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The group tour industry faces continual challenges to educating the public, governing bodies, and its own members. Groups Today polled a range of group tourism professionals for insight on the most pressing industry concerns.

Communication
"So many things are going right for the travel industry, but I sometimes worry its practitioners rely too much on e-communication and forfeit face-to-face interaction. Packaged travel is built on relationships, and our tour operators tell us they need to meet with suppliers and DMOs to establish a working relationship. Don't get me wrong: NTA is all in on social media, we use e-mail to inform and promote, and we're about to start a redesign of NTA Online to make it a more user-friendly resource. But tour operators are looking for long-term relationships, which start face to face. For them, business is personal."
—Doug Rentz, Director, Marketing and Communications, National Tour Association

Perceived Value of Travel Professionals
"We've learned through our research that by using a travel agent, consumers are less stressed, have a better trip, and are more satisfied with their vacation. Consumers find that often, agents already know what they don't even know to ask. We appear on radio, on TV, and in the national and travel trade media in an effort to remind the traveling public that travel agents can still find them the better deals, and are there to take care of them if problems arise on the road."
—Mark Meader, Vice President, Industry Affairs, American Society of Travel Agents

For more insights into industry concerns, click here to read this article in the digital edition of Groups Today magazine.

 

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