As domestic travel becomes the focus for Aussie agents while international borders remain shut, Abercrombie & Kent’s regional boss has offered some advice to those making the shift to selling local.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Sujata Raman said agents need to get trained up before selling domestic travel and shouldn’t assume they can just sell Australia the same way that it’s been marketed to international travellers.
“I think there’s a real need for training because the issue has been domestic that has traditionally been booked within Australia has been reasonably independent – you get in a car and you get out there and explore – and I think the product at the higher end of the market has largely been marketed to international travellers,” she said.
“It’s a real mistake to think that what we sold and the way we sold it to the international traveller can just be very quickly repurposed – you actually have to think about the domestic traveller.
“But, at the same time, I think those Australian travellers at A&K’s end of the market who would have been travelling overseas have created a lot of pent-up demand for the domestic market.”
Raman said A&K has been hosting a heap of training sessions in recent months due to agents’ newfound interest in domestic travel – something that the luxury wholesaler already does a lot of.
She also believes the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value agents offer travellers, and that they can use this as a springboard to attracting domestic clients.
“Obviously, there were a lot of people caught in difficult positions during this crisis,” Raman told TW.
“There were people overseas that needed to get home urgently, and a lot of agents pulled out all stops to get travellers back home. That bodes well for them, especially as travellers will now be seeking more flexibility in their itineraries and contracts.”