|John McMahon, right, with John Lynch, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board|
Lately, it seems the most valuable resource is time. There are only so many hours in a day to get your job done. Most travel agents are now in touch with their clients 24/7 and travelers are more demanding than ever. And it is ironic that all our efforts go to helping the client enjoy some downtime and charge their batteries—just what we all wish we had more of. Nowadays, you juggle office time, fams, conferences and, most importantly, client time.
As I write this column, I am on a flight to Jamaica for Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange. I mostly get downtime on planes (which is quite sad). This event saves time by bringing together hosted buyers with Caribbean suppliers in prescheduled appointments. This format overcomes the lack of time and makes everyone’s jobs more efficient.
At this year’s Luxury Travel Expo, we will be introducing the same format. This “show within a show” called Luxury Travel Exchange will have select luxury travel advisors interacting with invitation-only suppliers. This is your “last call” to attend Luxury Travel Expo December 7-9 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. This event has the world’s largest educational program and trade-show floor for travel advisors. Nothing comes close and it will be the most valuable time you could spend away from your office. So come out to Las Vegas and join in Travel Agent magazine’s 80th anniversary celebrations. We will be throwing a party like the industry hasn’t seen in a decade.
On a humorous note, two brides-to-be and a travel agent on my flight were talking about their upcoming weddings in Jamaica. The brides-to-be realized they were getting married at the same resort on the same day. One of the brides turned to the other and said, “That can’t be. I thought the resort only did one wedding a day. They said ours would be the only wedding at that time.” The other bride responded, “You are correct, at that ‘time.’ There are a lot of hours in the day and you got one of them!” If you could see the face on the now upset bride-to-be…
The agent spoke up, “Did you use a travel agent?” The upset bride said “no” while the other said “yes.” The agent said, “That’s what you get for not using a travel agent, it wouldn’t cost you a penny more.” I told this story that evening to John Lynch, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (pictured above with me), who smiled and said, “We love travel agents; they make our guests happy.” (To find out how Jamaica is working with travel agents, see the story on page 41.)