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Overcoming the Challenges of Selling Escorted Vacations

There are many advantages for travel agents to sell escorted tours or guided vacations. There are challenges, too, but it is worth the effort to surmount them because escorted tour programs are ideal in many ways. The primary challenge for the travel agent is the same as for the tour operator: people don’t know what tour operators do. It’s a problem of education.

“You have to educate them on what an escorted tour is,” said Steve McSwain, owner of Arta Travel in Plano, Texas. “There are common misconceptions, this concept that you’re going to be stuck on a bus and be herded around like cattle and not have a unique experience. Depending on the tour operator, I guess that could be true to an extent. But if it’s not, you can educate them about it, and make them understand that you miss the highlights of a destination by not taking a tour.”

While many people imagine guided touring to be like the 1960s movie “If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium,” tour operators have been refining their craft for decades to banish that image from history. They can’t shake it, so the problem of perception remains. And the chosen solution of tour operators is communication through the national network of travel agents. Read more.

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