04 Oct Travel Leaders Group Marketing Exec Promotes Benefit of Working with Travel Agencies at CTO Conference
Stephen McGillivray Outlines Advantages of Partnering with Travel Advisors
Nassau, The Bahamas (Oct. 4, 2018) –Travel Leaders Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Stephen McGillivray outlined how destinations and suppliers can work with travel agency partners to recover after a crisis, create targeted demand and develop innovative marketing programs in an Oct. 3 speech at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC). The conference, themed “Rejuvenate, Recreate, Reconnect – New Directions for Caribbean Tourism” was held at Atlantis, Paradise Island.
The Travel Leaders Group marketing executive urged Caribbean tourism officials to “work closely with your travel agency partners,” stating, “Our advisors were influencers long before social media existed.”
Third-party validation is key to helping consumers make the best decisions about travel planning. “Travel agents are more valuable than ever in helping to guide their clients through information overload. They have earned the trust of their clients and can expose them to undiscovered wonders of the Caribbean,” McGillivray said. “Travel consumers are overwhelmed with information and need an expert to sort it all out.”
He noted that travel agents sell more than two-thirds of all cruises and 68 percent of all package tours, according to Phocuswright, along with the majority of international long-haul travel from the U.S.
Working with advisors who specialize in luxury travel can help destinations weather economic downturns and target tourism growth. And, the best way to attract luxury travelers is through travel professionals, not an internet site or 800 number, McGillivray noted.
“Luxury travelers don’t want to call an 800 number and hear a robotic voice say, ‘Your call is important to us…please continue to hold.’ They want the number of an experienced professional travel advisor who will treat them to white glove service,” he said.
McGillivray congratulated the tourism leaders on how they came together after the 2017 hurricanes and forged a path to recovery. He recalled Travel Leaders Group’s efforts to assist in correcting misinformation in the market about the size, scale and geography of the Caribbean and the fact that many islands were untouched.
“We partnered with the One Caribbean Family effort, first, to get the facts out to our agent community and our travelers and then to actively promote travel to the Caribbean. We asked our travel advisors to identify themselves as One Caribbean Family Ambassadors through their websites, social media channels and client communications and share the news that the Caribbean was open for business,” he said.
“Success in the future of our industry is not about luck. It’s about partnerships and smart marketing alliances and working together to delight our travelers so they return to our doors and your islands again and again,” he concluded.
Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR.
# # #
About Travel Leaders Group
Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers, Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.