It’s Not About The Hotel Anymore

John McMahon, Executive Vice President/Group Publisher

The next wave of travelers is among us and as travel advisors we must be able to make the turn and service this next generation. Why? They have every intention of spending intensely on travel experiences. If you plan on working for the next 20 years, pay attention.

By sheer coincidence, I recently had three young couples approach me at different times to ask for a recommendation for a travel agent to help them plan their vacations. They know I’m in the business and, of course, I’m always happy to help. Before suggesting just anyone, I asked each couple what they were looking to do on their trip, where they’d stayed before and if they liked it. Yes, I was qualifying them to get them to the right place.

They all had different desires, but they had a lot in common, too. They weren’t looking for recommendations from family and friends; they were looking for professional assistance. Why? Because they wanted to go where no family or friend has gone before. Yes, this is the generation that likes to top each other. The last thing they want to do is have a vacation or honeymoon that’s the same as someone else’s, and so they need professionals like you to tell them what they don’t know and what they can’t Google.

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They were also incredibly keen on the destination and less so on the hotel. Granted they were all traveling five star, so they were confident that the hotel would be just fine. Their main discussion points centered around the experiences in the destination. They were all about immersion and finding out how they could get help securing these very untraditional hotel and air bookings.

What a great opportunity for luxury advisors, to have a next wave of travelers truly needing what you do best, crafting the perfect FIT. No doubt you’ll have to be on top of your game and you’ll have to qualify them to the max to be sure you’re delivering. But I am certain you’ll rise to every single situation and enjoy nearly every minute of it.

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