As the cold winter approaches, consumers, like clockwork, start planning their escape route to the most desirable tropical paradise they can find.
In fact, according to Travel Market Report’s “2019 Outlook on Mexico,” 96% of consumers heading to Mexico seek beaches and warm weather. In Canada, 97% of Mexico prospects seek all-inclusive resorts. The key question on their mind is, “Should we still travel to Mexico or try the Caribbean instead?”
According to the research, an eyebrow-raising 78% of advisors have had consumers say in the past six months that they don’t want to travel to Mexico. Of those, 84% stated that negative media reports on crime were the reason for not going. This downwards train of thought was further reinforced by friends and family, with 59% being discouraged by them from visiting Mexico. Other reasons for not wanting to go to Mexico were that 53% wanted to try something different, and 45% expressed that seaweed problems would take away from their experience.
Despite the negative forces playing against them, nearly two-thirds of travel advisors claim their Mexico sales are up or flat. Only 5% expressed that they had personal concerns about selling Mexico that would cause them to switch selling to an alternative. The vast majority of Canadian travel advisors remain passionate about Mexico and helping clients enjoy the abundant activities the warm-weather country has to offer.
Here are suggestions on how to overcome objections and turn the tide on Mexico sales.
1) Share your personal experience.
Nothing is more impactful than a shared experience from a professional travel advisor. Give clients a backstage view of your recent trip, including the spectacular beaches, breathtaking aqua-blue water, the vibrant culture, and a wide range of activities on and off the water. Show them the vacation they crave through social media and in your advertising. This speaks volumes to your clients who know and trust your advice.
Be frank about the safety concerns, including areas to be avoided, based on your own experience. Articulate that there is a degree of safety awareness required no matter where in the world you travel. Put their safety first and provide every client with a Travel Safe checklist. (Resource: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/publications/travellers-checklist)
2) Manage expectations and paint an irresistible picture.
According to top Mexico advisor, Beth Duppstadt, from Love, Land and Sea Travel: “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.
Duppstadt paints an irresistible picture of underground rivers and cenotes with crystal-clear waters, and snorkeling tours where clients can be sure to enjoy a vacation that is scarcely impacted by seaweed.
3) Educate yourself and remain relevant.
According to Jenn Chaffer, Journeys Travel, who grew her Mexico sales by an impressive 25% last year, staying on top of the destination is key. “I believe education and relationships are the two most important traits for travel agents. I would recommend picking two or three resort brands in Mexico and learning everything you can about those properties,” she said.
For more insights about Mexico, check out Travel Market Report’s 2019 Outlook on Mexico. https://www.travelmarketreport.com/library/TMR_Mexico_Outlook_2019/Outlook/index.html?page=1