The Travel Factory Blog
Changing Travel Business
My goodness, what a crowd yesterday at Business Expo at the Convention Center downtown. In fact, they had all the booths sold out, over 220 of them, so there were a lot of folks trying to get your attention. It's a great event where there are a lot of connecting and re-connecting with folks and getting to know some new ones too. And, of course, getting to talk travel.....that is the object!!!
One of the conversations I had was with a guy who remarked how the face of travel has changed over the past 10-15 years. That's the truth, for sure. When I started in the business 43 years ago, we were still using the Official Airline Guide, and relied heavily on the phone to make travel arrangements. In addition, people depended on the travel agent for advice and assistance in planning their trips. Nowadays, the almost everyone is connected to a computer and there are thousands of ways to help plan a trip.......on your own!!! That is if you want to take the time and aren't too concerned about the quality of the tour company or operator you are getting.
One of the trade magazines I subscribe to had an article about today's traveler and how they are connected to the computer for assistance. They gave an interesting statistic that by the end of this year, 30% of all travel sales in the U.S. will be made on a mobile device. And...another prediction was that by the end of the year, the percentage of trips that will first be planned using a smartphone will exceed 50%.
The driving force for this increase is the use of mobile devices and computers by the millennials (ages 18-34). They predict that there are now 75.4 million app-wielding millennials coming our way, wanting to travel their way.
I understand that their travel interests aren't necessarily in line with those of the “baby boomers” (ages 51-69). They want something different, new adventures, something to talk about that no one else has done in their circle of friends. So, as a result, there are some enterprising travel agents who are designing new offerings that hopefully will appeal to these travel appetites.
One of those tour operators, Collette, has designed a concept called Explorations. They have designed tours that are unique, active, and on occasion, a little adventurous. Also, one feature of their design is they have reduced the number of participants from 24 to 19, with the average of about 15 per group. They design the trip with plenty of free time and a menu of different experiences at each destination using local experts that allow the participants to experience new cultures and realize fresh perspectives.
Explaining what an Exploration experience might be can include embarking on a reindeer safari with a local farmer on a Northern Lights of Finland tour. Or....spend four relaxing nights in a Tuscan villa on Italy's Treasures tour, savoring wines fit for the gods at a local winery on a Tuscan Countryside. Or....climb on a mountain truck to explore a famous glacier in Iceland. All something different, and you'll be loaded with some great descriptions of your trip when you and your friends get together.
The experienced travel agents at The Travel Factory will be more than happy to help with these plans, and be available before you go to answer questions and be responsive to all your concerns. Give us a call at 698-1421 or drop in for a visit at 4150 Southwest Drive, between Rosas and Chick-Fil-A.