It’s hard to believe that we’ve passed the half-way mark on 2010 and that it’s already time to start planning for 2011, but consortia RFP season is just around the corner. You have already begun to receive RFP’s from a variety of travel consortia intermediaries.
At CCRA, we understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to choosing consortia partners, and, now more than ever before, you need to make careful decisions about committing your limited resources.
In this issue of Check-in we will be focusing on the value of the professional travel agent, and highlighting the many, often unique, strategies that CCRA employs to drive this market to our partner hotels.
There is a difference. CCRA is the only consortia with a proprietary reservation system, the same system that Amadeus chose for its Vacation Link reservation application. We also offer our partners three distinct distribution channels, and we market aggressively to corporate and leisure agencies/agents.
What’s more, at CCRA, we see ourselves as your partner in the travel industry. Your success is our success, and so we have developed new programs that will help you and your hotel steal market share and improve occupancy.
In this issue you’ll learn about two new, FREE, programs that CCRA will introduce in 2011 for any participating hotel.
On June 23, we’ll be broadcasting the first in a series of webinars designed to help individual hotels 'get more from the travel agent market.' Industry expert, Bill Todd, and our own, Mary Wiley will prove that any hotel can implement cost effective strategies that are guaranteed to WOW travel agents and woo their business.
Join us for our free webinar, choose CCRA as your 2011 travel consortia partner, and start planning now, to make 2011 a great year for your hotel.
Vice President and Managing Director
Do you know what the single largest sales and marketing investment for North American travel businesses will be in 2010? I’ll give you a hint: it will be the same thing this year as it has been for the last twenty –
When you add up all the money budgeted for sales and marketing, the single largest investment is always earmarked for attracting first time customers.
This single business objective is forecasted to account for over 65% of all marketing dollars invested in 2010. Amazingly this remarkable statistic holds true for Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized business and sole proprietorships alike.
Ironically no marketing activity is deemed as important by management, and yet so enthusiastically avoided by front line sales professionals, as pursuing new customers.
Successful prospecting is imperative to the continued growth and survival of your company.
Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing officer for Coca-Cola, says that far too often, we complicate our jobs. To be consistently successful, you just have to sell more stuff, to more people, often for more money.
You can’t accomplish this simple business objective until you become comfortable with prospecting.
The very first thing I learned about top sales people in writing my book, Speaking of Success, is that today's most successful salespeople set realistic prospecting goals for each day, week and month. Such goals include a written target for the number of calls, follow-up communications and appointments required.
According to Brian Tracy, author of The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success, "The ability to set goals and make plans for their accomplishments is the “master skill” of success. It is the single most important skill that you can learn and perfect." According to Tracy’s newest research, less than 3% of travel professionals have written goals, and less than 1/3 of those people review and rewrite their goals each month.
Top producers frequently schedule prospecting for first thing in the morning when both they and their client are fresh. As author Barry Farmer says, “I don’t’ know too many people who originally liked prospecting, but there is a easy way to get comfortable quickly. That is by doing it every day even when you don’t want to. Prospecting success comes from not giving up, and generates the energy, excitement and confidence to keep you going.”
In the final analysis, it’s simply a question of statistics. If you prospect twice as many people, you will sell twice as much product ... even if you do nothing else differently!
You can immediately start producing new sales at an amazingly high level because prospecting is common sense, wrapped in enthusiasm and powered by attitude.
Bill Todd is one of the travel industry’s most sought-after sales and marketing speakers and coaches. He is the co-author of the new book Speaking of Success which also features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager) and Jack Canfield (The Secret and Chicken Soup for the Soul). Todd has served as vice president of sales and industry marketing for the 5000+ franchises and seven global brands of Choice Hotels International, and was vice president of sales and marketing for Marriott International’s Corporate Lodging Division. BTodd@BTodd.com | www.BTodd.com | 301.633.5856
In the next few weeks, you will be deluged with opportunities to participate in a variety of negotiated rate programs. With so many opportunities, what’s the right decision about working with one or more travel agent consortia?
According to companies like PhocusWright and Forrester, the travel agency market is on the rebound. Busy travelers, who have realized their time is too valuable to waste searching the Internet trying to save a few dollars, are looking to travel agents to book their corporate travel. On the leisure side, the total North American cruise market alone is estimated at $15.95 billion* with professional agents accounting for upwards of 80% of these bookings.
Tapping into the travel agent market is easy when you partner with the CCRA 2011 hotel negotiated rate program because CCRA has the whole market covered.
THREE distribution channels for the price of one – only with CCRA’s negotiated rate program:
- CCRA is the only program that provides distribution to agents in both a GDS and non-GDS environment.
- CCRA is the only program that provides agents a free online hotel portal - CCRAtravel.com.
- CCRA is the only hotel program distributed through Amadeus’ Vacation Link platform.
TWO distinct audiences – build weekday and weekend business! CCRA distributes your rates to corporate agencies as well as agents specializing in leisure travel.
ONE program that covers it all.
We know that you have many negotiated rate options to chose from, but when you do the math, it’s as simple as 3-2-1. CCRA is the only negotiated rate program you need to reach the full spectrum of the travel agent market.
The CCRA 2011 RFP invitation has already been sent. Click here for complete information about the CCRA 2011 Hotel Negotiated Rate Program.
* Source: www.cruisemarketwatch.com.
In 2011, CCRA will introduce two, free marketing opportunities for hotels who join our negotiated rate program.
“Better than the Best” Program
- Hotels providing CCRA negotiated rates with MORE than 10% off BAR – receive a FREE 30-day destination banner ad on CCRAtravel.com (based on availability).
- Hotels providing up to 10% off BAR will be included in our designated page entitled “Better than the Best” on CCRAtravel.com.
In addition, all hotels offering CCRA rates that are lower than BAR will also receive:
- A link on our weekly eBlasts and in our monthly travel agent eNewsletter to this page listing all hotels offering “Better than the Best” rates.
- Regular Twitter and Facebook presence – we will be regularly tweeting about the hotels that offer travel agents “Better than the Best” rates.
*because top producers and loyal customers like travel agents deserve more
Show travel agents you value their business by recognizing the guests they send you.
- Simply commit to offering these valued guests (valued by you and by the agent) a unique amenity not available to “just anyone.”
- Amenities/special offerings might include a complimentary upgrade, a fruit basket, logo’d item – be creative.
- You’ll receive special recognition every time your city is searched on CCRAtravel.com.
Tourism Cares, the travel and tourism industry’s premier philanthropy with a mission to preserve the travel experience for the benefit of future generations, has now assumed the responsibility of administering the International Airlines Travel Agent Network’s (IATAN), Ronald A. Santana Foundation Scholarship Fund. IATAN, the travel industry’s premier accreditation program, realized the benefit of having Tourism Cares, which now promotes and administers the scholarship programs of both NTA and ASTA, handle its long established fund.
The IATAN Foundation was established in 1996 in memory of the late Ronald A Santana. Santana was a member of the IATAN Board, a past president of the Association of Retail Agents (ARTA) and a travel agency owner and advisor. The fund was established to recognize his dedication and tireless efforts toward the education of travel agents. The fund has since awarded more than $82,500 in scholarships to IATAN accredited agents and to those wishing to begin their careers in travel and have met the scholarship criteria. The criteria tie in with IATAN’s mission to promote professionalism, administer meaningful and impartial business standards, and provide cost-effective products and services that benefit the travel industry.
“The Ron Santana Memorial Foundation was created to provide scholarships to those who were inspired to join our exciting travel industry,” said Bert Rivero, IATAN’s Regional Director for The Americas. “Many deserving people have benefited from the scholarships in the last 14 years that IATAN and its Board wanted to ensure these scholarships were protected and continue to serve our industry. There was no doubt that Tourism Cares was the right organization to promote and administer the fund to the high standards that IATAN has maintained for so many years. IATAN’s pledge to continue to support the Ron Santana Memorial Foundation has been and will continue to be unwavering.”
“It’s an honor for Tourism Cares to be the official philanthropy of IATAN,” said Bruce Beckham, Tourism Cares’ Executive Director. “The addition of the IATAN Ronald A. Santana Memorial Scholarships, when combined with the academic and professional development scholarships we now administer, will allow Tourism Cares to award more than $100,000 per year to deserving members of the present and future travel industry workforce. That’s very exciting for everyone involved, especially during these challenging economic times.”
In 2010, five $1,000 IATAN Ronald A. Santana Memorial Professional Development Scholarships will be awarded to applicants who are entering or working in the travel, tourism or hospitality industry. These will be used toward reimbursement of the costs of successfully completed travel-and-tourism or hospitality certificate programs at U. S. state-licensed schools. The application deadline is Thursday, July 1, 2010 5 pm EDT. For more information, please visit the Tourism Cares Professional Development Scholarships webpage at
In addition, beginning in 2011, the Santana Fund will feature academic scholarships. Information about those awards will be available at a later date.
Tourism Cares is a 501c(3) non-profit public charity that benefits society by preserving the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural and historic sites worldwide; by presenting academic, professional development and service-learning scholarships to students of hospitality and tourism; and by organizing volunteer efforts to restore tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. For additional information about Tourism Cares, visit www.tourismcares.org.
IATAN Accreditation Programs promote professionalism, administers meaningful and impartial business standards and provides cost-effective products and services that benefit the travel industry. Guided by a diversified board comprised of all sectors of the industry, including travel agencies, home based businesses, large corporations, hotel, cruise lines and airlines, IATAN provides a vital link between the suppliers community and the U.S. travel distribution network. For more information about IATAN, visit www.iatan.org.