Valtenine’s Day might be over a month away, but that means it’s already time for travel agents to start thinking about selling romantic breaks.
Here are twenty tips on how to sell and market to couples as February 14th approaches.
1. Be prepared
Start your Valentine campaign now. Cosmos Tourama senior short-haul product manager Ian Hailes said: “Use Valentine’s Day as a hook to sell late winter deals.”
2. Make a date
E-mail your database with Valentine offers.
3. Think of extras
Check out the Valentine packages offered by hotels, which often include candlelit dinners or champagne breakfasts. When booking a five-star hotel, ask if they can add any extras such as fresh flowers in the room.
4. Find promotions
Have a word with a city-break operator and suggest a Valentine promotion, such as a box of chocolates for each booking.
5. Put it in the window
Use your window to get clients in the mood – whether it’s red hearts or tempting posters advertising lovers’ destinations such as Paris.
6. Ask the experts
Hotels now employ romance experts to cater for every whim. At Couples Resorts in Jamaica, appropriately named romance officer Randy Russell will arrange everything from a romantic meal to a proposal.
7. Don’t forget Paris
A dinner cruise on the Seine sounds perfect – for your clients and everyone else. Don’t risk disappointment – book excursions in advance.
8. Provide for parents
For parents getting away from the kids, cut the commute and suggest local hotels. Alternatively, find hotels with babysitting and kids’ clubs.
9. Sell as gifts
Sell breaks as gifts – whether it’s a fishing break or spa day.
10. Use celebrity
Hotels4U sales development manager Simon Barnes said: “Agents should use examples of romantic breaks taken by celebrities – like Tom and Katie getting hitched in Italy.”
11. Look at alternatives
Favourites such as Venice will always appeal to couples, but can get expensive. Tallinn or Budapest can make cheaper alternatives.
12. Consider self-catering
Self-catering can be romantic too. Hoseasons’ Field Mouse Cottage in Suffolk has one bedroom – in the exposed eaves – and costs £178 for a four-night midweek break over Valentine’s Day.
13. Upsell hotel rooms
No-one wants a grotty hotel room for Valentine’s Day, so upsell hotels.
14. Target older clients
Love isn’t just for the young. Cosmos Tourama senior short-haul product manager Ian Hailes said: “Think of selling cruising or escorted tours to an older market.”
15. Sell gastronomy
Romantic breaks are for lingering over long lunches and divine dinners.
16. Target local media
Use your local media – running a Valentine promotion will generate interest.
17. Go for the singles market
Embassy Leisure Breaks sells breaks especially for singles around Valentine’s Day.
18. Just say yes
Secretly suggest Princess Cruises’ Engagement under the Stars package with a public proposal on the big screen. If she says yes, the happy couple are presented with two glasses of Champagne and a red rose, and the $695 package also includes a celebratory meal and massage in the Lotus Spa.
19. Offer diamond breaks
Diamond buying breaks are a great way to pop the question. Leisure Direction sells trips to Antwerp, which includes a Diamondland voucher towards their sparkler.
20. Think spa
The Columbia Beach Hotel in Cyprus can arrange a rose petal bath for two – with candles – for the perfect start to a romantic night. Spa manager Nina Raith said: “Spa treatments for men and women will get them in a romantic mood.” And Cyprus is famous as the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love.
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