Signature Says Group Travel Sales A Key to Agency Growth

travel agentA new survey reveals that 26 percent of Signature Travel Network's  members indicate that groups account for more than 25 percent of business and that 58 percent of members believe groups to be one of the greatest opportunities for the future.

Signature Travel Network announced the results in its "State of the Market Survey" at its annual Owners' Meeting at La Costa Hotel and Resort, Carlsbad, Calif. The survey reveals the membership's perspective on current business trends, as well as a forecast of the industry's future, Signature notes.

"Its great to get feedback from these successful business owners and learn how they see their organizations moving forward in these interesting times. Their optimism is reflective of Signature's growth in the past few years, and their preferences and forecast for the future reinforce many of the resources (from group travel microsites to enhanced mobile applications) Signature provides and continues to enhance," Signature's Executive Vice President Alex Sharpe said.

Key business trends identified by Signature's survey:

    -    9 out of 10 members are feeling optimistic about the state of the travel industry right now.
    -    26% of members indicate that groups account for more than 25% of business; additionally, 58% of members believe groups to be one of the greatest opportunities for the future.
    -    1/3 of members say the typical lead-time on a booking is 2-3 months before departure.
    -    80% of business is conducted via email, on the phone, or most often ¬ñ both.
    -    The average staff breakdown includes: 47% full time, 16% part time, 37% independent contractors.

Forecasting The Future:

    -    81% of members agree being a "Specialist with Niche Positioning" will be a "very viable" business model in five years.
    -    86% of members agree the ability to charge service fees will be "very" or "critically significant" to their business in five years.
    -    3 out of 4 members agree that mobile services will be "very" or "critically significant" to their business in five years.
    -    82% of members agree that the Signature publications will be a "very" or "critically important" promotional element in five years, followed closely by email marketing (76%), partnership co-op marketing (75%), social media (68%), direct mail (58%), telephone prospecting (30%), event marketing (29%), and newspaper advertising (1%).

Signature's "State of the Market Survey" was conducted by Signature Travel Network in August 2012 and includes responses from 90 percent of Signature member owners. Signature includes 214 member agencies with 414 retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Visit www.signaturetravelnetwork.com/join

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