Some travel companies are seeking success by narrowing their focus and specializing. Travel Bound, on the other hand, excels at selling the world. For this edition of Friday 5, Elizabeth Crabill, President of Travel Bound, talks about the company’s global reach and how selling exclusively through travel agents has led to an extremely loyal following from the travel trade.
1. What made Travel Bound decide to ‘go big’ with its product reach and worldwide destinations?
Crabill: Travel Bound’s parent company, GTA, has grown their product line over their long history, so as they have grown, we have been able to take advantage of their worldwide team of experts who work locally in the destinations we are selling. We have staff in more than 25 offices around the world that really know the hotels, can get great rates, and also make sure that our product line has a good range of the best choices from one to five stars.
2. What are some of Travel Bound’s most compelling product offerings, that you want Canadian travel agents to know about?
Crabill: While everyone knows we have over 40,000 hotels to choose from, sometimes it gets lost in the mix that we also have some very unique services such as the ability to book an airport lounge in advance, scholar-led sightseeing tours, private transfers from the airport to either a hotel or a cruise port and one key feature – no minimums, book a single transfer or a very complex itinerary.
3. What are the 3 most helpful tools on your website?
Crabill: Only three?! First, I think the TripAdvisor ratings are very popular because it means an agent can have that information right there when they are choosing the hotels to recommend to their clients. Second would be not a tool, but how few clicks it takes to make a booking – this is something I hear over and over again, how fantastically easy it is to use. And third would be the destination maps showing hotel locations and popular landmarks.
4. Travel Bound is all about FIT but it also caters to groups. What are some of the strengths of your Groups offering?
Crabill: Travel Bound has a unique setup with Groups. You are assigned a single account manager that handles the client from the beginning of the quote to the day they return from their trip, and all the steps in between including negotiating with the hotels, bus companies, rail companies, and the operations to ensure that the group runs smoothly.
Plus, because of our global reach, our groups team has experience doing all different types of groups in almost every destination on earth. They also have the benefit of having staff in major cities where GTA has an office, and can call on them for assistance, recommendations, referrals and local assistance.
5. Travel Bound sells exclusively to travel agents. Are agents rewarding the company for that decision with their loyalty?
Crabill: Absolutely. I am on the road more weeks than I care to admit, meeting agents and finding out what drives their decisions. We have relationships with every major consortium, which means agents earn more due to that relationship, and more again when they increase their spend with us. And with so many destinations to sell, they know that if they book with us it’s not that hard to meet their goals and get to the next commission level. Savvy agents are loyal to Travel Bound for our prices, our selection and our travel agent-friendly technology.
Our current ad campaign features testimonials from travel agents. Agents can go to booktravelbound.net/PROMOS/WhyI/indexCA.html to see the campaign.