Travel Agent Marketing Platform
When I was running my travel company in the 1980’s and 90’s demand generation consisted of ads in the Sunday newspaper travel section, phone book and mailing a monthly newsletter. How times have changed! Demand generation is now almost entirely online and the current method of choice is “Content marketing” where the travel experience is detailed with words and images. The basis of travel content marketing consists of crafting articles with images and video that are promoted online via a complex system of social media outposts and blogs that feed traffic to the company website where is can be converted into a lead.
Review Resorts is now a travel agent marketing platform providing three distinctly different free posting opportunities for travel agents to market their services.
News & Views section of the website allows travel marketers and writers to post articles about vacation destinations and travel industry news and views. In return for crafting your well-written article we will post your website link, Facebook fan page, Twitter Account, Google + and a short bio.
Vacation Classifieds allow travel marketers to travel packages and deals. Our Vacation Classifieds are set up to allow selling the experience by provide 1,500 characters and up to four pictures to detail your travel package.
Professional Hotel Reviews allow you to post hotel reviews of your favorite properties in the destinations we have modules for. You get to post your knowledge and experience and in return we will post your professional contact information including a link to your website.
The simple fact is that content marketing is now the most effective method of generating travel leads and demand. This is especially true for travel agents attempting to market the experience of their upscale packages. In fact, we sponsor a LinkedIn group entitled Travel Content Marketers where travel agents, travel writers and bloggers can bounce ideas off each other to form strategic partnerships. The concept is that the writers develop the copy that generates the demand and leads and the agents do what they do best by arranging the travel.
Real Life Travel Adventures along the lines of Anthony Bourdain of CNN’s Part’s Unknown have become the popular way to experience foreign lands. Global.Li is seeking to help provide that experience. I was exposed to them via the PhocusWright Travel Innovation Conference. Last week I wrote about how most of the “innovators” were either a new travel booking site or another social media site for travel. Not very innovative. However, Global.Li clearly stood out as they seek to fill a real need.
Global.Li is an exciting new start up that provides a way for travelers and Travel Agents to connect with small boutique hotels and tour operators that do not advertise in the world market. This is a significant development. Read more
I recently had the opportunity to listen to the PhocusWright travel technology conference. This was a unique format where CEO’s of start-up companies within the travel arena had 5 minutes to present their value to a panel of industry executives. Candidly, most of these new companies were simply more of the same. A “new” social network for travelers. Really? The world needs another social network? Sorry guys, that ship has sailed.
However, there was one that captured my imagination. www.verbalizeit.com is a company that provides language translation over your smartphone. This opens up a whole new world of roaming for travelers who want to experience life off the beaten track in lands far away.
While English speaking locals are quite abundant in most major cities around the world, venturing to the outback reveals that communication can be a real problem. Lack of communication can be the prohibiting factor in experiencing life as the locals. Verbalizeit provides value to the tourist by allowing them communicate using their smartphone as a language translation service. Read more
The travel industry goes through gut wrenching changes on a yearly basis.
Here are our 2014 Travel Predictions:
- Life Adventure Travel Packages providing the opportunity to experience life as a local in far away lands increase in popularity.
- New websites provide travelers the opportunity to connect directly with local tour operators offering escrow type payment security.
- Travelers experience greater freedom to roam because of language translation services on smartphones to communicate with locals in the back country of foreign lands.
As 2013 comes to a close, year in review stories are appearing across the Internet. I just came across a story in Travel Weekly “The Top Stories of 2013” which listed a number of impact events within the travel industry. Read more
2014 promises to be an exciting year for fans of cruise travel. New ships are coming online with each one crafted to bring exciting and innovative passenger experiences as never before. The cruise lines are also adding new ports of call to their ship itineraries and revisiting others not stopped at in years. Read more
Dinner at the Caly Canto Casitas in near La Paz, Mexico
The economy is on the mend, the baby boomers are entering retirement and the millennial generation is now in their 30’s with more earning power. These factors and other societal trends spell greater demand for experiential travel. Experiential travel can be loosely defined as unscripted interacting with local inhabitants in genuine, non-touristy environments. This is contrast to past travel pages that focused on tourists viewing shows put on by performers. Read more
Mazatlan From the Water!
When I was a kid, I remember watching game shows like Let’s Make a Deal and The Price is Right on TV where the grand prize was a trip to “Fabulous Mazatlan!” Yes, Mazatlan has always been a popular tourist destination for North Americans. Yet, in recent years, this Mexico beach destination fell on hard times. It was overshadowed by the exponential growth of Puerto Vallarta along with the Mexican government’s investments in Cancun, Cabo and Ixtapa. Without investment there was little excitement and energy. Mazatlan failed to attract new hotels and let its tourism infrastructure decay. When negative news of drug violence and cartel activity became public, it accelerated the tourism decline to a low point when the major cruise lines took Mazatlan off their itineraries. This was an ultimate low. Read more
It was announced today that the Department of Transportation levied a fine of $100k against Liberty Travel and $40k against STA Travel and AAA Mid-Atlantic Travel because their booking agents failed to disclose that the flights they were booking were code-shares. Code-Share flights are when partner airlines agree to provide transportation on each of their connecting flights and charge one fare. In theory this increases competition as an airline can offer service to cities where they may not have flights operations. Hopefully, for the traveling public fares are kept lower and they have access to more flight options as the airlines combine their efforts. Read more
I think there may be hope after all my fellow Americans. Earlier this week the Department of Justice filed suit to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Predictably, the forces that stand to capitalize on the combined company have their marketing departments going full throttle to say how great it will be if the merger is approved. I’m not so sure. Read more