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Tourism promotions anyone?

I have recently started a company to do tourism promotions in a tourist region with a mountain that provides skiing. I am also developing a central reservation system to facilitate making reservations for the local auberges and bed and breakfasts here. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to encourage travel agents to sell these promotional packages and to use this central reservation system? - by rlabston
I have recently started a company to do tourism promotions in a tourist region with a mountain that provides skiing. I am also developing a central reservation system to facilitate making reservations for the local auberges and bed and breakfasts here. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to encourage travel agents to sell these promotional packages and to use this central reservation system?
Not exactly something I have experience in, but the first thought that came to mind was that you'd probably want to advertise the area as something that's for everyone. (Well, if that's the truth, at least!) ;sm Not just young people, not just people without kids, etc. If there are activities that seniors and kids can also enjoy, it will open the demographic much wider. I've noticed that many tourist promotions have much too narrow of a focus on one particular group and it tends to shut others out who may enjoy the vacation just as much as the main target group. - by destiny
You might leave brochures at the tourist information centers in the area. You could also advertise on various travel sites online. One that comes to mind is a good forum I've been to called Faremax. - by ozzie
Thanks for the suggestion, destiny. I agree that we need not limit our target market to a particular demographic. I suspect that the college crowd will be one of our bigger market segments, but one of the advantages of the region I am promoting is that it is a family oriented community. The more limiting factors will be less marketing and more the nature of the activities provided in the area. Since the summers are already very busy here, the greatest benefit to the tourist attactions such as the auberges, B&Bs and other tourist related businesses will be the promotion of the winter season when the occupancy rate is less than 50%. Fortunately, our region has a plethora of winter activities including a ski resort, abundant snow mobile trails, cross-country skiing facilities, a casino and, of course, hunting and fishing. Probably, the greatest disappointment to the winter visitor will be the night life which has never been developed for tourists. This natural limitation cannot really be overcome by marketing but can only be ameliorated over time as the community sees more tourists arriving and recognizes the need to develop more facilities to cater to those who are interested in leaving their rooms to explore after dark. - by rlabston
oes anyone have any suggestions on the best way to encourage travel agents to sell these promotional packages and to use this central reservation system?
What's in it for the travel agents? - by Liberty
I have recently started a company to do tourism promotions in a tourist region with a mountain that provides skiing. I am also developing a central reservation system to facilitate making reservations for the local auberges and bed and breakfasts here. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to encourage travel agents to sell these promotional packages and to use this central reservation system?
I came across this site: visualtour.com It's all done by seaming pictures instead of with video. It's used mostly for real estate purposes, but I can think of quite a few "out of the box" uses.

How about using it to promote some of your packages?

You could also offer to set up a free promotional "tour" ad for the travel agents that use your central reservation system. Just have them set up a link to your reservation system to access the "tour" of some of the places they've sent customers.

Hopefully it's an idea you can use,

Pam - by LadySmith
What's in it for the travel agents?

Good question, Liberty. As I understand it, the travel agents' primary source of oncome has been cramped since the advent of the internet giving the airlines a less expense outlet for their airline tickets. If I recall correctly, the margin for the sale of airline tickets has decreased from 25% to between 5% and 10% which has been a major loss for the agents.

I anticipate that the margin for selling our ski promotions will be in the range of 25%. And I haven't thought about incentives, but I have heard inthe past that travel agents are often given free vacation by tour promotors to encourage them to seel their packages and to educate them about the packages they are selling. Probably, in the future, we could devise other incentives to promote more heavily a particular event or season.

I should mention that travel agents are important, but with our initial promotion we were not planning to involve the travel agents directly. Perhaps we should rethink this strategy. But our plan was to engage a call center to call the hundreds of thousands of leads that will be generated from a vacation give-away drawing that we will hold. My interest in the travel agents is for the follon sales after the initial promotion. Any ideas here?

Thanks for asking a very important question. - by rlabston
Interesting idea, Pam.

Along the same lines, I was hoping that I could create a regional news and events website that would provide current content daily from the area. I have access to some software that allows us to webcast both audio and video via the internet. I have an idea that I would like to explore in conjunction with this project, but this idea is a project in and of itself. The idea is to provide programming in much the same way your local radio station broadcasts over Am/FM bands. I hope to do programs like talk show from some of the local bars and pubs, saturday morning clown shows from the childrens' clothing stores and toy stores, ski news programs about current ski events and professionals, etc.

I have not advanced this idea very far yet because it requires someone with the same passion as I have to take the reins provide much needed organizational effort to put it together. But the idea would be to have this site up and running when we do our first promotional vacation giveaway and use the entry blanks for the drawing to drive traffic to the website. Any budding, enterprising, frustrated radio directors out there? ;co - by rlabston
The best way to sell travel packages to travel agents and tour operators is at one of the large international travel trade shows. The largest travel trade show in the world is actually being held at this very moment in Berlin. Its called the ITB. Another big one is held in London in November each year and is called the World Travel Mart (WTM). - by jimberan
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