Become Rich Selling Your Products and Services in the 1.8 Trillion Dollar Tourism Industry

I’ve met so many interesting entrepreneurs recently offering wonderful gifts and services through their small businesses. I’m not involved in the gift market but I work in Tourism a market often misunderstood and over looked in the US. It is an industry which includes gifts, swag, decor, floras, services, events and opportunities for unique, upscale and personalized gifts and services.

Normally I’m an International Tour Director and Trainer. My students are leading international, domestic and local tours and programs. I can’t cover it all here but I will give you an over view and basic understanding of the needs of the companies involved in tours, programs and events. If you’re looking for a new market, hopefully you’ll be able to meet their needs in building your success.

I think everyone knows Travel Agents. They make reservations for travel, tours and cruises. Most like giving something special gifts to their clients. Some still do flowers but maybe you have something to offer that may be more specialized and appreciated that will remind them of their trip and the agent. Travel related gifts with the name of the agent? Travel bags? Personalized money pouches? Or?

I work for Tour Operators the companies with the beautiful brochures offering tours when you enter the travel agency. The tour operators also offer gifts to the travelers. When I started it was the old style flight bag with the company logo. It then went to fanny bags, document cases and etc. Their challenge is with repeat tour members and trying to come up with something unique. The tours may be domestic and or international. Do you have something unique to travel, the destination and or US?

I also give out gifts on my tours and cruises for repeat passengers, birthdays and anniversaries. The gifts have included pictures frames with the company name engraved, Kona Coffee, photo albums, make up bags with a Kangaroo logo, books and etc. Do you have something unique and easy for the Tour Director and passenger to pack?

The biggest market I see for gifts is the domestic market, especially the incentive market. Incentives are gifts offered to increase sales and production. It may be a special gift and or trip individually or as a group. Fortune 500 companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their VIP’s, meetings, incentives and team building events. Many meeting spend over $600,000 on just their hotel bill.

I recently assisted with coordinating a couple incentive events. The trip was a reward to the highest achieving sales persons. They stay at 4 and 5 Starr resorts. When they arrive they normally receive personalized bags and gifts. (As a person in and out of my car like a sales rep, I know something like the key finder we received at the LA Spark and Hustle would be appreciated.) They were awarded an iPad, watch and or diamond ring. The events are like staging a wedding each night with lighting, floras, plants, decorative curtains, luminaries, custom linens, entertainment, gifts and etc. Events may include an artist offering the guests a special gift to be sent to their home. These are all outside vendors. Think of producing a very upscale wedding with a theme. Each company producing the event tries to make it unique and very upscale. Do you have a gift and or service they may want to use?

Here’s where it can be a bit confusing. The Fortune 500 Company hires the Incentive House. The Incentive House works with the Fortune 500 Company to develop the program, keep track of the incentives, make the reservations and send staff to travel with the group. The Incentive House hires a local Destination Management Company in the location of the program. The DMC organizes and conducts the local activities, including arrivals, transportation, tours, events, team building and etc. (I train the staff that travels with the group and DMC tour directors and guides.)

I also want to mention services. Many of the smaller incentive companies, DMC’s, meeting planners, event planners and tour operators are owned by women. Do you have a service for them? Payroll? IT? Printing? Running an evening of games and or team building? Run a car rally? Bicycle day trips? Hikes? Special tours? Some type of fun and or team building activity?

Tourism is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world and the opportunities are endless. Fortunately, our industry is rebounding and especially the incentive and meeting market.

I hope this gives you ideas of new markets and helps in your success.