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Economy, Schmonomy: Travel Agents Will Survive

Three Ways to Do More with Less
 
ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, recognizes that many travel agencies are going through tough economic times, and that a strategic shift can assist agents in overcoming monetary problems. In a survey by ASTA, a majority of the agents believe that their revenue will be decreasing in the near future. To combat those problems, here are some tips for agents:
 
  • Do the opposite of your instinct, and consider expanding your business by purchasing another agency. ASTA"s e-library offers information on how to acquire an agency. You may benefit in the long run by investing in a business during tough times.
  • During slow business weeks, have your agents update the customer database. Market to prior customers, but also seek new clients during downtime.
  • Market budget-friendly travel options. See below for some suggestions.
 
Budget Options
 
ASTA asked agents for a consensus on where travelers can go without breaking the bank. Here are the rankings:
 
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Branson, Mo.
  • New Orleans
  • Los Angeles
 
The reason agents find Las Vegas to be a smart option for clients is the low-priced hotel options, range in entertainment choices, discounts for air tickets, and dining deals. Disney"s "Kids Fly Free- package is the main factor that keeps Orlando near the top of the list. Seniors, on the other hand, benefit from tourist packages offered in Branson, Missouri. 
 
Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has been aggressively trying to lure tourists back. Discounted packages are available year-round, whether to Mardi Gras or another specific artistic or music event. Like Las Vegas, Los Angeles offers tremendous opportunities in all travel areas, be it dining options or entertainment possibilities. 
 
For other travel agent suggestions, go to www.asta.org. ASTA facilitates the business of selling travel through high quality representation, shared experience, and endeavors to create a retail marketplace that is profitable and rewarding.

By Chris Navarro
Get Travel Agent Jobs, Contributing Editor

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