For the last seven years, JG Black Book has held our annual Travel Advisor Leadership Council meeting, in which we bring together our colleagues and friends with members of our Collection and staff to address the issues facing our industry.
Our gracious hosts this year were Grace Bay Club and West Bay Club and they pulled out all the stops for an amazing experience. This year’s theme was “Breaking Through”, which we found to be very timely and relevant. Our exploration into ways of rising above the noise and confusion of the day-to-day to create meaningful moments mirrored the purpose of our group and our experience at the resorts. And once again, the chemistry of experience, knowledge, passion and trust allowed our TALC to share honestly and openly, and to reveal interesting insights into ways to break through the noise of the market.
We invite you to read on to learn more about several of the key themes of our discussions and to click to read the full report here or at the bottom of this post.
Trends to Watch
During the meeting, our Council identified a number of emerging travel trends to watch that include:
- Wellness & “Fit-cations” – stays at wellness retreats are growing longer, and “Healing Hotels” are including an education component to their services. New services offered include a focus on Mental Wellness, IV doctors (immune accelerators), and oxygen services, such as the oxygen bar at The Sonnenalp Hotel.
- Hyper specialized hotels – Properties that are highly focused on specific travelers or interests, such as family or activities like surfing, hiking, yoga and spinning.
- Maker Culture – Travelers want to try things for the first time, such as building, painting, sewing – creating something themselves. It’s not about where you’re going but what you’re making when you get there.
- Frontierism – The excitement of getting there first. It’s about exclusivity and pushing boundaries. The quest for the unique in a global, connected world.
- Personal Transformation – For many travelers, the days of the boozy lunch vacation are over. Instead, advisors are seeing their clients on a quest to be active, to learn, enrich and invest in themselves through the destinations, accommodations and activities they choose.
Opportunities in the New Media Landscape
One of the informational sessions focused on opportunities in the new media landscape and covered the do’s and don’ts of partnering with the media. There are many more opportunities for travel providers and advisors to be a part of the creation of stories these days, serving as resources and experts. But how can you partner with the media? Some of the suggestions for building successful media relationships were to take advantage of tradeshows to network, to connect with media via social media, to host stays and to speak up when conflicts arise in destinations. In addition, you should expand your focus beyond just a few publications, and in fact beyond print. There are many smaller online and local media that have targeted audiences worth reaching, and online coverage has a larger distribution, longer shelf life and is easier to share across social media channels.
Declare Your Independence
And finally, in a world of consolidation, independent travel brands and agencies are finding ways to use their status to their advantage. These independents have the opportunity to be more personal, create their own culture and curate their own client base as they try to capture the travelers who are looking for more authentic, local experiences.
To read the full TALC 2017 Report, please click here.