Top tips from the NY Times Travel Show
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Every January, hundreds of travel suppliers and agents convene at the massive Javits Conference Center in New York City to attend The New York Times Travel Show, the largest of its kind in North America. It’s a legendary hit with consumers as well – some 30,000 attended this year – but the trade-only day on the Friday is a treasure trove for travel advisors.
There are numerous professional development sessions which this year included the simple but effective ‘How to be a Successful Travel Advisor’.
Hosted by ASTA, the U.S. equivalent of ACTA, the panel featured senior management from a variety of long-established travel agencies and travel consortia.
What where their words of wisdom? Here are six of their great tips:
- Get involved. Join professional associations. Not only do you get their letters on your business card, but you can tap into expertise and make those personal contacts which are like gold in our business.
- Just as important, join a service club (such as Rotary) and/or get involved in your local Chamber of Commerce. Think of the potential when you are the only travel advisor in a room with business professionals!
- Perfect your elevator pitch. Practice it on your family, on your friends, in the shower. In 30 seconds or less, describe what you do, why you love it and why you are so good at it.
- Invest in your career. Take FAMs. Travel to trade shows (like the NY Times one). If you want to sell a product (cruises, all-inclusives, Italy, etc.) you can do so that much more effectively and confidently when you have experienced the product.
- Have a professional business card. If you specialize but don’t ever want to say “no” to a potential client, consider having two versions of your card, one generic and one with your specialty.
- And finally, remember the power of social media. You may have to take a deep breath to do this but … Google yourself. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to get that fixed!
Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, Lynda says she “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, she says she “Lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
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