New Wave Travel, founder of I LUXE TRAVEL – Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
Years as a travel advisor: 16 years
Product or destination you specialize in:
Honeymoons, destination weddings & multigenerational trips, plus destinations such as Thailand, Bali, Bora Bora, Italy and the Caribbean (focus on St. Lucia, Anguilla, St Bart’s, St. Vincent to name a few).
Describe your process when you first connect with a client who wants to book a trip.
Once a client contacts me, I will arrange a time to either meet in person or a phone call for a free consultation to discuss their inquiry. During this meeting which usually takes approximate one hour, I discuss destinations, travel dates, accommodations, excursions, weather, budget etc.
What are your tips for finding new clientele?
Referrals are my number one resources for clients.
What are your tips for retaining clients?
Treat your clients as you would wish to be treated and customer service is key. Always remember to under promise and over deliver.
Do you charge services fees? If so, why and how much?
Depending on the inquiry, I may or may not charge a service fee. If it is a referral from an existing client, I do not charge a service fee, but if it is a new inquiry with a complex itinerary, I will charge a "plan to go" fee and this fee will depend on the time of work involved.
Why do you enjoy being a travel advisor?
Every day I learn something new and the meet interesting people. When I do travel, the experiences are worth the hard work I put into my employment.
What do you consider to be the biggest change in the travel industry since you began your career as a travel advisor?
Keeping up with the changes. In the last 16 years, I have dealt with airlines ceasing to operating due to financial difficulties, Terrorism, natural disasters, the introduction of the Internet, and social media to name a few.
Anything else to add that could help support the sales growth of fellow travel advisors?
Specialize, specialize, and specialize! When starting out, I would recommend learning a destination extremely well and grow from there. The world is big place and you cannot learn everything at once. After 16 years, I am still learning!
Are you a successful travel advisor and interested in sharing your experiences with other professionals in your field? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.