Tips for Travel Agents Selling Destination Honeymoons
Courtesy: Janeen Christoff | News Source: travelpulse.com
Honeymoon and romance travel is one of the most in-demand types of travel, and clients are often looking to travel agents to create these one-of-a-kind, momentous trips. Attracting and assisting honeymooners on a consistent basis can lead to a robust travel agency business, so getting the trip just right is of the utmost importance.
For those just getting started or looking to refresh their romance travel bona fides, several experts have weighed in with advice on the steps to success.
Vicki Gunther, a travel agent based in Las Vegas, points out to clients that one of the biggest benefits about using a travel agent for your honeymoon is that it alleviates stress.
"I start off with asking have they thought about their honeymoon and what they would like to do. Did they want to honeymoon right after the wedding or later? I then give them my card and mention why not let me do the research?” said Gunther. “I tell them there are several options I can show them and ask what their budget is. I also mention that, if I do the work, they won't have another thing on their plate to research except plan their wedding.”
PHOTO: young couple on laptop. (Photo via Royalty-free)
Elizabeth Newkirk of Uncompromising Elegance and member of the OASIS Travel Network also works to build a relationship.
“As the owner and CEO, I focus on the travel consultant relationship with the couple. I believe in being client focused and genuine in providing practical advice,” said Newkirk. “It is important to take time to appreciate their vision so I can suggest resorts that give them the experience they are seeking.”
Andrea Oppenheim, Memorable Travel Experiences, OASIS Travel Network, takes a similar strategy when planning begins.
“I schedule a 30-minute phone call to get the honeymoon planning process started. It’s a way to get to know the couple and their expectation as well as to share my process. I remind them that the honeymoon is the first trip that they will be taking as a married couple–it’s the first thing that’s just about them (the wedding celebration is about them, their families and friends). I ask them what type of experience they would like to have for their memories–it sounds a little sappy and yet it helps them describe what they want. This takes some of the stress out of the conversation,” Oppenheim said.
Keeping in touch with the clients throughout the planning process builds a genuine relationship noted Newkirk.
“I treat my clients as family and that develops a sincere trust as their consultant and advocate; checking in throughout the process and sending periodic updates to the guests creates reassurance, trust, and excitement, which turns into future clients,” she said.
PHOTO: Couple walking on sandy beach (photo via Image Source / DigitalVision)
For travel agents booking clients for a honeymoon, she advises agents to make sure they thoroughly vet properties and experiences before booking guests.
“I truly believe there is a resort for every price point but not a wedding/honeymoon caliber experience at every price point, so know what you are comfortable putting your name behind,” Newkirk said.
She recommends narrowing your focus and getting to really know a couple of brands.
“It’s easy to get inundated with the myriad of wedding packages, but focus on a couple of resort chains and know them inside and out, for example, Sandals, Karisma and AMResorts,” she advised. “Meet with the business development managers, do their online training, attend workshops and FAMS. The more confident you are in the product, the more confident your couple will be in you.“
Sherrill Schier of ETX Travel, LLC, in Elgin, Texas, keeps honeymooners on track with planning so not a single detail of their special vacation is forgotten—including payments.
“I reach out to the couple as soon as the engagement is announced,” Schier said. “I send monthly emails to remind them of payment options as the honeymoon seems to be the last thing couples think of when planning the big day but the first thing they think of as soon as the vows are read. Having a payment plan is a huge plus for most of them.”
Honeymoons aren’t the only travel brides and grooms may have to plan and Bill Lyons, of B and B Travel Inc., tells clients he will handle it all and all they have to worry about is picking out the details and advises other agents to do the same.
“Let the bride know that you will handle all of the travel details for the attendees and to have her focus only on the wedding package, location, and amenities. This will reduce her stress as the bride always feels that she has to plan everything,” he recommended.
Demonstrating to your clients that you represent added value and less stress is key to attracting honeymoon and destination wedding clients. No matter where they want to go or what they want to do when they get their, maintaining an open stream of communication is the key to giving clients the perfect trip.