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Navigating uncharted waters: The value of travel consultants

Around 10 percent of the world works in tourism. That’s not just hotels, it’s the flight attendants, the home-based travel consultants; it’s the Amazon rainforest guide, the Machu Picchu porter, the cinnamon stick seller in Sri Lanka. They all rely on tourism. 

Right now a huge number of people have been impacted without a moment’s notice. Some may even still be oblivious to the scale of the virus. Especially those without access to media or social posts. 

But there are a lot of people out there who continue to rely on the industry. 

Not Just Travel consultants also have 1000’s of customers who they are continuing to support everyday. That includes getting them home if they’re in affected countries, moving holidays to new dates in the future and helping them plan for a brighter, happier 2021.

The value of a travel consultant is shining through 

Travel consultants around the world are showing their mettle, value and love for their customers more than ever. 

Turbulent times such as this demonstrate the advantage of booking through a reputable business or human being. It’s true, not just of ABTA and ATOL protections and other insurances, but also emotionally to reduce the stress of the situation.

For customers, having someone with the expertise and knowledge to navigate through situations, connect with suppliers or just be at the end of the phone to listen is massive.

This recent Facebook post is all about thanking travel consultants Rachael & Colman for their massive efforts to help in a bad situation.

When everything returns to normal, people should be more mindful than ever of the power we all hold as consumers.

Rather than looking around opportunistically for the cheapest bargain; instead taking time to think about every link in the supply chain and who will be at the end of the phone if circumstances change. 

Many people who have booked online can’t get in touch with the companies they booked with. They’re potentially out of money and in limbo. Booking with a local travel consultant and having someone to speak to face-to-face is something many people wish they hadn’t ignored until now. 

Acts of kindness…

Over the past couple of weeks many of our travel consultants have been overwhelmed at the simple displays of compassion, understanding and support they have felt from their own customers. Even seemingly small acts of kindness mean the world to someone who has supported them for years in finding the perfect holiday and creating amazing memories.  

Additionally, many customers are simply postponing their holidays; they know it will be better for everyone in the long run, especially themselves. A lot can be said for moving the date back. Rescheduling holidays gives that much needed anticipation for something to look forward to. 

People are still booking new holidays…

Our lively Facebook “Grow Your Business” community is a hub that all our franchisees have access to. Daily updates are given, tips and good news stories are shared. 

This week, families and individuals made bookings for 2021 and even for later this year. These include bookings for £11,700 booking, £13,000, £6,500 and many more – and that’s only from the past week. 

Postponing or even planning a holiday will give much needed hope to the industry, to the tour operators, and even the most vulnerable humans at the very end of the supply chain, who have had the flow of any tourism simply cut off.

The benefits of a franchise over stand-alone business… 

Times like these are when we come together most. So, what does it mean to be a franchisee? To be part of a bigger support network instead of a stand-alone business, especially in times of turmoil. 

It means personal coaches and mentors at hand to guide you through sticky situations, a large corporate and legal team who can help you with new topics and implement much needed processes. It means a marketing team who will write content which you can share within your network to answer questions. 

Aside from the processes, admin and advice, it is a community in which is there to make you feel part of something bigger. A family who has your back when business is hard. Somewhere you can turn to, as running a small business can sometimes feel lonely. 

Nikki Bowlden, one of our franchisees who joined in November last year, posted a video on Facebook this week which summarises it well.

‘I just want to say from the bottom of my heart… a huge thank you. I think your support is just fantastic. No one could have seen this coming. Let’s get through this together’. 

Nikki Bowlden. Travel Consultant

Final thoughts…

As we wait to see how things unfold, and continue to navigate through uncharted waters let’s look to travel company Black Tomatoes words: ‘We need to focus on caring for each other and the world we inhabit’. 

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