Traveling In Your Own Backyard
By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE

Traveling in 2020 has turned out to be a lot closer to home than anyone ever thought it would be. Many travelers have embraced their own backyard and are exploring parts of the United States they didn’t even have on their bucket list.

This is a great opportunity for travel agents – if they will get out of their own way.

I cannot tell you how many agents I have talked to lately who say, “I don’t do US travel” or “Domestic travel isn’t my thing”. They want to focus on FITs in Europe, Asia, or South America. Or cruising.

 But guess what? None of that is possible right now. Sure, you can focus on 2021 or 2022, but that’s a long time to wait for a commission check. Why not supplement that with a great opportunity that’s right in front of you?

Why should you make a change and focus on US travel – at least for a while? Two reasons:

  1. Your clients WANT to travel, and they need guidance. If you don’t serve them, someone else will.
  2. You need income and it’s a great way to make money.

In other words, it is a win-win. Your clients get your valuable assistance and you get to make money!

If you have been in the “I don’t do domestic travel” camp, I strongly encourage you to rethink that position.

First, you aren’t serving your clients well. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you want to do anything and everything that comes along, but there are probably lots of domestic options that aren’t completely outside the realm of the type of travel you love to plan. If you choose not to provide domestic travel and your clients go elsewhere, they may not come back. I am not normally one to encourage people to operate from “fear”, but you have to think about this possibility.

Second, there are lots of great domestic properties that offer great experiences for your clients and will be in keeping with the type of travel they are accustomed to. No matter what type of travel your client loves, I am confident you can find them some type of getaway in the US they will love.

At Gifted Travel Network our advisors have been leaning into domestic travel and it has made a huge difference to their bottom line. In a typical year, we don’t see millions of dollars in domestic travel, but that’s what we are seeing this year. Clients are thrilled they are getting to see a part of their own backyard they kept putting off. Advisors are thrilled because instead of having no income, they are seeing strong income from these bookings. Everybody wins.

If you are wondering where to start with booking domestic travel, this is a great time to turn to your host agency and/or consortium. Hopefully, they are showcasing domestic travel options you can offer to your clients.

You will both feel better when they get traveling again!