How To Advertise Your Travel Agency

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


Thinking about how to advertise your travel agency more effectively? The global online travel market was worth $800 billion in 2021, and is an increasingly competitive space no matter which sector you specialize in.

Not to mention, online travel agencies (OTAs) have encroached on the market, embracing the popularity of a digital space where customers can book their travel – in 2018, around 82% of all travel bookings around the world took place without human interaction. Given that this was pre-Covid, the level of online transactions will only have increased.

So, how can you break through the overwhelmingly digital noise to advertise your brick-and-mortar travel agency as the better option for your customers?

We’re looking at some wider travel trends and factors that should be top of mind when considering how to advertise your travel agency – because let's face it, you’ve all read enough blogs that tell you to make sure you’re building your social media profiles.

We want to ensure you’re taking advantage of a market that lends itself to travel advisors more than it ever has before.


Use The Right Technology To Advertise Your Travel Agency

The scope of digital travel marketing means the world is accessible to even the smallest of travel agencies, but this relies on an ability to correctly target the right audience on social media. It’s impossible to over-state how investing in the right technology can skyrocket your success.

It’s important that you’re matching up to the global trends and promoting them in your advertising streams, because more visibility on ‘hot’ destinations means more likelihood of securing bookings ahead of your competitors. The Compass is a tool that allows you to do exactly that.

How? It's powered by global data to provide real-time market insights, collated from the most recent booking trends in your market. This makes it easy for you to see which destinations are trending and to forecast which destinations may trend in the future – allowing you to build out your social media plans for maximum visibility on in-demand locations!

The Opportunities feature is a time-saving tool that earmarks demand in your market, considering the destinations and hotels that you have not yet booked, but are being booked by your competitors. These listings are identified with a bell icon to help you easily identify them, and key insights (such as popularity and competitiveness) are displayed on the main dashboard.

This allows you to:

  • Capitalize on trends as soon as they begin to appear.
  • Build your social media strategy around ‘hot’ destinations.
  • Maximize the likelihood of bookings.
Register your agency for free and boost your advertising strategy with The Compass today!
Log in now to start boosting your advertising strategy with The Compass today!

Drive Home The Human Element

There is an undeniable benefit to the human element of travel advisors. You know this. We know this. The question is, how can you make sure that potential customers do too?

Dedicated Customer Service

The first 3 months of any customer relationship are the most important, with both parties eager to see what the other can bring to the table. These first experiences set the tone of the relationship, and the risk is that after their first booking with you, the relationship is not supported, or followed through. This is where the ‘honeymoon phase’ of your travel advisor-client relationship can wane, leading to potential customer dissatisfaction down the line. So it’s important that you’re dedicating time to constantly improving your customer’s experience with you!

Common causes of customer dissatisfaction can include:

  • Unmet expectations – set expectations from the outset and be transparent with any specifics that could potentially cause comparisons between you and other agencies in your market!
  • A lack of follow-up – see how your customers feel after booking with you, and make sure to actively meet any complaints with compassion.
  • A lack of information – make sure your hotel and ancillary product portfolio is accurate, your booking procedures are communicated well, and your terms and conditions are clear.
  • Low customer service – not surprisingly, if you’re not maintaining high levels of personalized communication before, during and after a customer’s booking with you, this will cause them to feel unimportant and undervalued.

Why Travel Advisors Have The Advantage

Customer expectations have shifted dramatically since COVID. Today’s consumers expect faster turnaround, digital services that can compete with traditional in-person service , and more tailored experiences. And while OTAs offer ease-of-transaction as a main selling point, traditional travel advisors yet again have a leg up when it comes to combatting possible sources of dissatisfaction purely because your customers get to deal with a real human during this booking process:

  • Travelers can book with someone who empathizes with their needs.
  • Specific requirements can be communicated more effectively during consultation than with an OTA.
  • Every interaction is an opportunity to deliver high quality, personable customer service – all the way through from enquiry to departure.
  • Your expertise and connections mean you can curate tailored vacations that customers may not be able to find otherwise.

How can the Booking Engine help? One factor of amazing customer service is succinct, attentive interactions – when you’re able to provide a smooth consultation experience followed up by an equally smooth booking experience. The Bedsonline Booking Engine is designed to streamline travel advisors' service and save time, not just for you but for your customers!

Whether you want to effortlessly build one big itinerary from hotels, activities and even transfers; create quotes easily, and share them with your customers in a few clicks; or just want to make sure your time is spent where it really matters - with your customers - our Booking Engine is hear to simplify and streamline the way you work!

Register your agency now to start using this time-saving booking platform to take your consultations to the next level.
Log in to your Bedsonline account now to start booking.


Use Employee Generated Content

60% of marketers agree that authenticity and transparency are vital to advertising success for any brand – and not just in the travel industry! User generated content (UGC) is one way to tap into this authenticity, but how can you take things one step further?

Consider using Employee Generated Content to remind customers your agency is packed with real people who understand their needs; who will go that extra mile to deliver real, meaningful interactions. EGC is any content created by employees, shared on their own non-brand pages or via your agency’s branded channels, and is roughly shared 24 times more than branded content.

So why not think about how to advertise your travel agency through the lens of employees? Whether it’s taking part in trending TikTok’s, promoting your agency through your employees' profiles, or even just getting them to tell customers their favorite part of working with the agency, using EGC in the right way builds trust, authenticity and a much higher level of engagement that any other type of content.


Personalization with The Compass

The changing expectations of what constitutes great service offers travel advisors a chance to fight back against the tide of impersonal online providers.

Leaning into personalization and offering bespoke customer journeys is just one way to get ahead of OTAs and other non-human competitors – with The Compass, Bedsonline’s award-winning search and marketing tool, being just one example. It has an in-built marketing feature that adds personality to every consultation!

The Custom Flyer Tool allows you to create visually appealing marketing materials to entice your customers as they choose their next vacation.

Once you’ve selected up to eight hotels in your client’s chosen destination, you can add in personalized information on a case-by-case basis. And of course, providing your client with as much information as possible is the best way to smooth consultations, whether that’s including your standard terms and conditions, or including tailor-made terms based on individual clients – such as adding a unique change fee for multiple alterations!

This means that you’re not just churning out standard brochures – you're delivering easy to read PDFs based entirely on your customers’ specific needs.

Plus, because The Compass is integrated with multiple share functions, you can send this to your client in a way that suits them best, whether that’s a PDF or even via WhatsApp (which is great for customers on the go!) Why not get acquainted with The Compass today?

Register your agency for free to start using this powerful tool.
Log in now to start using this powerful tool.

Meet New Traveler Expectations

Changing traveler needs and expectations is one of the key travel marketing trends that your agency needs to keep on top of. According to the Expedia Group Traveler Index, some of the most notable changes likely to progress in 2023 are:

  • 1 in 4 travelers expect the possibility of a full refund – if they need to cancel. 24% of travelers for hotels, 26% for vacation rentals, and 23% for car rentals.
  • Three quarters of travelers are likely to select a destination they’ve never visited before.
  • 41% want to take frequent, shorter trips compared to 28% who want fewer, longer trips.
  • 52% expect a range of prices and options for a specific experience.
  • 53% want to trust their provider will deliver on promises – building trust by providing clear information for every option, experience and location is key.

Is your marketing showcasing how you meet these changing expectations? Are you meeting them? How could you incorporate these changing sentiments into your marketing messaging?

Interestingly, despite a rising demand for more security when it comes to booking with agencies, nearly half (48%) of travelers are open to using companies they’ve never used before – showing that openness to new experiences and options reigns supreme when it comes to what’s influencing traveler decisions!

Lead with these expectations as pain points – resolve customer queries before they even have a chance to query you. It’s proactive, and customers love nothing better than for the work to be done for them.


Get Sustainable

Nearly three in five travelers (59%) are willing to increase pay more to make the trip sustainable, according to the Expedia Group Traveler Index – which just shows that conscious travel is top of mind for many travelers.

Travelers are looking to book vacations that have lower carbon emissions – with some highlighting a desire to see carbon compensation from companies, like supporting eco-friendly and conservation projects. Slow travel is driving a positive increase in economic sustainability, with tourists participating in more cultural engagement than ever before – such as tailor-made local activities and spending with local companies.

When considering how to advertise your travel agency, sustainability is something you can’t afford to ignore. How are you getting your sustainability message out there?

  • Create shareable content for social media that emphasizes how you take conscious travel seriously – Reels are most favored on Instagram!
  • Share your message on LinkedIn to highlight how you’re working towards eco-positive travel.
  • Create a post on your Facebook Page sharing your sustainable practices.
  • Invite potential customers/past clients to comment on what other sustainable travel they’d like to see from you – Facebook Polls are ideal for customer engagement.
  • Share videos on social media that highlight your most popular eco-friendly destinations!

If you’re not taking sustainability into consideration in your marketing or your business plan, this could be one of the main ways you’re losing out on the interest of conscious travelers.

Want more insights on travel trends? Check out our guide to 2023 travel predictions!

Cater To Workcations

Workcations, or ‘bleisure’ trips – the combination of business and leisure – have become real boons for the travel industry. The ability to work from home has completely changed how travelers get out and explore the world.

Chris Lehane of Airbnb suggests that this ‘great untethering’ is not a trend: it’s a permanent, ‘enduring pattern that would have ultimately happened as society moved forward, even without the pandemic.’

Here are some of the major ways that the rise of work and play trips has changed the travel industry so far:

  • Travelers are taking 2 – 4 trips a year compared to the usual 1-2, and 75% added extra days – with the majority (32%) adding 3-6 days.
  • Workcation travelers spend more due to their larger travel budgets – which benefits local economies and hoteliers.
  • Vacation times have increased, with almost half of all bookings on Airbnb a minimum of 7 days.
  • Families are getting away at various times of the year – meaning hoteliers and destinations aren’t having to rely on peak times to capitalize on high-spend, family-oriented bookings.

How might these working vacations influence the type of destinations you promote? Consider how longer vacation times, increased demand for work-friendly locations, and extra activities to fill up the space around work hours can benefit your travel agency, and influence how you market your portfolio.

Of course, it’s critical to keep up with which destinations are trending, which is what The Compass allows you to do easily! 


So, there you have it. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of how to advertise your travel agency, taking a step back can often highlight key areas for development you might not have considered otherwise!

Want access to more time-saving tools and booking platforms that can help supercharge your consultations? Register your agency for free to become our travel partner and get exclusive tools like The Compass and our Booking Engine to help you better meet these changing traveler needs, and boost your exposure! 
Log in to your Bedsonline account now to start taking your customer service one step further, and boost your exposure with our marketing tool The Compass!
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