Travel Impressions is introducing a new, third-party certification system, called TripTrust, aimed at building confidence in Mexico travel safety. Travel Agent spoke with Travel Impressions President Scott Wiseman at the organization’s recent Best of the Best event to learn more.
“It’s aimed at adding peace of mind for selling Mexico,” Wiseman said of the new product, citing a recent survey by Travel Impressions in which 71 percent of travel agent respondents said that they had experienced some obstacles in selling travel to Mexico.
“When there was a lot of communication out there about the concerns in Mexico, a lot of the agents were asking for us to help them build confidence in Mexico,” said Wiseman. “It was difficult for them when their clients were coming to them and saying, ‘I’m not interested in Mexico’ or ‘I’m not sure.’”
To help, Travel Impressions and its parent company, Apple Leisure Group (ALG), hired an independent company to examine each ALG property on categories such as safety, food and beverage handling and more. Each category’s result will be put into a weighted formula to arrive at an overall score, with those properties that score high enough receiving a “TripTrust” designation that agents can talk about with their clients who may be concerned about recent headlines in the consumer media regarding Mexico travel safety.
“An agent can say, ‘We work with a supplier that has an independent company come in and certify these places,’” Wiseman said. “So you can have confidence that these properties have been inspected and maintained to a level that is comfortable for your clients.”
Wiseman said that the surveys by the rating company are still coming in, after which Travel Impressions will put everything together and formally roll out the new designation. Travel Impressions will then include information on TripTrust in its agent marketing materials, which agents could include in their own marketing to clients.
“I think at the end of the day it’s another tool agents can use,” Wiseman said. “Agents will have this additional layer of assurance that things are going to go well.”