As experts in travel, whether it's for FIT, Group or even MICE trips, we know that creating an itinerary can be a daunting task. And with the long-awaited, but tumultuous recovery in tourism, the day-to-day behind-the-scenes can seem "chaotic".
Travel at its core is a service with an often high shopping cart abandonment rate, so it's necessary to have the presentation of the experience up to scratch. You can have the most interesting trip in production, but it will have little chance of being experienced if you don't know how to present it. Therefore, documents must be well personalized and promoted.
Furthermore, responsiveness plays a strong role in your customers' buying decision. Responding to a B2C request after 48 hours drastically reduces your chances of selling in the face of increasingly reactive competition.
This article looks at how to improve the responsiveness of Travel Agents in the increasingly personalized presentation of a trip.
Here is a clear roadmap to the perfect tailor-made itinerary in 8 essential points.
1/ Identify future travelers' expectations💁🏼
Depending on what sector you cater to, you might already have an overall idea of what your potential clients are expecting. Analyze what they would be expecting from you as soon as they get in touch with you or your agency.
What exactly are they seeking?
Food and culture discovery?
A calming place to do some remote work?
A little bit of all?
The moment they provide you with more details on what they expect from you, you will be able to filter it down to what will actually suit them.
A very efficient exercise is to “test-drive” every activity you’re thinking of proposing beforehand. Take a tour which will be similar to the one you wish to develop and get your hands on other tour brochures for comparison. This will give you an idea of what is already available in the market and might catch future travelers' attention. The final step will then simply be to assess what you will be able to offer.
2/ Perfect your itinerary timing 🕘
Make sure none of your activities overlap. It would be a shame if your clients miss a flight or a hot air balloon trip, wouldn’t it? It is crucial to ensure that you arrive on time for activities, meals-stops and return to the original destination at a reasonable time. Crucial for each step to align with the steps that precede and follow it.
It is an important detail to take into account if you do not wish to witness the relation you have with your partners turn sour. Make it on time at each step, whether it’d be for a meal, an activity, a show, or transportation. Not to mention that it can lead to bad feedback from clients and consequently to the deterioration of your reputation.
The goal is to present your customers with a tailor made trip they will enjoy, and not dread.
We know that you will have plenty of alluring possibilities to choose from. All very tempting. Nevertheless, not all of it will match the atmosphere you wish to create for your tour.
Conflict in the scheduling may arise, making it quite stressful and impossible for travelers to fully enjoy their investment. Do not forget to include adequate relaxation as well if your plans are intense.
4/ Showcase your tailor-made travel with an itinerary builder that allows map embedding 📌
Choose an itinerary-builder that allows you to integrate interactive maps into your itinerary, such as those offered by Google Maps, ViaMichelin, or Mappy. In addition to being popular, these three options also display places of interest along your route.
Just looking at these maps will make them travel way before their actual planned departure.
Studies show the more you provide precise information, the more you’ll look professional. Always highlight crucial data such as:
Trip details : start and end dates ;
Travel details : Routes, type of transportation, connection informations, etc ;
Lodging details : Name and type of lodging, full contact details, reservation number, website ;
Traveler details : Names, medical details, emergency numbers...
Giving your customers as many details as possible will also prevent unnecessary back-and-forths, simultaneously saving your time, and theirs.
6/ Illustrate the itinerary with high quality visuals📸
Do not neglect the power of a high quality image and video content.
Nobody wants to watch a movie of mediocre quality, with images so bad one might think it was illegally filmed in theaters. It will be the same with the images you’ll use for your proposals.
In order to arouse the curiosity of your clients and get one step closer to closing the deal, it is imperative you use high quality images and videos. It will help them project themselves more easily and quickly. Ezus team is fond of websites such as Pexels. Here is an article listing digital tools you may find useful to perfect and promote your itinerary.
7/ Clearly mention all that is included and excluded from your travel proposal📩
Are you aware that more than 90% of customers complain about travel agents and agencies providing itinerary proposals with options that were not booked, or entirely omitting something they expected? Recurrent confusions occur when ambiguity remains about what is and what is not included.
Save yourself and your clients unnecessary troubles and include an “Inclusions & Exclusions” part in all your proposals.
Is breakfast excluded? Mention it. Is there complimentary champagne on arrival? Mention it.
Have a fam trip (familiarization trip), in order to experience what you wish to sell firsthand. There is no better way to know the exact value of a product than experiencing it yourself. This will help you develop ideas for your tour, give you an idea of what is already in the marketplace, give you detailed information on terms and conditions and provide possible ideas for brochure design and content.
To summarize your roadmap to the perfect itinerary...
Gather all the travel documents and information: round up all the information related to the upcoming trip whether it'd be relevant emails, tickets, pamphlets, pictures, etc. Have your favorite web browser opened on your computer, tablet, or smartphone for quick researches.
Open a blank document on your editor or software of choice: Microsoft Word, Power Point, Ezus? 😏 (We have many customizable templates available for you to choose from). You could write-up the document by hand, but softwares allow for easy items movements.
Proofread and double-check your work: Give yourself a reasonable amount of time away from the project and come back to have a fresher look at it, and why not have a fellow travel agent review the document. Make adjustments if needed, and forward it to your target.
BONUS TIPS: Get digital ! 💻📱
Online itineraries, while already popular, will soon be a must. Presenting your travelers with an online proposal will give them the best of bost worlds: a beautiful printed itinerary, as well as a dynamic one they’ll have access to from any device, whenever and wherever in the world they might be…