Shogun, and I specialized in the adventure travel niche. I introduced service fees in 1978 before the concept was widely known. Our fee back then was $50 for a personal appointment. My advertising was different and it pushed suppliers versus price and made good use of catchy slogans. In 1981 I left Edmonton and relocated to Vancouver where I managed a corporate agency for Atlas Travel. In 1983 I joined Uniglobe Travel International head office as the Director of Training & Development and later became the Vice President of Western Canada. It was in this role that I learned the concept of franchising and how to turn my knowledge and creative talents to help others build their travel businesses. In 1986 I opened TIP Travel Management Consulting and for the next seven years I consulted to, trained, assisted and worked with companies North America wide. In 1996 I became General Manager of a travel & tourism college. In 1999 I opened SMP Training Co., to focus on new business generation. Since 1999 my customer base has grown to include tour operators, departments of tourism, airlines and travel agency consortia, home based groups, associations, credit card firms, aboriginal tourism, government departments, consulting firms and call centres - taking me on a global journey from the Arctic to Bosnia. I have led groups, opened cruise desks, started corporate departments, sailed 11 seas and visited 40+/- countries and received the ACTA Travel Educator of the Year Award. Along with Steve Gillick, COO of CITC I helped to pioneer using tele-seminars and webinars to train agents at their desks. Currently, as of 2010 going into 2011, I continue to deliver keynotes, workshops & webinars and write articles for Canadian Traveller. I publish four newsletters, The Edge, The O&M, The Frontline and BDM and created two new websites: and, the first website to focus on training for travel trade suppliers. Finally, I maintain my love of photography and continue to pursue my art career. Now ya know!

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How To Use This Book Today, creative people lead a charmed life with the technology that is available to all. We have moved from traditional marketing methods to online, offline, social, mobile and more. WOW! As a person of ideas – this is a great time to be alive! Now, in this book you will find hundreds of ideas that you can implement quickly and at a “no-to-low” cost. There are ideas that take more time and more money to implement. Then again you can tweak the idea to suit your situation. Nothing carved in stone here. It’s up to you to take the idea, change it, better it and own it. There is no formal plan. The ideas are listed numeric / alphabetically in the Table of Contents. My suggestion is that you set aside an hour or two and read through the entire book. In this way you will glean what the ideas are about, make notes of those that interest you and then return to read the idea in-depth. Or, you can skip from page to page as the mood takes you. Reading the entire book from cover to cover will help your creative side soak up the information. You will have many “light bulb marketing moments” as you build on the idea you are reading about and develop your own concepts and spin off ideas – and that really is the intended outcome. Make sure you have a pad and pen beside you to record your own creative thoughts when they happen.

Follow The Links There are some 727 links to a variety of resources that support the ideas in this book. Some of the links are long and a pain to type into your browser, but the end result should be worth it. You will finds examples of the idea, PDF downloads and more information than you probably need and want. However – knowledge is king. So be sure to save the links you like in your Favourites and return to visit them when you have time. All links were active at the time of writing however, if you get an error message you can simply search online for similar websites and information. One tip for collecting information is to open a document folder called Filing Cabinet and then simply file what you find in a separate topic folder, making it easy to find next time. You might want to also explore Google Docs as a place to store your online goodies! Legal Notices SMP Training Co. is in no way shape or form related to any of the companies, suppliers, products, services or websites mentioned in this book. Any product and service suggestions and recommendations are made purely on a ‘buyer beware’ scenario – with full liability falling on the shoulders of the reader to do their due diligence before buying, acquiring, downloading and doing business with any of the companies mentioned in this book. SMP is not liable for any outcomes, positive or negative, from any business dealings transacted between the reader and companies mentioned in this book. Pirated Copies The copyright of this book is strictly guarded and monitored. No person or company has the right to duplicate the content in any form or re-sell any part of this book without written permission from the author. Accepting a copy of this book in whole or in part that you have not paid for makes you an accessory to theft. Please do the right thing and buy the real thing. Each copy of the PDF or CD version is encrypted with a password that is traceable to the original purchaser. If you require more than one copy for your office or consortia members please ask about SMP’s multiple copy discount program or SMP’s Rights to Print Agreement.

Purchase of this book includes 2-hours* of e-mail support. When you need help with an idea – e-mail me at: * Must be used within 90 days of purchasing the book.

No Fluff – No Theory Marketing Workshops A

fter reading this book you’ll be excited and inspired to know more. To learn in-depth “how-to” why not attend one of my “No Fluff – No Theory” workshops or better still, bring me in to speak or lead a workshop at your head office or at your annual conference or convention. If you prefer a webinar format, let me know. If you would like an online program for your agency staff or membership to self study – these can be customized to include your own marketing assets and materials.

“I gotta tell ya, Steve’s “No Fluff - No Theory” workshops are street smart and savvy.”

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Opportunities T

he retail travel industry is full of these. There are opportunities flying around every single day. It’s a matter of whether or not you see them in time and manage to grasp them there and then – followed by doing something about them. The most recent opportunities have focused on going home based, or starting an outside sales network. Going green and selling green travel. Getting into the incentive and meetings business. Then there’s the group business opportunity, the inbound opportunity, social selling via Facebook and Twitter and blogging and many more. This is not about ‘new ideas’ as much as it is about getting ready to seize the idea of the day and knowing what to do with it. Seizing an opportunity can be taught and coached. It can also be learned from life experience and the hard lessons other agency owners have experienced. Many times a person has been faced with an actual life or death moment. Some stood still and thought a second too long. Others simply jumped and survived. It’s the same in business. Many times it’s better to wait. Some times it’s better to jump in and be first. The opportunity marketing mindset then is one you should develop.

Money, Time, People & Passion When an opportunity presents itself and you ‘get it’ as in you see it and want to do it - there are 4 things you need to consider and these happen in a nano-second. MONEY TIME PEOPLE PASSION HIGH q Do you have the money to invest? X X

q Do you have the time to invest? q Do you have the people who can make this happen? q Does this opportunity stir a passion in your chest?



Based on what your chart tells you, you may need to seek funding, hire in or train up existing staff. You have the passion and time to devote to this new opportunity and these two are the most important. Money can always be found and people can always be trained. Time is always the enemy.

Do The Math When you become passionate about something you can sometimes move yourself into the rosy realm of false security. Make sure you stay focused on the numbers and drill down to every cent this idea will cost you. There’s no room for cost-overruns – that’s reserved for governments. After the math has been done and your accountant has reviewed your numbers and you have answered the tough questions based on how and why it will work and after that the opportunity still has a shine on it – then you can go for it. Plan B: Make sure you have one!

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Creativity – The Ultimate Marketing Resource


ur industry is full of creative people. Some have taken what was old and refitted it to suit current times. Others have started totally new concepts, at first “bashed” by the trade who later came round to a “...wish I’d thought of that...” resignation. Creativity and being creative is not always fun. It takes resilience, enterprise and belief. However you come by it, your own, your team’s, an external source, tap into it, as it is your ultimate marketing resource. Combine creativity with experience and you have a powerful energy to plug into. Before we dive into how you can employ creativity – I want to introduce you to “The Man” – the guy that did it all with nothing but pen and paper. My travel marketing guru Thomas Cook. If you haven’t read about Thomas Cook now’s the time. If you would like to energize your staff, buy them a personal copy of either of these books, sign each one, dedicated to them and add a note, “Give me your best!” Here are the links to these two books: 1 1 ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1 259870311 &sr=1 -1

Chances are you knew early in life, like me, that you were going to travel the world, that you were going to work in some area of the travel and tourism industry. For me I was “travelling” at the age of 13 and planning my around the world travels at 15 and I completed this goal by age 19. I entered the travel industry in 1965 and learned my craft from then to now. If you entered the industry later in life, you would have had a career full of experiences to bring with you into this business. As with Thomas Cook – he had been a printer before starting his travel business – he had an edge on layout, set up, text, slogans etc. He knew what would work, attract attention and presell the reader. And so the question is put to you: What skill or talent do you have that you can use / exploit for the benefit of your agency? How about your staff? In my experience everyone has something more to offer in the marketing of their travel product.

Marketing From Here For the next short while say 2010 to 2015 the traditional ways of marketing travel will still play an important role in how you attract your next customer. The art of direct mail and the consumer event are still valid. The new-found e-mail is here to stay and will be used more and more and will become the chosen method of contact if it hasn’t already reached that level. As the Baby Boomer generation slow down, die off, and disappear from the customer radar your creativity will turn to better use of social sites, websites and mobile marketing. In all of this there is one constant - words. Words are the glue. They are what makes your marketing stick to a person’s memory and that “I need it” gene. Words are where you must focus your creativity and be able to conjure up an award winning, attention getting slogan. Page 10

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Seeing The Future Through Past Experience What happened in the past will happen again. It’s a given. What worked before, will work again in the future. The medium will change – but the words will stay the same. The fact is, no matter what happens in the world, no matter how deep a recession may be or what the worst of times will bring – the vacation will never be given up. Call it a getaway, a trip, a weekender... a world wide trek... whatever a vacation means to the customer, they will want it. It’s your ability to read the signs and market accordingly that you’ll need to refine. Just as Thomas Cook saw the need for mass-market escapism for the working class – filling open railway coaches with a few hundred fare paying workers on his first attempt – you’ll need to be that sharp today and fill a few coaches of your own with a hundred or more passengers paying you $2,500 each. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Creative Projection For Opportunity So we know that your marketing media will change / is changing and we know the importance of words and we know that up to a point in the future, traditional methods will work. Now you must project your thoughts to the future and judge what and when and how you will market to your existing clients and to those new customers you would like to attract. This requires that you study seasonality and generic peaks and valleys of outbound travel for each destination and for each product / supplier you sell. Given the change in our weather patterns you will need to factor in weather projections into your creative marketing plans. Knowing that weather patterns have changed and perhaps storm seasons are arriving earlier – you would quickly push your promotions of the Caribbean for instance, to the seasonally out of synch months that are projected to be clear of storms. The issue is – the main season just moved a month. The best time to go is now what was an “off season” month. Makes sense? Projecting for opportunity means working outside and around the status quo.

What’s My Medium? Where you market and what you “say” and what you pitch will be directed by what your customer reads, where they get their travel news, how they tune into their world. Currently your choices are wide – in the future your choices will be e-mail, computer screens / netbooks, cell phone text and screen, iPod applications and social sites. You’ll be moving from an ad in a local newspaper to a podcast, a webinar, a YouTube video, more e-Coupons and digital flyers. Your marketing thrust from here on, is to get between your customer and their media. How you do that is where the creative ideas come into play. Somewhere in this book is an idea that you will be able to tweak and turn into something that will work for you. That said, once again a reminder. No matter the media / medium – it’s all words.

Following Your Supplier’s Creativity Your supplier’s are up against the marketing wall every single second of the day. They are the creative hub of your retail world. They have teams who think, act, buy, set up, arrange, package and bring to you their latest gems – and they even have webinars and marketing kits and tools for you to access. Pretty much your next step is handed to you on a plate. The demand on your creativity then is to take your suppliers creative efforts to your local market in the fastest and most efficient manner so that you can capture the first round of bookings. Now back to Thomas Cook – study this man. Read. Learn. Act. Do. Be the ultimate creative TA in your area.

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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1. Academic Educational Tours T

o build a following for your Academic and Educational Tours focus on “seats of learning” such as famous universities and in particular the ones that people of note and record attended. Look for a common thread such as politicians, film stars, musicians – or follow one of many niche subjects such as the English Language. Almost any interest is or can be an academic / educational tour. To that end you can target any interest with a following, establish an itinerary that appeals to this interest, add a knowledgeable guide to lecture during the tour and you’ll have something to market. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Make contact with your local schools, universities, vocational schools, colleges and discuss a continuing education / travel program you can offer through the

 Best Universities of the World  Universities Attended by Celebrities  The English Language Tour  Rainforests of The World

education centre.

 Painting in Tuscany  The BMW Factory Tour

Target Markets Your target markets are as varied as the seats of learning. Try these – they are focused:

     

Mums and Dads Teachers, professors – active and retired Librarians Green tourists, Eco associations / memberships Artists and art clubs Car lovers / BMW owners

Here’s a terrific website to explore: Great ideas here – why not check with them and find out if you can sell into their tours.

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2. Accessible Travel W

hether you know it or not… joining the accessible travellers community is coming to you and your loved ones soon – could be in twenty years, could be tomorrow if life deals you a blow you weren’t expecting or your body decides to shut down for reasons only known to itself. It is the same for your customers and many of their friends and relatives and right now – outside your agency walls – there is a huge population of accessible travellers in need of your services. This market is not looking for ‘free’ or compassion – they are gutsy people who are already overcoming their disability. What they need is quality sales and service and a travel agent who understands their needs and wants and who can deliver 100%. Is this a market for you?

The survey shown here is free to you – it can be downloaded from the Ontario tourism site: sible%20Travel.pdf - so click there, download and read it through. The facts and stats are very interesting and mind boggling too. This report covers both Canada and the USA.

If you go into this market you’ll need to have people on your team, or access to them, that are living the life of the disabled traveller – people who travel without their sight, hearing, mobility or a combination of lost senses. You will learn a lot just being in their presence. You will learn how one ½” step prevents them from moving their wheelchair into a bathroom; how the design and function of a hotel room will make or break their stay. It’s the same with your choice of accessible cruise ship and so on. You will find out that hotels have made adjustments, that there are parks that cater to the blind where they have built stone walls for tactile interaction and plants with wonderful aromas. The gardens are fully interactive with the other senses too. There are adventure tours for the ‘disabled’ and there are tours designed too events such as the Para Olympics and anything else you can possibly think of. Here are a five links for you to click to and explore. Also check with your local government agencies re needs and wants and be ready, for when you market the fact that you can handle this travel segment you will be getting media attention. It’s a worthy segment of the trade to work with – also take note – you make no apology for charging fees and making money. An accessible traveller is no different to your other clients - only more determined to enjoy the world.

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3. Act 1: The Privacy Act A

fter many dinners gone cold due to early and late evening telemarketers and computers being infected with spam induced viruses – North America has launched a Privacy Act to suit most “marketing interruptus” occasions. You must pay attention to this crucial event in your travel marketing life. Being Privacy Act compliant is a great marketing tool however few agents seem to use it as such – and that’s a good thing for you! First things first - failure to adopt a privacy policy in accordance with your National, Provincial, Federal or State requirements could result in severe damage to your reputation, loss of customers and possible litigation, not to mention “all of the above” if it’s a really bad day! Out of the heaps of paper that support these privacy acts – one core “must do” principle is the activity of gaining your customer’s permission to hold their personal data, information and facts on file in your agency. You must gain their consent. You must also be able to explain how secure your systems are, how their information is actually protected and what you do with their information once they give it to you.

Getting Permission There is no 100% grandfather clause here – so that means, if you haven’t done this already, every client in your data base must be contacted and asked if they wish to have their information retained on file. If they say “yes” then you must request that they sign to that effect – giving you permission to hold their information. If you haven’t done this yet – well, “there’s ya sign”. Git ‘er done before someone says something. You must also obtain your clients permission to phone them about special offers, send them an e-mail, fax them or send direct mail flyers. You can do this on one sheet of paper or you can create a special page on your website to capture your customer’s permission sign-off’s. On this one-pager your customer would check the applicable boxes and opt-in or opt-out.

Promoting Your Compliance Once you have your Privacy Policies in place you should promote them! This is not a bad thing this Privacy Act. It is warranted and needed. It also offers you a new platform to present, talk about, focus on and make your own. You can also write your own privacy rules as long as they are made known to your customers. For instance if a customer gives you their email knowing that by doing so they have clearly ‘opted in’ to receive your vacation specials, then you have cleared the way to direct e-mail marketing. Page 14

“That’s right. Check that box, good… and the one underneath, wonderful, now sign here in triplicate. Excellent! Okay, close one eye, sing the national anthem standing on one leg and then I’ll be able to send you an e-mail!

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So now you can think about how to use the fact that your agency is Privacy Act compliant. One very simple, easy to do tip is this: create a decal for your agency window and add this same slogan to your website, e-mails and all documentation.

Here’s what your decal / slogan says:

Travel with those you trust. This a simple idea and a very effective head-turner given the current world of identity theft. Let your customers know you protect their data by building this statement into all you do and say and print. For more information on the Canadian and American privacy acts click on the links below: MAKE SURE YOU CHECK INTO THE PRIVACY ACT AND HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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Download the KPMG PDF document – it is an excellent concise guide. Take the Privacy Quiz – Click below

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4. Activities & Interests T

here are hundreds of activities and interests that your customers like to do on their vacation - some we can’t mention! The list below can be found at Specialty Travel Index Each listing is a niche market opportunity for you. Many offer a niche within a niche. Review the list, check those you have a passion for and believe you could market. Look for a preferred supplier that can support your chosen niche activity or do it yourself.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

Academic Tours Aerobics African Heritage Agriculture Air Charter Air Safari Air Show/Aviation Buff Airport Transfers All-inclusive Adventures All-inclusive Packages America's Cup Anthropology Antiques Apartment/Condo Rental Archeology/History Art History Art/Architecture Artists' Workshops Astrology Astronomy Auto Racing Auto Rental Backpacking Ballooning Barge/Canal Cruising Baseball Basketball Bear Watching Bed & Breakfast Biblical Tours Bicycle Touring Bird Watching Botany Boxing Brewery/Beer/Pub Tours Bridge Tours Broadway Shows Bullfighting Business Traveler Tours

40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117.

Butterfly/Lepidoptery Camel Safaris Camping Canoeing/Kayaking Castles/Palaces Cattle Breeding Cattle Cutting, Roping Cattle Drive Cave Art Caving Character Tours Chauffeured Tours Children Permitted Christian Tours Christmas Tours Church Tours Cigar Tours City Packages Clans Clothing Optional Clown Tours Country/Cottage/Bungalow Coffee Tour Collectors Tours College Bowls Conference/Retreats Conservation Cooking School Corporate Events Country Inn/Guest Ranch Covered Wagons Crafts Tours Cruise/Shore Excursions Cruises, Expeditions Cultural Expeditions Desert Expeditions Design Tours Dhow Sailing Disabled Traveller Tours

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Doctors'/Nurses' Tours Dog Sledding Dolphin Research/Swim Driver-guide Dude Ranch/Farm stay Ecology Ecotourism Educational Tours Elephant Ride Enogastronomic Culture Environmental Education Equestrian Tours Executive Fitness FIT’s Family Groups/Tours Farmhouse Festival Tours Fiesta Bowl Film/Film History Fishing / Fly fishing Flight-seeing Fly-in Charter Fly-in Hiking/Rafting Fly/Drive Package Foliage Tours Football Four-Wheel Drive Fox/Stag Hunting Gambling Garden Tours Gay Tours Gem Collecting Genealogy Geology Ghost Town Glacier Tours Goat Packing Gold Panning Golf

118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156.

Golf Tournaments Gorilla Viewing Gourmet/ Culinary Grandparent/child Tours Group Tours Health & Fitness Heli-Rafting Heli-Ski Heli-Trekking Helicopter Tours Hiking Historic Houses History Tours Hockey Holistic Health Home Stay/Exchange Honeymoon Adventures Horse Breeding Horse Carriage Tours Horse Racing Horse Riding/Packing/Trek Horticulture Hostels Hotel House boating Hunting Ice Climbing Iceberg Viewing Ice Fishing Incentive Travel Investment Island Cottage Rental Island Resort/Vacation Jeep Safari Jet Boat Expeditions Jewish Cultural Tours Jungle Expeditions Jungle Lodge Kite Flying

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157. 158. 159. 160. 161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198. 199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207. 208. 209. 210. 211. 212.

Kon-Tiki Rafting Kosher Tours Language Study Learning Tours Legends Lewis & Clark Trail Lighthouse Tours Literary Tours Llama Packing Marine Biology Martial Arts Medical Services Metaphysical Military History Millennium Tours Mining Tours Motorcamping/Campervan Motorcoach Tours Motorcycle Rental Motorcycle Rental/Touring Motorhome Tours Mountain Bicycle Tours Mountaineering Multisport Museum Tours Mushroom Hunting Music/Dance Mystery Tours National Parks Native Americans Natural History Nature Reserve Nature Trips New Year's Eve Ball Newsletter Non-Smokers Tours Northern Lights Viewing Nudist Resort/Cruise Nurses Oenology/Wine Study Oktoberfest Olympic Games Opera Outdoor Skills Training Overlanding Painting Paleontology Penguin Viewing People over 50 Perfumery Tours Photographic Tours Photography Pilgrimage/Mythology Pioneer Skills Polar Bear Watching Polar Expeditions

213. 214. 215. 216. 217. 218. 219. 220. 221. 222. 223. 224. 225. 226. 227. 228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235. 236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241. 242. 243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250. 251. 252. 253. 254. 255. 256. 257. 258. 259. 260. 261. 262. 263. 264. 265. 266. 267. 268.

269. 270. 271. 272. 273. 274. 275. 276. 277. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284. 285. 286. 287.

Porcelain/China/Pottery Professional Study Psychology/Psychiatry RV Rentals Railway Trips Rainforest Ranching Real Estate Reindeer Safari Religion/Spirituality Research Expeditions Restoration River Cruise/Expedition River Rafting/Whitewater Rock Climbing Rodeo Rose Bowl Safari/Game Viewing Sailing Schools School Visits Scuba/Snorkeling Sea Kayaking Seaplane Services Self-drive Tours Seminars Seniors/Retired Shamanism Shipwrecks Shopping Single Travelers Skiing/Cross Country/Tour Skiing/Downhill Snowboarding Snowmobiling Snowshoeing Soccer Solar Eclipse Tours Spa/Hot Springs Special Interest Magazine Spectator Sports Spiritual Tours Sports Camps Sports Tours Stress Release Tours Student Tours Study Tours Sugar Bowl Summer Camps Super Bowl Surfing Swimming Tea Tours Teachers' Tours Tennis Textile Arts Theatre

Tourist Guides Travel Specialist/Agent Trekking University Tours Vegetarian Tours Veterans Videography Tours Villa/Chateau Rental Vintage Aircraft Vintage Cars Visa Services Volcano Tours Volleyball Walking Tours Waterskiing Weddings Weekend Escapes Whale watching Whisky/Distillery Tours

What are your TOP 3 niche markets from this list?

Any spin-off ideas come to mind?


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Specialty Travel Index also publishes a bi-annual magazine that sells for $15. Your listing would be included in this publication.

Listing With Specialty Travel Index (STI) If you develop a niche market for any of the above or any other activity, destination or specialty travel program you can register with STI and list your product offer with them for about US$500. Check out this great opportunity on STI’s website:

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5. Adventure Travel L

ooking for something exciting to sell? Are you an outdoor loving, adventurous travel agent? If you are then you might wish to explore how Adventure Travel can fit into your agency’s strategic plan this year. The buzzword, as you know, is Soft Adventure and it is hailed after by the young and restless and the not-so-young and restless. If you have read Gail Sheehy’s book "New Passages" - she wrote that 'we' - that's us, have two lifetimes and we haven't even left the mortal coil yet. We are indeed living longer, enjoying healthier lives and making various lifestyle decisions along the way. Many decisions favour “getting out and about” to taste a little of the wild side.

The Bucket List As this movie was playing someone was surveying how many people actually have one or two adventurous things to do before they kick that ‘end-of-life’ bucket. It seems we want to experience something exciting before we croak. We want to return to the outdoors. We want a thrilling adventure during the day, but we want to be back for supper, safe and sound! The soft adventure travel experience offers many different types of experiential vacations for all ages. If you have read through the activities listed by Specialty Travel Index you should have a dozen adventure ideas with which to launch your very own selection of Bucket List tours.

Marketing Your Agency’s Bucket List Chances are, you and your agency team have your own Bucket List of places and experiences you would like to see and do before you fly to the big agency in the sky! Why not turn your Bucket List into something you can offer, promote and share with your customers? You can approach this from a “Guess Where We’re Going?” format and then invite your customers to join in.

Hi everyone! You know I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and guess what? I’m going and you’re welcome to join me! There’s only 16 seats so you’ll need to book fast…

Agency Owner

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Adventure Specialist Certification If you believe there is an opportunity for you and your team in selling adventure products perhaps you should get yourselves certified by taking one of the adventure specialist programs offered by suppliers such as Trek Holidays or GAP Adventures. Click to their websites: and Another link to explore is:

Facts and Stats Here’s a terrific Website and an association to consider joining: Start by requesting their newsletter and follow the clicks to hordes of information such as the download found at:

Bird Watching One of the most sought after adventures is bird watching. No matter where your agency is located, there will be enough bird watchers to put a group together. Click to: and see what all the noise is about.

The Adventure Travel Desk A simple method of getting started in the adventure travel segment is to place a sign over a desk, put a sign on a door, a sign in your agency window, a banner on your website and a mention in your e-mail signature and you’re off! Before you put that sign up, you should hire a travel counsellor who is knowledgeable about adventure travel, someone who knows the adventure suppliers and someone who can talk the adventure talk. Selling adventure product offers you an opportunity to fill the highs and lows of your seasonal selling chart. Chances are you can sell both outbound adventure programs and inbound adventure programs. Let’s review the inbound adventure opportunity.

The Inbound Adventure If you happen to live in an area that backs on to mountains, lakes, trails, forests etc., you could be well situated for developing an inbound soft adventure program. Go to the city fathers, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Tourism of your city, town or region and sell them on helping you promote the local area to out of Province, State, Country and overseas travellers. Hopefully you will find willing minds with access to marketing funds that can be donated to your cause and who knows, there might just be inbound tourism initiatives already in place. This sounds good but don’t be surprised if you get the cold shoulder. Some regional tourism offices lack focus, so your idea of developing the adventure market might miss the mark OR, it could be just be what they are looking for. This action on your part will require a well-written business plan featuring current statistics, costs and an overall analysis of the potential economic value & return to the local communities involved. Establishing an inbound business is not easy. It takes time and money and the creation of a new department within your agency. There are many successful inbound agencies / business models to support that this is an excellent segment of your industry to be in. Now, to keep the money rolling in you should consider selling outbound adventures at the same time. There is usually a ready market to be found within your own agency data-base.

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Outbound Adventures You can sell ready-made product such as the 18-35 tours of Europe, the U.S.A., and Canada that offer the rookie adventurer trips by bus, coach and truck if they want it. Then there's a drop of the hard stuff too - all the way to extreme adventures such as Washing Your Laundry In The Ganges, Swims-With-Piranha’s (a new Costner movie!) or something serious like climbing K2. This last adventure should be termed an expedition. Why sell these trips? How about, “Because they're there!" Who did say that by the way? Answer: the British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory when he was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. He replied, 'Because it's there ...’

Amazing Race Adventures Whether you watch it or like it, doesn’t matter. The Amazing Race reality show is FREE ‘top-of-mind’ awareness for any adventure program you want to sell. Just add the word AMAZING to your promotion. Write it up in your newsletter or on your website. Ride on this wave! Push it to your customer base. Get that word AMAZING out there and working for you. Caution: “Amazing Race” is trademarked! Click to: for information and ideas. Visit the store – check to see if any of the merchandise sparks an idea.


These slogans were created using WordART.

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Adventure Windows Why not turn some heads your way. Place a canoe or kayak in the agency window. Try sand, rocks, boots, an ice axe, a Sasquatch, an Iceman, adventure magazines… anything that can draw attention to your window and pre-sell a trip of a lifetime.

No Window? Perhaps you don’t have an ‘agency window’ in the usual sense – so let’s get creative – where is YOUR window? What can you use as YOUR WINDOW? Could you use the window of other retailers? Is there a POP-UP store opportunity? Could you take your adventure travel promotion into the Kayak retailer, the mountain equipment store window? The answer is YES! Of course you can. All you have to do is ASK! Then negotiate. Before you ASK! Make sure you have your ideas, your plans ready to place before the owner / manager of the store who owns the window you want to occupy. Make sure everything is professional in look, layout and style, spell checked, complete, printed on quality stock – this has to be BEST. Unless you are a former designer, layout artist, Photoshop instructor or a quick study, stay away from a self-produced hand written jobbie. Go with a pro. Now you can promote and push your promotion and attach the retailer’s brand name to it. That’s a WOW! right there. If you operate a home-based / virtual agency then this arrangement would suit you well. Your own adventure clients can view the promotion at the store you have partnered with, plus the clients of the store will also see your promotion. A double whammy.

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Adventure News = Opportunities On January 11th 2008 Sir Edmund Hillary, famous for topping Mount Everest on May 29th 1953 with his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, died. When this type of news hits the world, it opens up a huge opportunity for travel agents who are invested in the adventure market. What would it take to honour this man with a trek somewhere? I wonder where? How about Nepal? No need to go to the base camp. Keep it simple. Study Hillary’s life and times and build your marketing around his exploits and accomplishments. Sell your trek to those fit baby boomers who would know of Hillary and be eager to trek in his honour. Tenzing Norgay died May 9th 1986. Your trek should also honour this man with a visit to his native village. Why not contribute to one of Hillary’s many foundations?

© 2008 Sketch by Steve Crowhurst

“Nothing Adventured – Nothing Gained!” - Steve Crowhurst

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6. Advertising N

o matter how you do it – just do it! Hopefully with forethought and planning. If not, you could see your hard earned commissions go down the drain. How you stay in front of your existing customers and promote to prospective customers will be decided by your advertising budget, your location, your niche market and generally by how your best clients found you in the first place. No point reinventing the wheel. If you know how your best clients found you – do more of that – whatever it is or was.

How did your best clients find you?                        

Consortia / HQ Promotion Consumer night Corporate account Cross-promotional tie Ins Direct mail E-mail Events Fax Link Magazine Newsletter - electronic Newsletter - paper Newspaper Poster Radio / TV Search Engine Social site Telephone Text Messaging Trade show Viral marketing Walk in Website Word of mouth

My clients love me!

EXERCISE: Review the headings on this page and check your CRM system to identify the Top 3. If you do not have a ‘click and report’ CRM system you will have to get busy and start counting or ask your frontline agents. If nobody knows – you must start now to collect the data – you can review it at year end. With the data in hand, use MS Excel to graph the results over 12 months to “see” which contact method rises to the top on any given month.



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Graphing Results When you graph your CRM results, clarity sets in. As you can see below, the telephone remains the best form of customer contact for this agency. The question is: how many calls were converted to a sale – or, set up to close in the future? Perhaps customers who e-mailed their interests were quickly converted to a sale. What about the Walk-in business? Surely when you have someone in front of you and you can look into their eyes and even see their wallet (!) sales should happen? So perhaps agency window advertising that causes a passerby to walk-in is the winner? The Month / Year: Form of Contact by Percentage key to finding your best form 70 of advertising is this: 60

Determine what most of your customers respond to, when they respond, and how best to turn that customer inquiry into a sale.

50 40 30 20 10 0 Website






The “How Did You Hear About Us?” Question Make sure every counselor asks this question when a new customer is on the telephone, in the agency or sending a request by e-mail. This front line data collection is imperative to investing your hard earned commission into the best advertising vehicle for your agency. For website data check your metrics to source the most used search engine. If Google, then consider Google Advertising & sponsored sites.

The Best Form of Advertising is…

“… how did you hear about us Mr. Gottago?”


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252. Travel Bucks T

he use of fake money as a lure dates from the ‘good old days’ and has moved with the times to be e-money that can be printed off and redeemed by e-mail. The business of printing fake and play money is still big bucks! One of the most famous play money promotions was and still is Canadian Tire ‘Money’™ It was introduced in 1958 as a cash bonus coupon - it went big in 1961 when it was termed ‘money’. More than $100 million in Canadian Tire ‘Money’ rewards are distributed every year, driving Canadian Tire customers back into the store to buy whatever they choose. The Canadian Tire 'Money' rewards program overall has a 90 per cent redemption and participation level. Those stats should perk your interest in the use of travel bucks in your next promotion. Looks and sounds tacky – but it works!

At the links below you’ll find templates for the USD, CDN, the Euro, also Santa Bucks and templates where you can even upload your own mug shot. The Travel Buck can be used as a thank you, as a lure to “book with us”, as a gift certificate, a referral reward and much more. On one website I caught the One Fundred Dollar Bill. Now that’s good! Very clever. Perhaps you can use it too. Sort of ties into a Carnival Cruise promotion doesn’t it. Available to you are a host of websites – many for KIDS! Yes it’s true. Quite a few fake money sites are educational for kids. They can download fake money, print and play with and or create their own. Here’s the links to explore, become a kid again, and produce your next marketing tool! Just don’t pay the rent with it!!

Ask us how you can earn yours!

273. You’ve Won! T

his is a great idea, lots of fun and you can use it at your discretion. When you are planning to promote a certain product or destination or supplier, think about having a series of special offers for when a client phones, walks in or e-mails a request. To add a new dimension to the promotion you can follow this wild and crazy idea. First thing is to record a sound. The sound should support your promotion. A cruise promotion for instance is an easy one. All you need to do is record the sound of a ship’s horn. Save this sound as a wav.file and then relax and wait. When a customer calls or enters your agency and engages you in conversation you can steer them towards your cruise promotion and depending upon where you are in the sales process you can, if you believe the timing to be right, click onscreen and play the sound wav. featuring that ship’s horn. Now what do you do? You lean back and say to your client: “Did you hear that! You’ve won!” Now you explain that the sound of the ship’s horn means you can offer them a special ‘something’ – an upgrade, a discount, more shipboard credits.

You can employ this same idea when you are booking to Europe or sun and sand getaways. There are so many offers made by your preferred suppliers that rather than simply hand them over, you can make something out of them, something more exciting. Build it up and play on the freebies your suppliers give you to give away. Now what sounds do you have for Europe, an adventure trip to Turkey or a regular one-way flight to Toronto – would that be the sound of a jet taking off? Could be. How about the sound of coins jingling into a pot! Savings!

Talk about timing! I went to my travel agent and whilst there a sound went off and I got a cabin upgrade PLUS a $100 discount too!

If you are known to be a bit of a ‘character’ and have a sense of humour you should be able to carry this idea off with some showmanship. If you are not given to ‘showmanship’ – well, ya might not wanna try this!

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Resource Books

Enjoy reading these books. They contain what you need to know.

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"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the one's that you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your Sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

SMP Training Co.    250‐752‐0106  

“273 Marketing Ideas for Travel Agents is a  must‐have  resource  for  all  travel  industry  professionals. Steve has a knack for getting  to the root of a subject and he does it with  humour  and  style.  His  no  fluff,  no  theory  approach  to  generating  new  business  is  an  outstanding  model  for  success.  Read  this  book  now  and  forge  way  ahead  of  your  competition.”  Anthony  Dalton,    FRGS,  Author,  Speaker  and  National  President  Canadian Authors Association.    “Leave  it  to  Steve  Crowhurst,  that  creative  travel  industry  cheer‐leader  to  come  up  with  an  absolutely  ‘must  have’  book  for  travel  professionals.   Crowhurst’s  273  ‘No  Fluff‐No Theory’ Marketing Ideas for Travel  Agents is brilliant.  The detail is astounding.  The  variety  of  topics  is  mind‐boggling  and  the  value  is  priceless.”  Steve  Gillick,  COO  Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors. 

Steve Crowhurst, CTC

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273 "No Fluff No Theory" Marketing Ideas for Travel Agents  

A collection of low to no-cost, easy to implement new business generating marketing ideas for travel agents and travel trade suppliers.

273 "No Fluff No Theory" Marketing Ideas for Travel Agents  

A collection of low to no-cost, easy to implement new business generating marketing ideas for travel agents and travel trade suppliers.