Veteran Travel Advisors Provide Tips on How to Boost All-Inclusive Resort Sales

Veteran Travel Advisors Provide Tips on How to Boost All-Inclusive Resort Sales


Claudette Covey

This article originally appeared the April issue of AGENTatHOME magazine. Subscribe here to receive your free copy each month.

“Initially, I think those who were still hesitant to travel felt safe in an all-inclusive resort since they didn’t have to venture out and were still unsure of the destinations’ protocols,” said Sarah Kline of Time for Travel. “I experienced past clients who would have never dreamed of setting foot in an all-inclusive happy to embrace the experience just to get away.

“I’ll say now they are hooked and are coming back for more. As we moved away from COVID, clients wanted to be pampered and served.”

Understanding The Market

“Gone are the days of buffet food and rail drinks at most all-inclusive resorts. Newer resorts are taking the all-inclusive game to new heights,” Kline added.

“The resorts are offering more unique dining options than ever before, including show kitchens, private locations for dining and more exotic offerings, and really catering to clients with special dietary needs.”

Mona Deane of Horizon Escapes agreed. “We are seeing more resort choices and more luxury all-inclusive resorts in popular destinations,” she said. “Travelers are looking for higher-quality resorts and packages that include activities to explore the local culture.”

For her part, Dream Vacations owner Aggie Batista said her clients want to be able to maximize the value of their vacation by having everything included. “The thought of worrying about spending for breakfast, lunch and dinner seems overwhelming,” she said. “They have shared with me that the idea of having everything set before they depart is extremely important to them.”

How To Boost Sales

“If you’re looking to boost your all-inclusive sales, my biggest tip is to know what you sell,” said Alison Tracy of Dream Vacations – Madson & Associates. “From destinations to resorts to suppliers, there are many training and educational opportunities available to you and you need to take advantage of them. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a must.

“Knowing what you’re selling is going to increase your sales. Make a list of trainings, prioritize that list, and then take your time learning and really taking everything in. Things in the travel world are always changing and it’s important to stay up to date on things, so continuing your education frequently is important, too.”

Travel advisor sharing information

Travel advisor sharing information. (photo via South_agency / getty images)

In Kline’s view, seeing is believing. “You can’t properly sell the product unless you know the product. Get out there and experience it for yourself,” she said. “You can’t know everything about everywhere so create a niche. Pick the types of resorts or certain brands you want to sell and get to know them intimately. The client will hear your knowledge and enthusiasm come through and trust you to make the right suggestions.”

Added Deane, “Visit resorts, meet the staff, enjoy the property and become a specialist in a few of the brands. Grow your relationship with your BDMs. Understand the difference between room categories and the different benefits of the levels of service offered. This will help you navigate and find that resort that best matches your clients’ vacation vision.”

Engaging With Clients

Batista suggested that travel advisors reach out to their clients by emailing or posting information on a different resort, brand or destination weekly or monthly. “Become the expert in your client’s eyes by sending them information that will educate and inspire them,” she said.

Advisors can also turn to their cruise clients to boost all-inclusive sales. “When they get back from their cruise and rave about a specific port, I invite them to explore the idea of going back to that island and staying in an all-inclusive so they can immerse themselves in that destination a little longer.”

Additionally, Batista offers her cruise clients the opportunity to visit a resort in that port. “This opens the door for the client to want to book their stay there at a later time,” she said.

Qualifying Clients

“I personally do an interview process with my clients. If it’s a milestone trip like a honeymoon, anniversary or destination wedding, I require a Zoom appointment to qualify and talk through their wants and needs,” Kline said. “Typically, from that call I already have a resort in mind for them before we end the call. I’ll typically offer a few suggestions but almost always they’ll pick what I had in mind for them.”

Getting to know your clients is also key to the qualifying process. “Take your time to have great conversations and learn their true likes and dislikes,” Batista said. “What inspires them? What do they want to experience?”

In conclusion, “Every traveler has a vacation vision, and, most importantly, a budget they are working with,” Deane said. “Helping them understand the realistic value of their dream experience is the key to it becoming a reality.”

Following Up And Social Media

“Follow up with your clients when they return home. Schedule another call and just listen to them,” said Alison Tracy of Dream Vacations – Madson & Associates.

“Listen to everything they have to say about the resort they just visited. This information will be valuable to know so when your clients return for another trip, you can serve them even better. And it’s also valuable to know for your other clients. Your clients’ reviews are your eyes at resorts you haven’t visited.”

When traveling, Tracy stressed the importance of advisors being active on social media. “My clients are always excited and look forward to seeing my content on social media when they know I’m traveling,” she said. “It brings a lot of attention to all-inclusive resorts, and my numbers are always up after returning.”

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