Trick or Treat

 

It’s October: a chill is creeping into the air, the baseball season is winding down and one of my favorite days of the year is almost upon us—Halloween. My children are already gearing up, thinking about what costume to wear this year (I think vampires will make a comeback). Regardless, it is amazing to see their faces and the joy they express: exuberance mixed with anticipation.

I compare it to the many travel advisors I have spoken with lately. It is an amazing time to be in this business and look at the varying trends. Advisors that were taking advantage of the former upswing are not disappearing in this down market; in fact, they are becoming more relevant than, maybe, ever before.

Why? Who else is going to cut through the myriad of deals? They are everywhere: two-for-ones, fifth night free, resort credits, upgrades, higher commission rates—it’s a veritable hodgepodge. But, is it trick, or treat?

In my opinion, even if it is a treat, you are spending an enormous amount of time confirming that a deal or value-added offer is the best your client can get. With booking channels blurred and many suppliers luring business with multiple offers, it’s hard to determine if you are getting the best deal out there. Fact is, a lot of you have voiced concerns about this. My reaction is, “Are you crazy?”

Confusion in the marketplace is good for business. It’s why mortgage brokers are in business. Have you ever tried to get a mortgage on your own? If rates were all the same, it would make it easier to book a trip without your services. My advice? Become a deal expert in a “Let’s make a deal” kind of market. Monty Hall would agree.

My treat for you this Halloween season is to check out The Villas at The Mirage Las Vegas. I was privileged to get a look with Brian Hardee, Mirage’s vice president of hotel sales and marketing. We are pictured above.

The villas and bungalows have been around since The Mirage opened, but only available to high-rolling moguls and celebrities. Now, your clients can book these undiscovered accommodations in the hotel that reinvented the Las Vegas Strip. Oh, if those walls could talk.