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After months of cancellations and rebooking trips, Linda Toth-Winterkorn is again fielding requests from clients who are ready to get away.
The travel advisor with CWT Vacations is currently working remotely in Playa del Carmen as part of a new campaign called ‘Let’s Change the Narrative,’ which is designed to get people talking about travel in a positive light.
“We created the campaign to show people, both clients and colleagues, that travel is essential, it is safe, and it is happening now. I know that many Canadians would be surprized to see how many of us are safely travelling. We have to get that message to the masses,” she tells Travel Courier from the Mayan Riviera. “We want travel advisors to write their own narrative. I believe that as a Certified Travel Counsellor, if I’m not ready and willing to live my best life, how can I expect my clients to do the same?”
Toth-Winterkorn and Steve Sully of Swell Destinations are actively shooting video segments around Mexico to shed light on the fact that travel is still possible and still happening right now. Having travelled recently to Florida, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and the Mexican Caribbean, she’s sharing her firsthand experience about the protocols airlines and resorts have in place to keep travellers safe. As a result, she’s already noticed an increase in inquiries for new bookings.
“We understand that not everyone has the ability to travel at this moment. We want those who can travel, to share ways that can impact change,” she says. “We can be relevant every day, we can utilize social media to consistently deliver good news about our industry. We can show everyone that we will not take this lying down. After all, travelling is a choice that each of us should be free to make.”
Meanwhile, Mary LaRocque of Marlin Travel in Peterborough is also finding creative ways to market in the face of the pandemic. In October 2020 afer travel slowed to a standstill, LaRocque transitioned the agency to a full boutique with great success.
“Travel n Style Boutique has a number of Canadian products, Canadian suppliers and local artisans,” she says. “Marketing through Facebook Marketplace opened the boutique up to a whole new range of customers and they loved the store. We began doing ‘bubble parties’ for small groups to shop and reached out to local corporate businesses to do customized gift baskets.”
Once clients are ready to travel, LaRocque sees enormous potential in turning the boutique’s customers into new travel clients.
“Going through our second Christmas season, we saw an enormous opportunity to turn those customers into new travel customers when the time is right for them to consider travelling again,” she says. “The boutique will definitely be a part of my business going forward. ”
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