Dear Travel Agent,
When your clients ask for recommendations for restaurants or specialty stores in different countries, where do you go for that information?
Because I have traveled so often, I have created a list of my favorite restaurants by cuisine, and where in each county I can purchase the best things at the most affordable prices.
When I had my Tour Operator business, I loved sharing this information with the travel agents I did business with. I knew I was providing them with great information to give/share with their clients.
Neither search engines nor websites can give this type of personal service to clients. It was a big bonus to be able to relate to each individual client and understand their needs. To hear their wish lists, and then give them some kind of information, as a friend would recommend a good restaurant or what they should look to shop for. Obviously, taste is personal and what I like is not necessarily what you like. I always made sure to tell them that. In terms of goods, I always said that if something seems too good to be true, it is NOT true, DO NOT BUY IT!
A piece of advice I gave to my travel agent clients was for them to ask their clients the names of movies they like. Usually, if people have the same taste in movies and/or books, food tastes would be similar as well.
I believe that a Travel Advisor/Agent can be both an educator and a learner. By learning, we gather all the best information to share with our clients, and by educating, we make their travel easier:
- Explain about travel insurance
- Get to know your client’s needs
- Let them know what the countries offer in terms of shopping for goods
- Tell them about some nice restaurants
And if you don’t know that information? Ask your vendor/tour operator. Remember, you are a client too!