Archive for Travel Marketing Topics
I have strong opinions about how to write travel sales copy—so strong that years ago I wrote: MICHAEL’S RULES FOR WRITING TRAVEL SALES COPY. (Written for internal use to save time and keep my pulse rate down when editing copy.) Rule #1: Avoid clichés like the plague Cliché: An expression or idea that has become weak, tiresome, stale, trite [...]
I am writing this on the way home from Mexico City after 4 intense days of conversation about travel at the Virtuoso Symposium, a gathering of “thought leaders” in travel that occurs in a different city each year around this time. I am bound by a confidentiality agreement to not reveal what was said at the [...]
Meena commented on last weeks post, “I would be interested in knowing how any agency tries to go the extra mile, to become the chosen one.” Like all business, travel businesses try “to become the chosen one” by providing more perceived value than the alternatives. In general the things that buyers value in travel are the [...]
Yesterday I received the email and attached outline below from my friend Kurt Kutay from Wildlands Adventures. I thought you might be interesting in an insiders view of pricing issues in todays environment and got Kurts permission to share it with you. I have definite views on the subject, but rather than start out by influencing [...]
Cheryl Snyder posted this characteristically to the point question to last week’s post. “Could you clarify some terms? What is disintermediation? How about Inbounds? Outbounds? and DMC’s? Thanks” And Jennifer Fletcher echoed Cheryl with this also characteristically to the point comment: Just like Cheryl, I need some terminology translation into English. “ Disintermediation ” sounds like one of those [...]
I interrupt Patty Chang Anker’s account of her trip to Costa Rica to ask you for some feedback about the email that we send to guests at the end of their trip. At the very end of this post there is a personal comment and a neat video clip. We revisited this email recently to add the [...]
In November Yolanda and I spent two weeks traveling throughout Costa Rica with my old friend Richard Bangs; fellow board member, Steve Aronson, and Rocio Echeverri, from Amigos de Los Parques; and the folks from Adventures with Purpose/Small World Productions helping shoot an hour long PBS special. The show is the ninth. episode of the Emmy [...]
In last week’s post I published part of an email from a past guest who felt that the practice in Costa Rica charging visitors higher entrance fees than locals is unfair and bad for the tourism business. I asked for your thoughts and offered to send a bag of coffee to the person who in [...]
I need your advice on how to get more inquiries generated by recommendations from past guests. For the first time in at least a decade Costa Rica Expeditions needs more inquiries from travelers who want us to plan their vacations. The reason that we have not needed more inquiries for so many years is that we’ve been [...]
Need More Advice on How to Get More Inquiries... And the bags of coffee go to... Tommy Galan & Max Waugh!!!!
Tommy suggested that we “give the Costa Rica Expedition guest an opportunity to make the recommendation in the moment, while still entranced by the magic of Costa Rica, and the quality of Costa Rica Expeditions.” Great idea. Since it will take a little time to implement, and I was going to Tortuguero anyway this weekend [...]
Largely based on your input I have decided to do a very small pilot program offering discounts for friends of past guests. That is, the number of discounts will be very small. The size of the discounts for the pilot program only, on the other hand, will be quite big. Here’s how it is going to work: We will [...]
In their annual survey the readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine have chosen Costa Rica Expeditions as the seventh best tour operator in the world. Under most circumstances my reaction to being number 7 would be that we are number 6 of the losers. In this case, however, I must admit that I am very pleased. [...]
When you read or hear testimonials from a business that are all raves, do you believe that you are getting the whole picture? I know I don’t. Therefore, for the past few months Ramy Deeb and our team of developers have been working on a Website designed to receive and publish ALL the feedback we get from [...]
I almost never use this blog to pitch Costa Rica Expeditions’ Programs. Max Waugh’s and William Granados’ photo tour to Costa Rica from March 2-11 is so special that I have made it one of two exceptions. (Our program in which guests help local kids learn English is the other.) Habitual readers of this blog have already [...]
I agree. This is a fascinating topic! Michael, I was struck by your comment about selling the "magic", not just the trip. It reminded me of the conversation we all had one week about how much hype should be used in the description of a particiular tourist experience--I believe you used the Arenal volcano as an example. It seems to me that the magic is marketed by painting a picture in the potential client's mind; and, as the internet becomes the initial resource for many people, the challenge is increased by the need to communicate in small bytes of info. Texting, Facebook, etc. all point to a new style of expression. I'd be interested to know if any of this was discussed at your conference and whether or not the goal is to get the potential client to make the leap from booking online to picking up the phone and actually talking to a rep.
I would be interested in knowing how any agency tries to go teh extra mile , to become the chosen one . Enjoy reading your posts , though I havent had the time to post . Thanks Meena
This is a fascinating post and I'd love to read the rest of the article. I think that the Internet has not only changed how people plan their trips but also how they approach their travel destinations. I live in an area that attracts a lot of international tourists (Loire Valley in France) and often people come here who have learned from web sites information I don't even know about this area. Thanks to the Internet, they have become instant experts. What they don't know, however, are the out-of-the-way places that haven't made it to any web site, places where you can truly get a feel for what this area is like for locals. I've found that some people are thrilled to see the out-of-the-way things and find out about the area from people who live here, but others only want to confirm their web-provided ideas. Technology can limit one's perceptions or broaden them; it's how someone uses the technology that makes the difference, and I think that's where a travel company can provide added value: helping people broaden their minds. CRE certainly did this for me on our trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Very interesting, prescient, and true. I'd like to read the rest. Thanks, Janet
There is certainly an unprecedented amount of information available to travelers today; the internet, VOIP phones, International 1-800 telephone numbers have closed the information arbitrage gap. That being said, there is still no substitute for first hand local knowledge and experience, especially with more "exotic" travel. There is also no substitute for in country relationships: rather than a product, travel comes down to people and those relationships and the special access to people, places, experiences that they provide is invaluable. Beyond the special experiences that relationshipos can afford, they are the actual essence of the experience: our interaction with the hotel staff, drivers, and especially guides, most importantly in non commoditized, "experiential" travel, truly makes the difference. The final stretch of that extra mile for the travel company striving to be the chosen one is INTEGRITY. Doing the right thing, chosing long-term relationships over short term gain, taking responsability for mistakes and going over and above expectations to recover from them is what truly wins loyalty with our clients and my own when traveling.
I'm a writer and editor who has made several wonderful trips with Costa Rica Expeditions, and I just wanted to say that I completely agree with your edits of the copy on Arenal. The people who'd want to travel with CRE to Arenal would be more likely to be turned off by hype than attracted to Arenal because of it, and it's certainly a good idea to avoid making promises that the volcano isn't necessarily going to keep.
Great idea - but how do you sell it? It seems people only like to watch hardship & misery. That's why I live in NYC & still don't know what's going on - I don't even own a TV.