Comment: Sell on experience, not price

Explain the amazing range of different experiences on offer, says Lockie Kerr, business development manager at Back-Roads Touring

One of the reasons why I joined Back-Roads Touring was because I was attracted to the different experiences that were offered throughout their programme. Now, almost two years on, experience is the one word I say more often than any other in my working day.

Although I wasn’t able to attend the hugely successful Atas conference myself, I followed #atas_travel on Twitter and it was clear that ‘experience’ is the buzz word in travel at the moment. With escorted touring, you can expect experiences in abundance.

At Back-Roads (and I’m sure many of the other Atas members), excursions and activities are hugely important when it comes to putting together a tour for a specific region. This means the customer recieves an in-depth, and occasionally interactive experience that you can’t easily find independently.

Experiences are not exclusive to excursions either. They can also be related to the culinary side of a tour.

Examples of this could be walking through vineyards before tasting wine in a private cellar, an interactive cooking class or even truffle hunting with a local family and their pet dog. You can be sure that if you explain these kinds of culinary experiences to your customer, you’re more likely to get their enquiry over the line.

And why should accommodation be left out when it comes to experiences? It’s time to dispel the myth that accommodation on tours only comes in the form of characterless, multi-storey hotels. Instead, we should highlight when our accommodation reflects its local surroundings.

For example, when your customer travels with Back-Roads, they’ll stay in properties as diverse as luxury ensuite tents in the Sahara Desert, a beautiful castle in Ireland and a restored 17th century monastery in Italy. If you browse through the brochures of fellow Atas members, you’ll find that many have the same philosophy.

Your customer may believe that in order to take advantage of these experiences it’s going to cost them an arm and a leg. But that’s simply not the case!

The majority of Atas members have been working with their partners on the ground for a number of years, negotiating the best rates possible and creating experiences that you just can’t find on Google or in travel guide books.

So, for your next touring enquiry, don’t just think about price. Explain the amazing range of different experiences on offer, watch your average selling price increase and get ready to see customers return to you for their next touring holiday.

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