Rhonda Dashevsky has certainly managed to put her game-face on during these tough times for those in the travel industry.
Dashevsky and her colleague Kathryn Comeau-Wong of Personal Travel Management – an Ensemble Travel Group agency in Burnaby, B.C. – wanted to come up with a novel way to reach out to clients who were deciding to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic and decided creating a board game was a way of doing just that.
“Trips to Tales: A Travel Inspired Board Game isn’t a typical trivia game but rather a competitive game that challenges players to remember their past travels, dream about what to put on their bucket list and participate in challenges from around the world. All of the things in the game are things that can actually be done with the goal of the game to get enough money to (get) home after traveling for a year,” Ensemble says.
“We really wanted to find a fun way to stay connected with our clients, but more importantly to keep their spirits up during a difficult time by dreaming about their next trip as well as pulling up those fun memories of past travels,” states Dashevsky. “It’s been so gratifying that people have been playing with friends virtually, sharing stories about their own travellers and reminding us all of how much we all love to travel and that we will do so again.
“We have had many people tell us that they have found out things about friends and family that they didn’t know and that there were ‘many belly laughs’ and OMG moments! People have told us they are using the game as team building, to give to grateful clients to remind them of travel and have used it to help build their bucket list travels for when we can all get out there again. The feedback has really been awesome!
Dashvesky adds that creating the game didn’t amount to a sacrifice for her or Comeau-Wong.
“Creating our game was a labour of love of travel,” she adds. “The feedback that we have gotten has exceeded our expectations. We are actually on the verge of placing another order. We have started a monthly virtual ‘Travel game and cooking nights,’ pairing up with someone who cooks meals from different parts of the world, while calling out different cards from the game to give people a taste of the game and some laughs. We truly feel that our goal in creating the game has been a great success and we look forward to more people playing, laughing and looking forward to getting back out to travel around the world.”
People can learn more at www.tripstotalestravelgame.com. Travel agents can get a discount if they buy two or more.
Dashevsky and Comeau-Wong aren’t the only Ensemble Travel Group agents being extremely innovative these days, with, for instance, Megan Reimer of Cruise Vacations starting a “newsletter to stay connected with clients that included everything but travel. It was important to just stay connected,” Ensemble says.
Meanwhile, Christine James, vice-president of TL Network Canada, says it has certainly been creative over the past year.
“Actually, we just hosted our Spring Forward Virtual Event last week and I was asked to host a new segment TLNx Talks, where we invited our members to share their success stories on ‘out- of-the-box’ strategies they’ve rolled out in their agencies over the past year,” she says. “One of our managers focused her efforts on educating herself and her advisors on becoming true luxury travel experts and as a result has seen a significant rise in the amount of luxury bookings for late 2021 and beyond. Another focused her efforts on stepping up her social media reach by taking one of our Social Media Training sessions and utilizing our Social Media Toolkit.
“Within hours of making a post, she received over 200 likes from her 797 followers and they shared her post with 8,983 people. She couldn’t be more pleased from the results she received by following guidelines. Another member kept his office open throughout the pandemic and received inquiries and bookings from new clients that were unable to reach their travel agents. Another member reached out to all her clients that were holding future travel credits for tours or cruises that were still under suspension to see if they were interested in taking a trip closer to home this year. Not only did they book a domestic trip for 2021 but they also booked their 2022 trip using their future travel credit!”