Reinventing A Travel Business In Times Of Change


The Situation

A travel agency with a staff of 25 enjoyed a long standing clientele list and an exceptional reputation. They had an ideal location in a metropolitan city and a high traffic retail storefront. Post September 11, 2001, however, the travel industry has faced significant changes and many of the travel service providers such as airlines, car rentals, and hotels, eliminated commission structures, causing earnings to be drastically reduced with a fee structure imposed upon clients.

Additionally, the increased rate of direct bookings by clients using the Internet was adversely affecting the agency's revenue streams. The owners feared that the agency would have to follow the trend and close their doors as many others in the industry were doing.


Work of Best Year Yet®

The owners of the agency became involved with Best Year Yet® because they understood the vital importance of shifting paradigms and looking outside of the box to reinvent their business. That was just the solution they were looking for to rethink the way the agency was providing services and collecting earnings to keep them viable and profitable while serving their community.

The team members soon eliminated the limiting paradigm: the economy is tanking and the services of travel agencies are no longer valued. This they replaced with a new paradigm: Our ideal clients value our services and are willing to pay for the ease, knowledge, and peace of mind we provide. This was the moment of change for them: becoming aware of the time they were spending in non-revenue producing activities with clients that were neither ideal nor appreciative of their services and knowledge.

They created and implemented strategies to harvest their current ideal clients and target more of the same. For example, they launched ad campaigns that highlighted their collective 100+ years of experience, and established a consultant fee schedule.

The Results

The agency survived the downturn in the economy and is not only still in business, but thriving with a 22% increase in the bottom line from pre-2001 figures! It was a rocky road the first five months as the company made the transition from their former business model However, the staff worked through these challenges and succeeded in carving out a niche for themselves and essentially creating a new model for the travel industry.

They established a new foundation based on clientele who mostly book customized travel packages, and now cater to patrons who don't want to be bothered with the logistics and have confidence in the agency's services. They've maintained their quality reputation and even won back the clientele who tried the Internet but ended up with disappointing travel arrangements. Above all the team now has clarity, focus, and the strategy they needed to adapt to the changing market and come out on top!

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