Internet Travel Leads – Best Practices

Yesterday I did an hour-long webinar for members of the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) on best practices for travel agents for working with internet leads (as opposed to brick and mortar walk-in clients, referrals, repeat clients, etc.). Essentially I shared what we’d learned about how travelers shop on the internet, how they tend to work with agents and OTAs, common misconceptions they have about working with travel agents, and statistics on what works and what doesn’t, gained from my experiences with both Visual Itineraries and TheBigDay Honeymoon Registry (which I co-founded in 2001). Continue reading

RIP Travelocity (And What It Means For You)

In case you hadn’t heard, online travel giant Expedia just bought Travelocity for a supposed $280 million. (Or, for those of us who glaze over at numbers larger than their monthly rent: that’s 2,800,000 Benjamin Franklins. Or, like, 280 healthy Orca whales, since they apparently average about about a million a pop. But I digress.)

Orca Whale

This seemed relevant.

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Christmas Gift Guide for the Well-Travelled

Last-minute shopping procrastinators, fear not! We’ve got you covered for anyone who’s caught the travel bug and loves adventuring in their own way. Consider us your holiday savior. (Who needs Santa when you have Visual Itineraries?) You’ll be the coolest, savviest person on the block with our top 10 favorites.

1. For the outdoors enthusiast/budget airline overpacker

Tim Adams Waterproof Backpack

Tim Adams waterproof Zipper Roll Top Backpack, $149

Tim Adams is a Portland-based company that makes a hell of a backpack.

We’re loving their waterproof Zipper Roll Top Backpack in the ever-versatile olive + khaki color combo.

Whether your giftee is planning on trekking through the Himalayas or just likes to push airlines’ definition of “small personal item” to the very limit, we’re thinking this bag fits the ticket of both hip and functional.

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How Social Media is Like Sex

How social media is like sexIn the travel industry, agents are flocking to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and even Google+ as these channels become valuable ways to reach new prospective clients, and keep in touch with existing clients. There are likes, shares, fans, +1’s, followers…but what does it all mean? What’s valuable to our client relationships and marketing, and HOW valuable are each of these?

I’m going to use a metaphor we can all relate to: sex. Continue reading

When to show travel specials on your itineraries

Should you show relevant travel offers on your itineraries? The answer is simple: yes and no 🙂

It all depends on who the itinerary was written for. If it’s for a specific client, you might not want to show specials and offers, as they may see something different from what you’ve already booked for them, and cost you a lot of time explaining why that offer isn’t actually as good as what you got them, or the dates don’t allow it, etc. etc. Continue reading

Show travel specials in your itineraries

Announcing a major new feature:

You can now show travel specials on the pages of the itineraries you create for your clients.

Travel offers in your itineraries
IMPORTANT: this NOT turned on by default; if you’d like to take advantage of this feature, you need to edit your profile in Visual Itineraries…there, you’ll see a list of tour operators you can choose from. If you don’t choose any–no specials will be shown.
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