Introducing the Group Team
Written by: Michelle on August 19, 2019
Group travel requires specific knowledge, organization, and attention to detail. That’s why many group travelers turn to travel agents to help them with their plans, be it a destination wedding, a family reunion, or a social organization’s trip. Booking group travel can help agents take the next step in their travel business, expand their knowledge, and grow their client list. To support our agents through this process, we’ve put together our new Group Team.
The Group Team is made up of Marie Smith, CTA, VTA, Cinda White, Joanne Shikitino, and Kevin Kelly. Each member of the team has personal experience as travel agents and has worked groups of a variety of sizes from small groups all the way to the Super Cruise! They use their experience as well as their industry expertise to educate, coach, and empower KHM Travel Agents as they navigate the world of group travel. What does it take to book group travel, how can agents prepare for the world of group travel, and who can help you? Let’s find out!
What is the most important thing an agent should know before diving into the world of group travel?
Marie Smith, CTA, VTA said, “there’s no one answer when it comes to groups. Every group is different and booking group travel isn’t something agents can learn in an hour or in a day.”
Joanne Shikitino seconded this thought saying, “There’s not a quick answer when it comes to groups. Every question will lead to more questions.”
Before considering taking on a group, agents should think about how comfortable they are with individual bookings and the suppliers that they have worked with in the past. Agents use their foundation of working with clients, booking travel, and supplier knowledge and add a focus on details, organization, and clear communication to ensure that the group runs smoothly.
What does it take to book group travel?
Booking group travel takes patience and an investment of time. When booking a group, you may have to wait to hear back on availability, booking rates, and tour information. You’ll spend time on the phone and researching the best options to present to the group. This takes time, so agents should be prepared for this from the initial group idea.
Group travel also takes a personal touch. The travelers in the group may not see it, but agents do a lot of behind-the-scenes work. You’ll want the group to trust you and your skills, especially after you’ve taken the time to research, wait for responses, and compile it all together for them. Taking a personal approach will also help you build relationships with the group members and may transform them into repeat clients with individual travel needs.
What key components can make or break working with groups?
The first key to group success is your research. The more you know about the destination, accommodations, and activities, the better you can communicate with the group. Remember, if you don’t know the answer when asked, let them know when they can expect you to get back to them with an answer.
The second key to a successful group is the group leader. When the group has a leader, they act as your communications chairman. They act as an agent’s advocate to the group and can share updates and news with the others. This saves you time and helps filter the questions that otherwise would be asked to you. In some cases, however, you may be serving as the group leader and the group’s travel agent.
When and why should agents contact the Group Team?
If you’re thinking about diving into group travel, our Group Team is here to help! Trust us — with so many people relying on you for their vacation, it’s better to seek out guidance before you even begin planning. Their experience with this area of the travel industry will help you understand group contracts, working with group leaders, getting organized, and more. If you’re a current KHM Travel Group agent and want to find out more about this team, visit MyTravelAgentPortal.
Do you love to travel? KHM Travel Group is a leading host travel agency helping travel lovers across the United States to become travel agents. If you would like more information, fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.