Does the quality of travel itinerary matter? Does it decide the fate of your business?
Let’s start with one very simple question – What is that one element with which you (travel agent/tour operator) approach your potential client? Certainly that is your neatly formatted itinerary that speaks for you, thus there is no way at all that any travel agent or travel operator would want to miss out on such vital element that is ultimately deciding the fate of their business. The competition in market is tough for each business and whoever provides the best wins!
Traveling is not just a piece of cake and maybe that is why there are travel agents and operators to make the trips successful for the travelers. If traveling was only choosing a destination, booking a plane ticket and flying out to it then it would have been really easy for any common person to do it all by themselves successfully but they come to travel agents for “something” and that is a nicely formatted holiday plan/itinerary that helps them have a successful trip in a relaxed manner without any major hitches.
Tourism is no doubt a very customer oriented business. Formatted itineraries for the customers is not a very easy thing to do. It needs deep research and a certain level of knowledge before writing a well informed itinerary. It is tricky business as well because you have to keep a balance of seeing enough, without trying to see too much. Itinerary development is a powerful tool in organizing information about an area’s attractions and presenting that information to visitors in an appealing manner.
Representation of itinerary to the clients:
An itinerary is a day to day plan of a journey. The more comprehensive your itinerary is, the more it demonstrates your professionalism to the clients. From your logo to agency name to contact information to supplier details to passport and visa information and all other details and information that the clients needs to know should be added to the itinerary so that your clients can use the itinerary as their main travel document. While working on the tour/vacation of your clients you will receive — via mail, email, fax, or over the phone — confirmations from the suppliers for each of the elements that have been confirmed. All the valuable information should be added up to the final travel document/itinerary for your clients. You may also like to keep a copy for yourself.
Some tips for formatting an itinerary that brings success:
- Itinerary should be catchy so that the client must want to travel immediately to the preferred destination when they read your itinerary.
- Itinerary should have clear and enough information. Just enough information to wet the client’s appetite and then they want to discover it themselves.
- Be clear and do not use etc in your itinerary.
- Your itinerary should always have at least one leisure day and for that day you should suggest a variety of activities for your clients.
- Be clear about accommodation, transportation and all the activities that your clients are paying for. Gain their trust.
- The title/heading of your itinerary is important keep it interesting and attractive.
- Highlights of the tour should always be given keen attention to.
- Always us the 24 hour clock.
- It is important to keep your itinerary in logical order.
- Never make promises in your description that you may not be able to keep for example you can never be 100% sure about weather etc.
- If any unforeseen thing happens provide the client with alternative that they could pursue if the plans have to change.
The more worry-free trip your clients have, the more is your business success. Incorporating these points will definitely bring it to you!
Key gains from a good itinerary:
- A good impression:
A well formatted itinerary is that one thing that throws a solid impression at your clients. It is something on the basis of which the clients make their decision. If it’s wow-worthy they certainly end up taking up your tour plan. It earns the respect for travel agents as holiday planners and start accepting to what they say. It is the itineraries with which a travel agent can win the hearts of their clients.
- Add more value – win market:
Whenever we buy anything with our hard earned money we always compare it with other options available in the market, same is the case with holiday packages and plans. For travel agents the competition is very tough nowadays as there are so many competitors in the market and many have great clearly formatted itineraries. In your itinerary add neatly presented services, hotel stays and facilities, meal plans, along with other information in accurate costing so the clients can compare given quotation with others and chose easily. Remember one thing, no matter how better your holiday package must be both is cost and services vise but if you fail to convey it to your clients in simple clear words through your itinerary then certainly DO NOT assume they will opt for your holiday plan since they weren’t sure as you didn’t come clear.
Secondly, the key to win is to add some more value to your plan than competitors. Offer something that nobody is offering and stand out!
- Relaxed trip is a successful trip:
Well-formatted itinerary give travelers the exact idea for their day to day journey, like where they are going today, what they are doing al day, when are they returning, lunch and dinner venue, transport details etc. the more informed your clients are during the tour the more easier it becomes for tour leader/guide/escort. This will ultimately let the clients enjoy the all day activities and not think and worry about what is coming up next. Itineraries if formatted nicely ease the pressure during the tour and result in a relaxed trip.
- Bringing referrals:
Referrals are like backbone to the tourism business. Your clients speak for you from their experience with you and good experience definitely brings you more clients that is all that we need! If your clients go back home happy and satisfied after availing your holiday plan they will Sooner or later discuss about your travel facilities, well informed itinerary and the properly delivered services to their friends and relatives. Getting you more travelers – Isn’t that all you want?
Itinerary might look like small thing to you but what a properly developed itinerary does is a lot. This is why now there are many softwares and software companies facilitating you in developing the best itineraries for your company!
So guys work hard on your itineraries as they speak for you!