As part of the The New York Times Travel Show focused on travel agencies I have been asked to speak as part of the Focus on Specialization series of panels; more specifically on the topic: HOW TO BUILD YOUR TRAVEL BUSINESS - Get tips from successful travel specialists who turned their specialty into profitable travel businesses.
During my talk I will discuss how I developed into the specialty in luxury cruises, but also how that speciality along with my experiences outside of cruising (such as superyachts and land vacations) have allowed me to provide clients much more than a singular type of travel option.
I will also discuss how my remaining focused on luxury cruise business allows me to leverage my specialty and my marketing power with other travel vendors. Hence, the one-time Celebrity suite passenger becomes a Seabourn guest becomes a Safari enthusiast and then back to a Seabourn,. Orion Expeditions, Silversea or Crystal luxury cruise.
And, of course, how that sort relationship building not only takes years and a very "hands on" approach, but referrals (the true lifeblood of long term growth).
During my talk I will also note how "high tech" goes along with "high touch" as social media (actually the next topic of the Focus) - such as this Blog, The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum and Facebook - is crucial for specialists in today's market.
If done correctly, though I am always looking for ways to improve, you receive emails like the one I did this morning from a new client in Australia:
Just to let you know. Out of all the quotes and discussions with a number of cruise wholesalers, cruising websites, etc. you where definitely the most eager to secure my business, and the most professional. And yes, your service is far superior to any other person I have dealt with. Thanks again Eric.
If you are interested in hearing me or just stopping by to say hello, I am scheduled to speak on March 2, 2012 at 10:45 a.m. (Remember, though, this is a trade only event...but I do talk with other travel agents!)