There were 105,300 travel agent jobs in the United States as of May 2008, with little or no change in employment is expected over from 2008 to 2018, according Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. This means to stand out in this competitive business segment, you need to understand how to market and promote your travel services to help you bring in more customers than your competitors.
Develop a website. Consumers search online to research, plan and book travel. If you don't have a website, hire a web designer and marketing copywriter to help you develop one.
Create a marketing plan. Planning your promotional efforts provides a "road map" that helps you accomplish your goals. Identify the objectives for your travel business; the main competitors in the market and their strengths and weaknesses; the customers you will target; and the marketing strategies and tactics you will use.
Spread the word. Telling your friends, family members and current clients about your business can help you increase awareness of your travel business via word of mouth, a free form of marketing. This strategy can be especially helpful when you have an intriguing story or offer. For example, if your agency is offering a limited time $250 finder's fee for anyone who refers a customer who purchases a trip from you, tell your network of contacts, and they will have an extra incentive to spread the word about your travel agency business.
Join a travel consortium, which is a group of travel agency members who utilize their combined selling power to grow their businesses. According to the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, joining a travel consortium can help you increase your promotional efforts through technology enhancements, regional and national marketing opportunities and preferred travel supplier benefits.
Customize your client promotions materials. For example, if you create brochures to help promote your business, customize them based on the type of travel package you are offering, such air travel, cruises, hotel packages or themed trips. If you focus mainly on selling international golf trips, your marketing materials should focus on golf and associated images and content.
Use public relations. Write up a relevant news story on travel, business or leisure, and send it to local newspaper and website editors in your area. For example, if spring time is approaching, write an article on how travelers can get travel discounts when the seasons change. PR is a great way to promote your travel agency business, and best of all, it's free.
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