A New Year of Change

John McMahon with Simon GilkesWhile preparing for the holidays, I always take stock of the past year—evaluating the good and the bad. I use this time to adjust my game plan for the upcoming year. I would expect many travel advisors do the same.

Many of you look at your business by geography. You have your core of backyard clients and some who are outside, based on your backyard client referrals. I challenge you to look at your business based on industry segments—no doubt there will be finance, insurance and manufacturing, to name a few. This year, many agents admitted they had a tough year because a good portion of their clients’ income was tied to one industry. I suggest you chase the industries that are on the rise and tailor itineraries for your clients that fit their work schedules and lifestyles.

In my business of media we have seen a lot of change. Our company has developed a more one-to-one media approach. Because of the changing times, Luxury Travel Advisor has been able to know each of you on a more personal level. Our content used to go from the pages to your head, then back out again. Now you use our content to market with; you value the introductions we make to suppliers at our events and you are incentivized by supplier bookings. Though we are not a consortium, we are able to measure transactions motivated by our medium. The results are staggering, and are outperforming all channels available to the travel industry.

I recently had a chance to stop by the newly opened Savoy in London. This long-awaited refurbishment was worth the wait. The one new aspect that made me say, “Why doesn’t everyone do that?” was the check-in desk (not check-in counter). It was off the lobby and away from public view. This makes for a more personal experience for the guest and allows the lobby to be a place of welcome. I am pictured here with Simon Gilkes of The Savoy, as we ring in the New Year a bit early. Here’s to each and everyone of you having a successful 2011!