Touring and adventure firms urged to help match clients to product

Touring and adventure suppliers should be “much more specific” about describing their target clients because the sector is a “minefield” for the trade, according to a specialist agent.

Joan Jones, founder of Once in a Lifetime Holidays, urged operators to list the types of consumers that would suit each tour they sell to make it easier for agents to match itineraries with clients on their databases.

She warned that agents have not yet had time to become experts in the sector, so it is up to touring and adventure operators to make it simpler for them to sell.

More: Touring and adventure bookings and revenues continue to rise

Touring and adventure operators urged to create longer multi-centre packages

“Suppliers need to be much more specific about who their perfect client is and who we have on our books that would fit them,” she said.
“We need operators to say to us, ‘If you have a client who has been to these countries, then they would love this place so you should send them there’. That would help us massively.”

Steve Cox, head of retail sales for Premier Travel, encouraged operators to provide more fam trip places for agents to help them improve their knowledge of the sector and the tours that are available.

He highlighted a direct correlation between agents going on fam trips and their sales increasing and urged suppliers to invite agents if they have any spaces on tours.

“There are so many sectors and operators out there, so agents have a huge amount to learn, and the best way to do that is by experiencing the product first-hand,” he said.

“If operators have a tour that isn’t full, they should put an offer out to agents, as we know sales increase once an agent has had that experience.”

Jones said agents should not rely on “handouts” from operators and should be willing to pay for touring holidays out of their own pocket if they want to further their careers.

“If you’re serious about being a travel professional, you should always be prepared to invest those funds to better your knowledge,” she said, adding: “You can’t always rely on handouts from tour operators.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.