‘Tis the season! 10 tips to encourage clients to book winter trips now

‘Tis the season! 10 tips to encourage clients to book winter trips now

August is brimming with warm summer nights and sunshine filled days, with memories of sub-zero temperatures and snow a distant thought for most Canadians.

However, those of us in the travel industry do not have that luxury. “Winter vacations are planned in summer.”

If you have not already, NOW is the time to be gearing your newsletters, social media posts, marketing, and conversations with your clients towards the winter season.

Many suppliers are still building back up availability, and lots of eager Canadian travellers are already in booking-mode which means prices will likely increase as availability decreases.

By encouraging your clients to book now, you are ensuring they will have a greater selection of hotels and destinations at better prices, which will have you looking like the rockstar Travel Advisor you are when you book them the perfect property for their winter getaway.

A few more suggestions that will help:

1. If you produce a regular newsletter, let your clients know that now is the time to start booking for winter holidays. Pick a destination or chain to highlight to help inspire your clients.

2. In your social media posts, highlight at least 1-2 times a week the benefits to booking now.

3. Start each week with a short list of promotions your preferred suppliers or agency is running so you have a few quick recommendations that you know are good value, with great reviews.

4. If your agency offers gift cards, start planting the idea to give the gift of travel. Why give a sweater when you can give them the world?

5. Position yourself as the travel expert you are. Share regular updates that you receive from suppliers, airlines and tourist boards on updated travel policies, promotions, flight schedules and current destination/resort information. Not sure what the best way is to share this information with your clients? Consider posting a weekly video to your social channels, share on your Instagram stories or do a weekly email ‘Update Blast’ as a few suggestions.

6. Highlight the reputable relationships you have built with resort managers, BDMs and more. Share examples of the value you bring to your clients, things that someone booking themselves would have trouble doing. Our Independent Advisor Caitlin Lajeunesse recently did that.

7. Form a group of peers and create a chat in your preferred app where you can share great deals that you find. With several people keeping their eyes open you are less likely to miss a great travel opportunity for your clients and it helps share the workload among colleagues. It may even bring to your attention a destination or property you had not noticed before.

8. If you have had clients that have historically travelled over the holidays, reach out with a friendly phone call to inquire as to whether they plan to resume that tradition and if so, why you recommend they book now. Best case scenario you will secure a booking. Worst case? Your client appreciates you touching base and it reinforces the benefits of booking with a travel advisor, someone who cares about them and their travels.

9. Many people stress over the holidays – what to buy, who to buy for, how much to spend? Why not suggest instead of more ‘stuff’ they consider an extended family holiday? We have been seeing a notable increase in large family getaways with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents telling us they are skipping the presents this year in lieu of gifting themselves with a chance to gather, share laughs and make new memories.

10. Do you have your own holiday excursion planned? SHARE it! Let them see the experts ‘walk the talk’ and demonstrate that now is the time to be booking so when the snow and ice arrive, they have a guaranteed reprieve booked to a fabulous destination already on the calendar.

While the sun is still shining warm upon our face, we may not want to think of winter, but as one of my favourite quotes says, ‘August is the Sunday of Summer.’  With that in mind it is time to be looking ahead and getting your clients to book their winter getaways.

Heather Baker

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