Saturday, December 28, 2013

Travel Shows on the web and radio

Every weekend I'm at work I tend to listen to travel shows on the radio, both from my home state of Utah, and others.  Every single one sounds exactly the same.  They are ALL shameless, ego-stroking, carnival barker-esque rants on how Agent so-and-so has the best deal for you!  Every last one of them sound exactly the same, where the agent is on the air hawking his cannon fodder lowest deals to places no one really gives a damn about, just to bring them in the door, or to garner a phone call from in order to pitch a more commisionable trip.  I thought Travel Agents were supposed to be as close to their clients as their lawyers, accountants, doctors, and car mechanics.  We not only sell you vacations, we also assist our clients in obtaining passports, visas, arranging vacation holds and sitter services for our clients while on trip (especially for our luxury and corporate clients), as well as finding them the lowest fare to Las Vegas.

What I try to listen for are shows that have knowledgeable agents on the air, ones who share their experiences in the finer minutiae of travel, such as whats the best way to fly in/out of LAX, which alliances get you where you need to go in a shorter amount of time, what current visa statuses are, what countries are up and coming, what are some good spots to eat in Cleveland, what shows are playing in London's West End...etc. etc.  Travel Agents need to know this stuff, or have access to this stuff to give the traveler a peace of mind when they go out of the country, or for the less traveled of us, out of the county.  I've heard several horror stories from friends outside the industry who've bought their plane tickets online, reserved their hotel rooms online and then went to their destination and didn't have a transfer, or the hotel was not where they need to be, among other issues.  I keep telling them to go to a REPUTABLE Independent Travel Agent, not one of the huge chains that still lurk around.  They moan about not wanting to pay the Agent's commission.  I'd say, I'd rather pay the extra $30 bucks or however much it is and know I'm being taken care of.

Back to the topic at hand.  Radio Shows.  One here in Salt Lake City is 3 hours long and EVERY SINGLE SEGMENT is either a hot deal for a weekend in Cabo San Lucas or a Mormon Temple Tour while you wait for your connecting flight at the Salt Lake Airport.  Not a single segment has ever been aired that had any worthwhile information on what's new in travel, what hot spots are booming, or what baggage allowances are.  This has to change.

Not that I'm against a good deal, but filling an entire 3-hour radio show on doorbusters to Mexico?  I think not.  Here is how I would fill those 3 hours:

Hour 1:  What's new in Travel, what's going on in particular destinations, discussions with callers

Hour 2:  Hot deals, good deals, getting to and from and around your destination, caller discussions

Hour 3:  On-air interviews with Travel Agents, Industry professionals, and experts.

That would be my ideal travel show.  Make it more well-rounded, include not just your own Agent pretending to be an expert, but have actual experts and industry professionals on the air.  Make the show accessible to everyone with an interest in it, not just some last minute weekend jaunt flyaways.  Are there any takers?

No comments:

Post a Comment