PRIDE Travel Attends San Diego Trade Show, Answers Common Consumer Questions
PRIDE Travel executives S. Nathan DePetris and Marc R. Kassouf wrap up their attendance of the OSSN travel trade show in San Diego last week, including a pre-show ‘refresher’ stay designed to reintroduce San Diego’s attractions and highlights to attendees so that agencies can better serve clients with fresh information and first hand know-how. Mr. Kassouf and Mr. DePetris visited the world-famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and had the opportunity to step aboard the SS Midway museum the weekend leading up to the tradeshow.
Although not members of the Outside Sales Support Network, OSSN, Kassouf and DePetris received invitations to visit the conference and show which presented a great opportunity to reconnect with industry partners and perhaps learn something new. The conference and tradeshow offered seminars on subjects ranging from sales and marketing tactics, technology innovations, to specific products and services appealing to all segments of the travel industry. The tradeshow floor hosted suppliers and vendors from around the world and introduced a few new service–related products that PRIDE Travel may soon be implementing. “I saw one product that would help our office be more efficient when working on client documents and research… we’re very excited to test this product and be able to offer another innovation to our customers!” said Marc R. Kassouf, PRIDE Travel’s CEO and in-house technology guru. Additional highlights included keynote executive speakers from cruise lines, tour operators, hoteliers and other movers and shakers in the industry. Most memorable was a motivational and heartfelt ‘wake up call’ from Dondra Ritzenthaler of Celebrity Cruises who had participants wanting to “run up to her and give her a great big hug,” according to S. Nathan DePetris, PRIDE Travel’s COO and general manager.
Both Kassouf and DePetris noted that many of the distinguished speakers heralded the evolution of the travel agent from information gatherer to information distiller and translator. This is, however, still an unclear distinction in the consumer’s mind as to why they need a travel professional. Although research clearly shows that consumers recognize that agents provide value, save time, act as advocates, and use their expertise to provide recommendations, the number one reason consumers imitate a call to an agency remains to compare on price. When faced with the decision to hire a travel agent, consumers ask the following questions, to which PRIDE Travel replies:
- Why should I book with your agency: “My expertise and knowledge will save you time, hassle, and money in creating valuable memories and experiences… are you interested?”
- I already have all the information, why do I need an agent: “But have you digested it to gain the knowledge needed to create valuable experiences and memories that will fulfill your vacation dreams?”
- I have product A for $X, can you beat that: “How much money do you need to save to make a bad vacation worthwhile?”
Attendance also allowed PRIDE Travel’s executives to reconnect with existing industry partners and forge new relationships. Tried and true partners such as many in the cruise industry, the Globus family of brands, and insurer TravelSafe were among the many seen. New partnerships were also being forged with suppliers and boutique properties such as the Handlery hotels and resorts, Se Hotel, Bartell hotels, and others.
ABOUT PRIDE TRAVEL®
Pride Travel of Long Beach, California is a full service agency specializing in cruise, tour package, villa, and condo rentals. We also offer our community the full breadth of travel products and expertise. While we cater to the needs of Gays and Lesbians in the LGBTQ community, we are hetero friendly® and frequently book individuals, couples, and families with children on trips and vacations worldwide. Pride Travel is an award-winning agency that has been recognized for our active participation and contributions to our local and LGBTQ communities. We also hold numerous travel industry certifications and accreditations, as well as official certification by destination and country visitors’ bureaus; we are active members and certified by the Travel Institute, the Cruise Line Industry Association, and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. Original travel articles and content is contributed regularly and distributed at our blog, http://blog.pride.travel
PRIDE Travel’s media page can be located at http://www.expertclick.com/19-3675. For more details about our credentials, please visit our website at www.pride.travel and click on About Us or contact Mr. Marc R. Kassouf, Owner & CEO, at 562.432.3888 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pride Travel, Mr. Kassouf and Mr. S. Nathan DePetris, Owner & COO, welcome your inquiries regarding interviews, speaking engagements, and other media collaboration