Posts Tagged ‘urban travel gift’

Dr. Peter Tarlow’s Tourism Tidbits

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Encouraging people to give the gift of travel

For many people the Chanukah & Christmas season is a time of giving. One of the great gifts that a person can give to another is the gift of travel. Travel serves as a perfect gift in that it allows the receiver to use it at a time that works for him/her. Travel gifts open up new horizons and provide memories that can last a lifetime. Encouraging people to provide the gift of travel is not only good business, but acts as a subtle form of marketing. To make travel the perfect gift, however, some preplanning is also needed. In this special edition of Tourism Tidbits we provide you with ideas as to how to make your travel experience the least hassle free possible, either as a giver of travel or as a receiver.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to showcase your community and/or attraction. It is also a time when if things go wrong there will be a great number of people with and for whom you will need to do damage control.

-Do not overcharge. Everyone understands that during the holidays prices will rise a bit, but gauging is never a good idea. The few extra dollars that you will make by raising prices unfairly will be more than offset by negative publicity. Instead, offer holiday specials. Consider these to be part of your advertising campaign. Nothing promotes your industry better than good word-of-mouth advertising.

-Remember that your employees are people too. These are people who are giving up their holidays for others, and while they may be receiving extra pay, no amount of money can compensate for lost time. Treat your employees with extra respect; prepare them for longer than usual hours and visitors who are tired, frustrated or even angry.
-When in doubt smile! The holidays are supposed to be about fun, family, and memories. Travel should also be about those very same things. Even when people have had to deal with the hassles of travel, train your employees to go out of their way to smile, be cheerful and do something extra nice for people.
Making travel a personal gift item.

Another good marketing tool is to encourage your local citizens to consider travel to your locale as a personal gift option. Even in these difficult economic times, may of people will be spending a great deal of time trying to find new and innovative gifts and travel gifts not only provide for friends and family to see each other but also aid your local economy.
There are numerous ways that you promote your locale as a travel gift. Many travel agencies will be more than happy to work with you. Before promoting the gift of travel to your locale remember the following:
-Make sure that you locals check with the people receiving the gift to determine which dates will work for him/her/them and which dates will become a problem. Help locals to know when airline prices are reasonable and promote travel to your location when the hotels are in their low season.
-Make sure that the person giving the gift is aware of about how much the gift will cost the receiver. It is not helpful to give an airline ticket or a free night stay at a hotel if the person cannot afford to get to the destination and/or stay at a destination’s hotels. Make sure to match the gift with the receiver’s ability to pay for the other parts of travel.

-Encourage people to give travel gifts to your community that create positive memories and a desire to return. It does not matter what giver likes or may think the other person ought to like, rather make sure that the travel gift reflects the receiver’s lifestyle and shows off your community in the best light. Know if the person to whom you are giving the gift likes adventure travel, urban travel or perhaps countryside travel. You will get the best results from gift travel if you can encourage the givers to match the travel experience to the receiver’s psychological profile.
-Do not be afraid to encourage the people who live in your locale to use air miles as a way to bring people to your community. Once the person is in your community, s/he will be spending money and adding to the local economy. How the person gets to your community is less important than what the person does once there. Although many airlines charge for transferring miles, but allow you to “purchase” a trip for another person for free. Do not transfer miles but rather purchase the trip for the person who is to receive the gift. Remember that paid airline tickets usually are not refundable and charge for date transfers, most tickets bought with air miles are much more flexible.
-If inviting friends and relatives from another country, make sure that the person has a passport and meets all visa requirements. If you are dealing with US citizens, remember that all US citizens need a passport if they are traveling by air or sea. That same requirement is true of many other nations.
-Purchase the gift around the other person’s likes and dislikes. If giving an urban travel gift, provide a special add-on. Travel is about memories. When encouraging your local citizens to give the gift of travel, aid them to turn these trips into special memories. Make sure that your citizens understand that special memories need not be expensive. For example, a bottle of wine or a fruit basket will set the stage. Lots of communities have local theaters or sporting events that are fun and add a bit of local color. Always remind people to chose events for their guests that fit the receiver’s lifestyle.
-Make sure that the person receiving the gift has an opportunity to let your local tourism office know what he or she thought of your community. Feed back from gift travel is especially helpful in knowing your community’s strengths and weaknesses. When people come to your community make the gift of travel more than merely seeing and doing new things, make it about sharing memories and a desire to return again and again.

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