Now is the time for travel professionals to start implementing required systems of payment for services rendered.I
f you have not been charging a fee for your planning services, as a travel advisor or agent, you need to start now.
Think about it, no other service-based industry that does all the work upfront without being paid for the work they have done. If these businesses were to operate otherwise, then they would not be able to sustain their business.
I know that you have all been working, in spite of this moment that we are in, you continue to press on and work hard. I know this because of the conversations I've been having and the posts that I have seen travel professionals make on social media.
At this moment, travel professionals are learning new things daily, dedicating ourselves to keep updated with the travel regulations that are now revised every day. We are making sure that we know what countries are reopening, becoming versed in the dos and don'ts, and how to apply them to each travel plan.
We also have to make time for the travel plans that have to change, because a client no longer wants the itinerary that you had already prepared for them. Instead of doing new business, you must now do follow-up consultations to make adjustments for cancelled cruises, along with the FIT bookings that have to change because travellers can no longer go to the destination they wanted to go to in the first place.
This is a lot of work, which is why you need to transition into charging for having this new education and doing additional work. Going forward, you'll need to make a post-pandemic plan and a post-pandemic promise for your customer base.
I would make a plan to work with fewer people in a higher margin that will include a service fee to ensure that I make a profit, and make good use of my time. This principle of business is not a new concept. There are world-class travel professionals who were already charging these fees, and you need to look into adopting this policy.
This policy is not only for establishing credibility, as it also helps to ensure that you are paid for the time and work put into making memories for travellers who choose to work with you. If travellers refuse to pay your service fee, they do not value your time or the work that you do when planning these valuable vacation experiences.
Get started on your post-pandemic plan and promise. Then introduce them into your business, and invest in the infrastructure required to implement these new business strategies. Be careful not to spring these changes on your clients without warning.
Make use of available resources like this Fobes article about charging service fees, publish your blogs about this new business practise that you will be using, and talk to your customers so that they will know your intentions for the future of your business and the rest of the travel industry.