Although it was his mother who started Maxima Tours twenty-four years ago, it wasn’t until five years ago that Damon Allan joined the company and helped shape it into a solely family-owned business.
At thirty-seven years old, Damon has done his fair share of being innovative. Wearing many hats, Damon has taken on the role of sales, marketing, trip development, and even tour directing during the busiest times, only to satisfy the customer and continue providing quality business.
“Being innovative in attracting the next generation of travelers is key,” he said. “We are heavily involved in social media which includes our e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and more. But that's not the whole story. We're trying to change the conversation on how people perceive group travel and what it offers them.”
Since times have been changing and so have the groups, Damon advises to keep eyes and ears open and be ready to accept and deal with the change that is happening.
“You can’t take your traditional group tour and just sell it to the younger traveler,” he said. “We also believe that the younger traveler may be willing to spend more on quality tours. Having a well-designed website and social media presence is essential.”
Damon also believes that other tour operators need to be able to successfully communicate a strong, distinctive brand and be patient in building loyalty.
“(And) never be too price conscious because you’ll often box yourself in as a discount supplier and that can be dangerous,” he said.
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to Damon and Maxima Tours is knowing that they satisfied their customers—because that is what a tour operator’s job is all about.
Damon Allan was nominated as one of the Top Ten Next Gens in the January 2014 issue of Groups Today magazine. Click here to learn more about the top ten and stay tuned to our website for more in-depth profiles of these innovative people in the group travel industry.
Know a group travel professional making an impact on the industry with a fresh, progressive perspective? Nominate him or her for 2017's Top 10 Next Gen here.