When I was a young adult I traveled through Europe, and it has remained a favorite destination. It is also a trip which I love selling.
Many of my customers have enjoyed one of my itineraries which starts in Paris and goes through the Périgord, then across southwest France to Nice, and finally back up through Burgundy before returning to Paris. This program usually lasts between two or three weeks.
I know it is a wonderful journey because I did it with my wife. I wanted to see all of the different hotels and country inns my clients would be staying in, a practice that is a holdover from my early days in the travel industry. I stay at the same hotels and take the same business class flights I expect my customers to use. When I have a layover, I sit in the same airport lounge and make the same airport transfer supplier my clients would use.
This type of attention to detail and firsthand knowledge of what I am selling, is another reason to always use a travel agent.
I used to fly first-class to London, Paris, Rome, and Asia with Pan Am. I went on annual trips to these locations to meet with hoteliers, and even though the destinations and faces did not change very much, it was important to re-establish connections and keep them fresh through face-to-face contact. It is something my father taught me early on, and which he believed was important.
We are living in a different time now and technology allows agents to jump on Skype to interact with others throughout the industry. There is nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion, there is no substitute for doing business in person. It makes me feel as though I am a part of something larger, and that I contribute directly to my clients’ efforts and, hopefully, their success as well.