G Adventures’ vice president of social enterprise and sustainability has urged travel agents to sell products that aren’t just a commodity and “make them feel good”.
Speaking to Travel Weekly following his presentation at Travel DAZE 2019 in Sydney yesterday, Jamie Sweeting advised agents to “try not to overthink it” when tackling sustainability.
“Look at tour operators whose product you can sell that you can fall in love with – that you can feel good selling that product because you know it’s making a difference,” he said.
“When you do that, you’re going from selling a commodity to selling an opportunity to change somebody’s life.”
Sweeting, who is also the president of not-for-profit group Planeterra, said that not only are these kinds of experiences phenomenal for the communities, but they are also awesome for travellers because they are genuine and authentic.
“These experiences are run by the people – you get to meet the people who actually run and own the business – there’s no middle-man,” he said.
“And as a tour operator, we’re able to create a safe environment for both the host and the guest for that interaction to thrive, and I think that’s where the tour operator comes in. We’ve curated the experience, and then we get the f**k out of the way and let the magic happen.”
Finding that kind of product to sell will enable agents to have a much more enjoyable career, according to Sweeting, “because it’s bigger than just yourself”.
“If you’re selling all-inclusives and the like, it’s fine, but you could be selling a Xerox machine,” he told Travel Weekly.
“If you want to really get into this as a career, then why not have it be towards a bigger purpose than just yourself?”
Sweeting also encouraged agents to go an experience these types of products to get a better understanding of what they are actually selling.
“Seeing is believing,” he said.
Kudos to all the sponsors for Travel DAZE 2019, which you can check out below…