Specialization is the key theme of a white paper recently made available by Questex Travel Group, which highlights the value to travel professionals of becoming more “niche focused.”
Titled “Why Specialization is the Key to Future Growth,” the white paper reveals that the majority of travel professionals advocate specialization and that they are flourishing as a result. The findings are based on a “deep dive” into the subject by Questex Travel Group, which conducted a survey of travel professionals and examined third-party research from sources including the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and MMGY Global of Kansas City, Missouri, Adventure Travel Trade Association of Seattle and Global Wellness Institute of New York.
Prepared in advance of the upcoming Travel Industry Exchange event this September, the white paper is available by clicking HERE.
Examples of niche markets being tapped by travel professionals include luxury travel; weddings and honeymoons; cruise ship travel; health and wellness travel; family and multigenerational travel; sustainable and “voluntourism” travel; and adventure travel.
Underscoring this theme and consumer trends and feedback, Travel Industry Exchange will emphasize niche travel and specialization. The event will debut Sept. 15-17 in Orlando, Florida, featuring one-to-one appointments, networking events, and educational programs designed to help travel professionals and suppliers build on their specializations and grow their businesses.
John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said Travel Industry Exchange will “delve into the very specialization issues explored in our new white paper” while offering travel professionals “abundant opportunities to network with global suppliers across all markets, with over 60 sessions focused on specific revenue-generating niche segments.”
“While consumers are likely to do their own research, they are seeking out lifestyle consultants and concierges who sell experiences and are experts in a type of travel,” he said. “Specialization allows travel professionals to focus their efforts and gain intimate knowledge and expertise that will make them invaluable partners to their clients, who are looking for authentic and unique experiences.”
While countless websites and meta-search engines promise to put the world at consumers’ fingertips, according to the white paper, many are discovering how difficult it can be to assemble a vacation from raw data. The millennial generation, for example, seen as the future of travel by many industry experts, are most likely to use a travel professional.
Jill Taylor of Chicago-based Jet Set World Travel, which specializes in destination, special-occasion and multigenerational travel, is cited in the white paper as saying this age group is looking for experts to help them answer the questions their research can’t. “Millennials love to plan travel, but they are not 100 percent skilled at it,” she said. “Many people have been burned by booking something online. We don’t take away the fun of their planning; we take away the stress. Younger people like that.”
The inaugural Travel Industry Exchange will bring together travel professionals and lifestyle specialists with international suppliers including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event will include over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information, please visit at www.travelindustryexchange.com.