Major Impact: Travel Pros In Paris May Influence Over 400,000 Consumers To Make The Trip

by Doug Gollan
Major Impact: Travel Pros In Paris May Influence Over 400,000 Consumers To Make The Trip


Over 200 professional travel agents visited Paris this past weekend, and Travel Market Report estimates the group may have produced exposure to as many as 400,000 consumers, with the goal of getting them to consider a trip to the French capital. 

As exclusively reported last week, many are there as part of Virtuoso’s 12th Annual Chairman’s Recognition Event, which was announced a day before the Bataclan terrorist attacks last year. The group decided to stay firm with its plans, and with tourism to Europe suffering, pros are taking the approach that by showing customers the joys of being in Paris, they can encourage more customers to take advantage of the shorter lines and more opportunities to arrange and access VIP events for their customers.

Mark Johnstone of Sanborn’s Travel Service posted pictures of the spectacular holiday decorations at Four Seasons George V and an exclusive tasting in the hotel’s wine cellar drawing multiple responses such as “beautiful” and “wow.”

Joanne Scully of Largay Travel who was there separately posted to her Facebook page, “Is there a thing more beautiful than Paris in the rain. I went out on the balcony and saw this glittering jewel.” It was a snapshot of the Eiffel Tower glittering in the distance.  

Image

Scully told TMR, “Clients see that I am here, and that is helpful as I am updating my offerings of hotels in my Paris 'portfolio', so they know that I am constantly vetting rooms for them. I don't think Paris needs to be 'sold.’ Paris will always be beautiful and alluring to people, and my clients aren't afraid to come here.”

Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch posted pictures of an exclusive tour through Louis Vuitton’s flagship store on Avenue Montaigne, noting photos weren’t permitted in the private apartment above the store where the agents also visited. Still, the pictures he could show were sure to lure fans of the French leather goods maker, which presents one-of-a-kind watches and high jewelry at this location. Normally, there would be long waiting lines just to get into the store.

Image

At the same time Dorchester Collection COO Francois Delahaye enabled Valerie Wilson of Valerie Wilson Travel to show her customers photos from a VIP kitchen tour at Alain Ducasse in the Plaza Athenee.  Agents tell TMR that with fewer crowds, suppliers are trying to provide more experiences they might normally not offer during peak demand.

Huffman Travel’s Tony Huffman tempted his clients with pictures of a gourmet dinner at Le Reserve.

He also posted pictures of an “amazing private dinner with Alain Ducasse at Versailles” held at the chef’s Ore Restaurant.

Image

Strong Travel’s Nancy Strong posted pictures of herself on stage at Moulin Rouge, before jumping on a helicopter for a private tour and lunch at the headquarters of famous champagne maker Krug in Reims.

In trying to estimate the impact of the travel advisors using social media to tempt their clients, if the 200 professionals each posted 10 pictures to two social media sites, and each picture on each site was seen by 100 clients, it would represent some 400,000 potential impressions to travelers who were exposed to tantalizing images of why they should visit Paris now.  

Many of the posts included the hash tag #BoundariesDivideTravelUnites. Earlier this year, Air France estimated it had lost $130 million in revenue due to the attacks. In 2015, 3.6 million Americans visited France, so by using social media to market Paris to several hundred thousand travelers who already trust their recommendations, the savvy travel pros may have helped give France the boost it is looking for.

Image

Evelyne Gaudin, an advisor with en Route Travel who shared Travel Market Report’s story from last week wrote in her post, “I applaud Matthew Upchurch, Albert Herrera, Karen Goldberg and the Virtuoso family for their dedication to bring people together. Travel is powerful that way. It opens minds and helps develop respect and tolerance…” 

  8
  0
Tip of the Day
The professional travel advisor’s job is to equip the traveler with the necessary information to enable a good decision that will reflect that person’s own risk tolerance.
 
Paul Ruden
Daily Top List

Most Powerful Passports in the World

1. United Arab Emirates

2. Singapore

3. Germany

4. Denmark

5. Sweden

Source: Passport Index

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
House Calls Are Trending, Travel Agents Say
House Calls Are Trending, Travel Agents Say

With more travel advisors working from home, going to the client’s home is a natural and successful next step, especially in the luxury and destination-wedding markets.

Headquarter Happenings: Cruise Planners Celebrates 25 Years of Success
Headquarter Happenings: Cruise Planners Celebrates 25 Years of Success

The travel agency franchise network bought in early to the home-based business model, and is now passing those benefits onto travel professionals.

‘Boundless Selling’: Seven Reasons to Return to the Same Destination
‘Boundless Selling’: Seven Reasons to Return to the Same Destination

This selling tactic helps travel advisors create unlimited opportunities for clients to have that new-destination feeling on return visits to familiar destinations.

Cruise Execs Share Their Best Sales Tips with Agents
Cruise Execs Share Their Best Sales Tips with Agents

Whether travel advisors use social media or participate in local community groups to find customers, it’s all about making a human connection that inspires trust.

Headquarter Happenings: Signature Urges Advisors to Double Down on Being a Unique Travel Resource
Headquarter Happenings: Signature Urges Advisors to Double Down on Being a Unique Travel Resource

When considering everything, from their brand promise to building supplier relationships, advisors are encouraged to follow their hearts to create a unique brand.

Tips to Develop Your Media Presence and Drive New Sales Leads
Tips to Develop Your Media Presence and Drive New Sales Leads

One Phoenix-based travel advisor is driving new sales leads by leveraging her journalism background and local television contacts.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck