This article is from Travel Market Report’s 2019 Outlook on Mexico, released last mont. The full report can be read here.
Beth Duppstadt owns Love Land & Sea Travel, and like many respondents to the Travel Market Report study about Mexico, she has had to deal with clients who don’t want to travel to Mexico, mainly due to media reports and issues with seaweed on the beaches.
Still, her Mexico sales have jumped more than 25% in the past six months. Duppstadt specializes in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, and cruises. She is a Certified Cayman Islands Specialist, Jamaica Travel Specialist, Certified Sandals and Beaches Agent, Master Agent for Zoetry and Secrets Resorts, a Couples Resort Specialist, and a Norwegian Freestyle-Certified Agent.
Duppstadt offers her advice on how she is keeping her sales machine humming when it comes to Mexico.
Travel Market Report: How long have you been selling Mexico?
Beth Duppstadt: 10 years.
TMR: Can you describe what type of travel and clients you are selling to Mexico?
BD: I sell mostly adults-only all-inclusive resorts to honeymoon/romance clients, and family-friendly all-inclusives to families and groups.
TMR: What are you doing that is helping you grow Mexico sales, despite the challenges?
BD: I have been focusing on what makes Mexico different than other destinations and the value that it offers. Since there are some issues with seaweed, I have been promoting excursions to underground rivers and cenotes so clients can experience beautiful, clear water. I also recommend snorkeling tours, where clients are taken to seaweed-free areas to enjoy the ocean.
TMR: What advice would you give to agents who want to sell the market?
BD: Make sure you are educated on everything that Mexico has to offer. If clients aren’t interested in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, there are still options.
There are amazing colonial cities in the Yucatan and plenty of all-inclusive resorts on the Pacific coast. Qualify your clients to find out what’s really important to them. Then help them see how the pros outweigh the cons. I recently had a bride tell me, “no Mexico,” when she was planning her destination wedding. After asking a few more questions, I found out that she just didn’t want to go to Cancun again because they have been there many times. I suggested Los Cabos, and she and her group of 25 had an amazing experience.
TMR: Anything else you would like to add regarding selling Mexico?
BD: I think that managing expectations is a very important part of our job as agents. When clients arrive at a resort and there is a lot of seaweed present, they shouldn’t be surprised. We need to make sure we prepare them for the possibility and let them know what they can do to still enjoy the ocean and destination — excursions, exchange privileges with a sister property, and so on. We have to educate our clients and offer solutions to them, before they even arrive.