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Travel Agents Look to Luxury Travel for Profits

Apparently there’s an explosion in luxury travel. Within Europe and North America it’s considered a fast-growing market and a really profitable one.

But for many this may look like a dream that will never come true.

Most agencies here are small and with few if any wealthy clients, or are situated in a very average neighborhood.

However, specialists say that it really doesn’t matter because there are two ways you can work around those obstacles.

The first thing to do, they say, is to develop a specialty and find new clients through the use of low-cost tools like networking and the Internet to attract wealthier clients who value expertise in that specialty.

The second is to focus on special occasion markets with your existing clients.

These specialists contend that luxury is a relative term so we may not be talking about five-star hotels this time around; it may be moving a client from a three-star to a four-star property.

Second, in the right situation, virtually everyone is a move-up prospect.

Clients who do low- to moderate-priced trips to beach resorts, take three-day cruises or spend a few days on an island at a three-star hotel will all trade up for the right circumstances, they say.

So what constitutes a special event? Here’s a partial list.

As you look at it, other ideas will come to mind: weddings; wedding anniversaries that end in 0 or 5 (5th, 10th, 20th, etc.); work anniversaries that end in 0 or 5; a promotion at work; graduation from school; recovering from an illness; being diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness; death of a significant other; receiving an inheritance; winning the lottery or some other big prize; selling a house; retirement; accomplishing something special in one’s personal or business life creating an “I deserve something special” attitude.

Tapping into this market starts with a good database, say the specialists.

You can certainly ask about some of these issues like graduations and anniversaries, but the best way is to collect the information is through normal conversation.

Most clients will tell you if they are planning something for a special occasion. As you get to know them they’ll tell you about what’s going on in their life.

Put that information into the database.

Some of these special occasions come around regularly offering repeat opportunities such as family reunions and anniversaries. Partner with other businesses and do some research to build your database.

Another idea is to work with wedding planners or bridal registries to start building up a wedding business.

If you want to focus on graduation packages, contact schools and search other public records. As well, if you’re not already doing so, try to find out birthdays and anniversaries. It’s a good reason to send a card or small gift and it’s a great reason to sell up on their next trip.

Specialists stress that most people who trade up find it difficult to go back down.

“Once you’ve had a taste of the good life, it’s tough to downgrade again, especially if the cost difference is relatively minor.”

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