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Travel Agents: Pick a Niche (or two!)

Why 'Niching' down will help you sell more trips while being recognized as an expert in your field.

Pick a Niche, Just Not Any Niche

Choose something you know, or are in the process of discovering. Credibility (and trust) is earned through your knowledge. It's your ability to easily share the small differences between two seemingly similar beach-front resorts or the kids amenities and availability of chicken fingers at a five-star hotel - this is why your clients are choosing to work with a travel agent, and coming to you specifically.

If you decide that there's money to be had in selling adventure travel when you've never been harnessed in a zipline or bounced in an ATV across the tundra, it may be a tough sell. And by tough sell, I mean selling yourself as an expert. Because you're not. Pick areas that you're passionate about, know well, and enjoy discovering.

Another Day Another Niche

There are now countless niches and specialties for travel advisors to choose from. Gone are the days of simply 'family travel', 'sun & sand', and 'corporate group travel'. While those niches are alive, well and very much in demand - they're only the tip of the iceberg.

Consider these:

• Libertine travel (google it!)

• Pilgrimages and religious travel

• Distance travel

• Dark tourism (not simply a Netflix show, this kind of travel is not for the faint of heart!)

• Female solo adventure travel

• Multi-Generational travel

• Voluntourism

• Agritourism

• Eco-tourism

• Pet-friendly travel

• Ancestry tourism

• Disney travel

• Gastro-tourism

There are so many more unique travel niches, but the above provides a snapshot into the types of specialized experiences people are looking to have in 2020 and beyond.

Think You're a Generalist? Think Again!

I recently posted about niching down on Instagram, and one of my friends on the 'gram commented that they don't have a specific niche, that they do a little bit of everything. While there's nothing wrong with being a generalist, you may have a niche or two without even realizing it. After a quick peek at her profile and website I was able to very quickly identify her niche, (one of my personal favorites) luxury.

You may already have a niche and not even realize it. Take another look at your website, your mission statement (if you have one), your clients, and the types of journeys you create. Are there any running themes? Are they areas that you know and love? If you answered 'yes', then run with it and promote the heck out of your expertise.

Learn to Say No

There will be an entire blog post devoted to this topic, but it's worth mentioning. In order to retain and attract the kinds of clients you want, you may choose to say no to those who do not necessarily fit the bill. Want to focus on luxury? You may want to refer that budget traveler to a colleague or associate who specializes in designing journeys at a lower price point. Approached by an avid adventurer looking to scale mountains, when you don't know the first thing about rappelling? Declining the request not only shows your integrity, but gives you a chance to redirect the conversation to your specialty and suggest another option for a later date.



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