Archive for the Category "Starting A Travel Agency"

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche
Nov 15

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche

As a travel professional, you need to look at all the opportunities that are out there to promote your agency. When settling on your area of specialty, have you considered travel incentive programs? If not, you might want to carefully consider if this highly profitable specialty could be your niche.

When looking at small to medium sized businesses, most organizations do not have in-house resources for travel, yet they are looking for ways to incentivize their employees. Travel incentive programs work for businesses, employees, and their families. More and more companies are beginning to follow the latest trend of offering travel incentives instead of cash bonuses or rewards. And you can be the link to help them with this highly effective program.

Statistics have shown that a much-needed vacation, a new travel experience, or inclusion in a corporate event at an exciting destination are far more effective than offering cash. Cash may get used for bills or spent in minutes, while travel memories can last forever. Even more exciting is the travel adopter generally experiences as much as a 4:1 return on this investment, increased cash flow and profit…and most importantly a more engaged workforce.

Did you know that most businesses struggle with an engaged workforce and less than 25% of American workers operate at their full potential? Disengaged workers are costing the US economy 300 billion dollars or more annually. Disengaged workers that have been surveyed also have feelings of being overwhelmed, undervalued, and suffer from burnout. A well-defined travel incentive program will ultimately increase overall performance, and better yet, an employee who becomes more engaged ultimately leads to better sales, profits, and customer service for that organization.

When looking at specializing in incentive travel for businesses, think of these ways that businesses can benefit from well-defined travel incentive programs:  
• Travel rewards can be used for sales or production quotas.
• New hire travel incentives may eliminate the need for costly recruiters.
• Offering a vacation to reward employee anniversaries or tenure is far more effective than a tangible item like a watch or cash.
• Offering travel certificates or a family vacation can be extremely effective for employee recognition.
• Travel programs for executive retreats, corporate business meetings or trade shows at luxurious resorts can be enjoyed by both the attendees and their families.
• Travel can be used for consumer incentives and even as a sales closing tool.

As a travel professional, consider approaching businesses and offering travel vouchers or even cruise certificates to organize, promote, and manage a sales contest or to organize and book a corporate training event or meeting.

Begin by querying organizations in your area to find if there are any corporate headquarters located near you. A key point of contact would be anyone at the Executive Level including the President, VP, Sales or Director of Human Resources. Simply ask them these very pertinent questions.

1. Do you want to motivate your employees?
2. Would you like to strengthen your relationship with your employees?
3. Would you like to entice your employees to achieve higher performance?
4. Would you like to increase your employee retention?
5. Would you like to increase sales or production numbers?
6. Would you like to attract and retain talent within your organization?
7. Would you like to improve your competitive position?

If you find any business that meets these objectives, this could be a potential travel incentive client for you today and in the future. Think how this can also lead to referrals and repeat clients. Remember that travel is a huge motivator for both the employee and their families. Travel incentive programs give organizations a properly structured way to incentivize their employees and provide you with a solid and profitable travel client!

Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com or call 877-220-9260 ext. 2200 to learn more about our unique and comprehensive travel agent program that can be the gateway for you to start your own business, earn money and travel the world!

 

How To Handle Competition
Sep 16

How To Handle Competition

Competition – a dreaded word in any business. Most people don’t like to deal with “competition” as it means there may be someone out there that could sell the product or perform the function better. Competition in any form can be healthy. It keeps you sharp, on your toes, ensures you are always trained, and it encourages creativity and innovation.

Since the travel industry is not immune to competition, the key to overcoming it is to earn the competitive EDGE. It all starts with being “pro-active” and knowing how to deal with each competitive situation with confidence.

First you have to identify your competition. Once you recognize who your competition may be, it will be easier to strategize how you will overcome and win in each situation. Here a few examples of potential competitors.

Other Travel Agents – It won’t take long before you run into a client who may know or have used a travel agent before. Instead of looking at another agent as competition, view it as opportunity. Another travel agent is one more person out there that can sell the “value” of using a travel professional. Educating the public is important and you can’t do it all by yourself. Get to know the travel agents in your area, learn about their specialties, and you may even be able to send each other leads. But more importantly, learn their strengths and weaknesses so you can capitalize on them.

Travel Suppliers – It is no secret that the travel suppliers who train agents and pay commission can also be your biggest competitors. The best way to combat losing business to travel suppliers is to “nip it in the bud” from the very beginning. Let your client know that the supplier you are using sells directly to the consumer. Be sure to explain to them that suppliers always encourage the consumer to use a travel professional if at all possible. Since not all consumers know and understand the value of using travel agents, suppliers have to be prepared to work with travelers that call and book direct. Being aware of this issue and educating your client from the very beginning will ensure that your client will feel comfortable using your services.

Online Booking Engines – It’s a fact that online booking engines have been around for awhile, and will probably be your biggest competition. However, they can be one of the easiest competitive situations to overcome. This is where educating your prospect and selling yourself effectively will help beat the online booking engine almost every single time. Follow these few simple steps and online booking engines won’t even be an issue.

First, build a relationship before you start selling. This is key because online booking engines don’t have the ability to build relationships. And generally travelers want to work with people they know and like.

Second, educate your prospect on the history of online booking engines. A decade ago, the online booking engine was a viable option when storefront agencies started to close their doors. But now the world wide web of travel has become so populated, that it is a confusing place for any consumer to navigate. The consumer gets faced with far too many options and pictures and they can’t even tell what’s real and what’s not. Booking online has become an extremely overwhelming process for the traveler. This is where you can step in as a travel professional.

Finally, sell the value of using a travel professional versus booking it online themselves.  You will save your client time and money, and offer them sound advice based on your training and/or firsthand experiences.

Competition is basically a confidence game. And that confidence begins with YOU. Once you find your niche and get trained, your confidence will grow. Don’t be afraid to let others know how confident you are about your industry and the product that you sell, which is yourself. You will find that confidence is contagious and your prospects will want to do business with YOU! And more importantly you will be able to welcome and deal with the healthy competition the world of travel will bring you.

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents
Sep 09

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents

As a travel agent, the way your customers feel about you is important. The more you show you care about them, the more likely it is that you will get repeat clients that will provide valuable referrals. With that in mind, providing good customer service to your clients should naturally be a major priority in your day-to-day schedule. It is important to develop a reputation to live up to. And for many, it all begins with breaking away from the perception and stereotypes of what it means to be a travel agent.

Your clients‘ perceptions of being a travel agent can be different based on where they live, their ages, and their past experiences working with travel professionals. For many, you may find that their perception of a travel agent is someone who sifts through travel deals and websites behind a computer for hours at a time, trying to locate the best price for clients. People may even think what you do is easy and they could do it themselves, especially if they believe they could save some money.

Your friends and family may perceive travel agents differently especially if they observe you traveling to exotic destinations for training and site visits. However, this is where you will gain credentials, and firsthand experiences that will set you apart from your competition. Your friends and family may actually believe that you are always on “vacation” and what you do is more of a “hobby” it is than an actual career or business.

Society, in general, may believe that all travel agents do is book airline tickets and hotel rooms. Why? Because back in the 1990′s, the storefront travel agency did just that. They focused on corporate travel where the bulk of their business was airline ticketing. In fact, at that time, only about 20% of their travel business was leisure travel or vacations. Many people also think that using a travel agent costs more…that the commissions you are paid get added to the cost of their trip. You will need to help educate consumers on the fact that the commission comes directly from the suppliers, and booking through an agent does not increase the total cost of your their trip.

When you first became a travel agent, your initial perception of yourself is that you need to be “everything to everyone.” Some new agents may fall into this trap and actually become good at planning a lot of different types of travel, but not an “expert” at anything.  This overwhelming need to learn and do everything can be a dangerous and slippery climb to the top and generally the reward of success takes much longer.

To truly know how to break through all these different perceptions of what people think you do, it is important to really understand and appreciate the value of what you will actually offer your clients as a travel professional.  That’s right…you really aren’t a travel agent, you are a travel professional.  So, what does that mean?

As a travel professional, you are passionate about helping to plan memorable travel experiences for your clients.  It’s a vacation they may have saved years for that may even offer them a “lifetime of photos and memories.”  You will be a part of making all of that happen for your clients.

You may help plan that perfect destination wedding or honeymoon with all the amenities to offer exquisite romance.  Or perhaps you may be sending a struggling couple on a much needed vacation alone together to get reacquainted.  You may be involved in planning a “vow renewal ceremony” for a second wedding the couple will never forget.  Or you may even help plan that “affordable” summer vacation for a “family of 7″ that would have never been able to travel if it wasn’t for your help in making it happen.  They say just “one vacation can offer a lifetime of memories,” and YOU can be a part of all of that.

What you do as a travel professional breaks away from all the perceptions of what others may believe you do.  And part of the process of living up to that image of what you actually do for your clients starts with how you take care of them from the very beginning until they return home.  Remember, you are a travel professional, an expert, and a consultant that helps plan unforgettable getaways!

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

Become a Travel Agent – Work with Royal Caribbean’s Partner of the Year
Mar 10

Below Is a Video That Is Normally Offered Exclusively to KHM Travel Group Agents:

In this short video, our agency director, Burt Kramer announces Partner of the Year with Royal Caribbean, giving credit to KHM Travel Group’s excellent agents. Other announcements made in this video are examples of weekly updates the staff put together to keep KHM Travel Group agents the most informed agents in the industry. Enjoy!

KHM Travel Group is proud to announce that it was recently named one of Royal Caribbean International’s Partners of the Year. Our host travel agency was selected as the Partner of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region because of our outstanding achievements which include 150% growth in 2009 and an ongoing commitment to helping a person become a travel agent and realize the benefits that are available to those who choose to start a travel agency online.  Royal Caribbean is one of KHM Travel Group’s preferred suppliers, which along with several other profitable companies, will offer a person who wants to become a travel agent a convenient way to connect to industry-leading organizations that will offer high commissions. Access a List of KHM Travel Group’s Preferred Suppliers Here.

Some of the other honorees that were acknowledged along with KHM Travel Group were Miami-based America’s Vacation Center/Avoya Travel, Cruises-N-More, Cruise Planners in Coral Springs, FL, and Buy the Sea.  KHM Travel Group differs greatly from these other winners because in addition to our retail sector, we also provide assistance if an individual wishes to become a travel agent and start a travel agency online from home. KHM Travel Group is not only reputable, but this award shows the dedication that KHM Travel Group puts forth for their agents’ success!

KHM Travel Group has a positive reputation in the community as a leading host travel agency that will provide guidance and support for someone who wishes to become a travel agent, but being recognized on a national level from a global cruise company is certainly an accomplishment for any company that strives to provide the best customer service and agent support.

This distinction is a high honor that is reserved for the leading travel agencies in the country and is just another indication that KHM Travel Group is the best host travel agency that will provide an individual with all the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources to become a travel agent.  Enrollment with KHM Travel Group includes free training, free information, booking engines, free marketing materials, and access to over 40 hours of video that explains everything you need to know to start a travel agency online and begin face-to-face networking with family, neighbors, and other potential clients.  With the ability to work from home, a KHM Travel Agent can experience all the benefits of owning a successful online travel agency without having to sacrifice time spent with family.  Our host travel agency provides free training and travel agent education at an affordable price that won’t make you take a huge financial risk in order to become a travel agent from home. People that wish to become travel agents and start a travel agency from their home can do so by enrolling with KHM Travel Group.

Royal Caribbean assists KHM Travel Group as we help a new agent with immediate marketing needs that arise when a person decides to become a travel agent.  The Internet marketing issues that occur in the beginning stages when an agent wants to start a travel agency online can seem overwhelming, but we make it easier for the agent because of our comprehensive training, information about email marketing, and our free website hosting program.  Royal Caribbean offers KHM Travel Agents a sales and marketing kit that includes help with advertising once you become a travel agent and promotional materials that will be essential once you start a travel agency online.  In addition to the sales and marketing kit, Royal Caribbean will also provide KHM Travel Agents with Royal Caribbean postcards, magazines, free DVDs, and other printed promotional materials.  These professional marketing pieces are great ways to get your clients excited about booking a vacation and can also serve as additional ways that you can share with prospective clients your decision to become a travel agent.

For free information and to learn more about how you can become a travel agent, start your travel agent career, and start a travel agency online, contact KHM Travel Group at 1-877-220-9260 or visit KHMTravel.com

Be a Travel Agent- Make a Living in the Travel Industry
Feb 04

If you want to be a travel agent, you can count on being able to enjoy many different careers. Take the time to check out all of the different opportunities, because you’ll likely be quite impressed with the options that you can find. You don’t have to pursue formal education or worry about other hassles that come with careers in other industries. Just about anyone can enjoy a career in travel, as long as they take the time to find what suits them.

To be a travel agent, you don’t have to work full time. You can work part time and many people even enjoy this career as an option during retirement. You can find many different positions, including the ability to work at home as a travel professional if you want. You will need to understand how hotels and other travel bookings work, as well as how to handle customers and help them to plan the best vacations possible.

If you want, you can start your own travel agency or business. However, this requires a lot more effort and you will often find it more advantageous to work for someone else as an independent agent or outside agent. Whether you work at an agency or in your home, you will enjoy the benefits of having a fun and exciting career while also being able to get travel discounts and take vacations for less.

Keep in mind that you will need to find the career that best suits your needs, no matter what that might be. Fortunately, there are a variety of opportunities that you can choose from. As long as you take the time to see what careers you have to choose from, you can easily enjoy a rewarding career. If you work for yourself, you’ll enjoy much more freedom and flexibility. Working for someone else, however, might prove to be less stressful.

Travel agents are also able to earn commission for their positions, which is a great benefit of the career. You can earn based on how hard you work, which is something that many people don’t get to do in their careers. There really are many different advantages to a travel career for anyone who wants to be a travel agent.

Travel agents are primarily responsible for educating the public. While there are many great vacation destinations around the world, a lot of people don’t know about them. By becoming a travel agent, you will be able to show people the best vacations and help them plan the perfect getaway.

KHM Travel Group can help you achieve your goal in owning a travel agency and become a topnotch travel agent. To know more about how to Be a Travel Agent, call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.

Benefits Of Becoming A Travel Agent
Jul 23

Now more than ever, many people are looking to start a new career without the constraints of a traditional job environment. These days the idea of working for one company for 25-30 years chained behind a desk, then collecting a measly pension and retiring in comfort are long gone. That is just the reality for those working within the new worldwide information economy.

As a result, many corporate types are leaving behind the traditional workforce, giving their current employers the pink slip and are pursuing their own personal entrepreneurial endeavors on their own terms. After all, if you are going to put in a hard days’ work, then wouldn’t you prefer to work hard for yourself and your own future instead of building some else’s dream? Many are doing just that.  Statistics show that this is not just a passing fad, but this is a trend that is here to stay. But what vehicle or business system makes sense for you?

We have put together three reasons why owning your own travel agency makes sense to those who enter into this profession. You may come to the same conclusion as have many others, and wonder why you did not start your new career sooner.

First of all, the world is your customer. You need customers to thrive in any business. When you start your own travel agency, finding customers is a breeze because the entire world is your customer base. This is not a business that is constrained by the clock, the season or any particular hour of the day. Your clients can book travel 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. You can book family getaways, romantic vacations, celebratory cruises and all kinds of trips and get paid handsomely for doing so.

Secondly, you can train and work from the comfort of your own home and save on expenses.  With all the advances in technology, you can train at home and run your new business via new technologies such as online video and webinars. Thus you save on commutes to the office, wardrobe, wear and tear on your car, eating out and so many other expenses related to working outside of the home.

A third reason to consider becoming a travel agent is that you get discounts on your personal travel. That’s right – you can make money in a business you love and travel cheaper as well! You receive discounts on hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises and a host of other travel-related expenses. Let’s face it, if you could travel to Cancun, Mexico to an all-inclusive resort for just over $350 per person, including air fare, or sail for seven days on Celebrity Cruise for $280, why wouldn’t you?

Something to keep in mind when researching a travel company to partner with is that commissions for booking travel and training vary widely from company to company. Make sure you review the commission structure of every company you’re considering very carefully before making a decision on your new career.
Becoming a travel agent may be a smart move for those looking to get our of the rat race and start a new career. Could this be the right career move for you?

Learn more by visiting www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260 today.

Starting a Travel Agency – Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Jul 06

Starting a travel agency is not always easy, particularly to those who do not have any experience in the travel industry. It is a common misconception that once you have your own business you will have ample time to enjoy yourself and get into countless vacations every year. Here are some of the mistakes that people commit when opening up a home-based travel business.

Starting A Travel Agency

Quite a number of people realize belatedly that a business plan is one of the most important things needed when starting a travel agency. This plan will be the foundation of your company, even if it is just home based. A business plan is important because this will be your road map for success. This will help you determine your goals, objectives and ways of doing things. If you encounter a snag, just refer to your business plan and it could help you get back on track.

Another problem that many people face when starting a travel agent company is their inability to get out of their employee mentality. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then you should think and act as one. Be accountable of your actions and learn from your mistakes. Once you have transcended the employee mentality, you will be ready to take charge and take in more responsibilities.

In whatever type of business, spending time in selling your products and services is important. However, if you are your own boss, you will realize that getting sales is not the only thing that you should concentrate on. There are other aspects in the business such as tax computation, looking for suppliers, and other things that need your attention.

Another mistake that people commit when opening up a travel agency is not acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills needed to make the business succeed. Simply loving travel is not the only thing that is required for you to have a productive travel agency. You need further education and training so that you will be able to run your home-based travel company smoothly and effortlessly.

When starting a travel agency, you also need to accept the fact that you need the help of others. You need the aid of companies or organizations that will help guide you on the ins and outs of this particular type of business. However, you need to ensure that the company you are going to affiliate yourself with is dependable and have a good reputation. For more information, go to www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.