Ready your ‘rainy day’ activities
It’s a concerning time, with the recent barrage of factors hitting the Australia and New Zealand travel industry (insolvent suppliers, bushfires, volcanoes, coronavirus). In particular COVID-19 has terribly affected travel and many agents are busy managing cancelations and rebookings, while expecting a slow down in sales for a few months similar to the 2003 SARS epidemic.
During this time, agencies are looking to take advantage of ‘safe travel’ supplier specials to promote to clients and/or encourage staff to take their annual leave. But it’s also a good time to get some much needed ‘housekeeping’ done – the things that tend to get put aside for a quiet moment, or a rainy day. For example, now would be a good time to:
- Complete and update traveller profiles: contact details, birthdays, memberships, document expiry dates, interests, guest travellers
- Review corporate set ups, mandatory fields, policy plans
- Tag and prepare your mailing lists (interests, gender, age, lifestyle, travel preferences)
- Tidy up user IDs, login access, security measures
- Learn how to use the latest itinerary tools
- Develop reporting and business intelligence tools
- Review workflows and automation opportunities
- Read the product notes on those functions you’ve been wondering about
- Take time to upskill: join webinars or watch the recordings
- Prepare marketing, refresh branding, update your website and blogs
A combination of all the above means having offers at the ready, lists at the ready, automation in place, new structures and rejuvenated teams in place. So don’t take a passive stance waiting for business to pick up again. Get in the driver seat and consider a methodical approach to regain control.
And last but not least, take a moment to review the Australian government and the NZ government advice to travellers regarding COVID-19. Every second paragraph advises travellers to contact their travel agent. Know that the industry heavyweights like IATA, AFTA, TAANZ, and federal and local tourism departments are all promoting your value in the market right now (“contact your travel agent”). Capitalise on it. Own it. And prepare for great things to come.
A travel agent is a trusted advisor; this is your time to shine.