As an advisor, are you ready to embrace the arrival revival of travel? Anthony Goldman, joint MD of Goldman Travel Corporation shares his insights and top tips to best prepare for what promises to be a race to book and get travelling again.
I’m writing this piece on the first day of the new Jewish New Year.
I’m not an uber-religious person, but I will take the new year as a sign of a new beginning, 116 days until the secular new year dawns.
A new beginning for us travel junkies, professionals and those who have missed what we love doing – running travel companies, planning travel for our clients and travelling and exploring the world.
Let’s round 116 days to 100, to the 17th December, when the (current) ban on international travel expires.
Oh, and my 50th birthday.
100 days to get into the positive mindset our teams and clients will want, demand, remember and call upon.
100 days until we could see a partial return of our businesses, more traffic at airports and thank goodness, the ability to purchase duty-free alcohol.
How do you wake up after 637 days of “unnormal”?
Here’s 5 things I’ll be doing.
1. Look at your systems
Now is the time to look at the processes and systems within your business.
How will you move enquiries from bookings to departure?
How would you do things differently, and how can you make life more efficient for you and your colleagues?
This may involve engaging new technology, like mobile app itineraries and looking at enhancements in your mid-office or modules you might not have invested in before.
2. Roles of your team and colleagues
Look at who will do what. Some businesses have unfortunately lost valued team members during this COVID disaster.
Do you need to make plans to hire, redeploy or re-skill?
Will you have enough staff to meet the demand of your clients?
There are some really good people looking for good roles in travel and no doubt they will be snapped up quickly.
3. “Automate the predictable so you can humanise the exceptional”
One of my favourite quotes. What in your business can you automate, so you don’t have to worry about manual intervention?
Look at automation tools in your mid-office system and look at systems you can make routine, so you can concentrate on the human aspects of our business.
We know clients what to talk to people, not robots.
We have successfully done this in our corporate division.
4. Training and refreshers
Who remembers all the hotels in Tuscany and the suite types on your recommended cruise line?
What about new hotel openings? Start refresher courses within your business.
We will start this in October.
We did so many webinars end of last year and ran out of steam. Fire up now. Suppliers are willing to run webinars and help you get up to speed.
Additionally, there have been changes in our supplier contacts, so update your Rolodex (do they exist anymore?) now.
5. Maintaining a positive mindset
We have all had our moments.
I have now started a morning ritual of thinking about positive “travel” thoughts.
We can’t turn back the clock and we can’t control everything.
But what we can control is our future as travel people.
Hope this helps. Some of you will be doing all of this and more now, and some will only be starting to fire up the engines.
Happy new year, for today or in 116 days.
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