Tailor made for the travel trade
Why invest in high quality travel swag?
While your website and marketing might be the thing that tempts clients to pick up the phone, and your travel consultants seal the deal, it’s the quality of your service and the experience post-sale that determine if they return time and again. And part of that experience lies in the materials and accessories, aka swag, that your clients travel with.
At last year’s International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin, Ingo Schweder of GOCO stated that “today, the key is bespoke and authentic services…luxury is being true, offering bespoke services—that are tailor made to my needs”. And that’s where high quality, customised and branded travel accessories come in. If you’re offering a bespoke service with a tailor made itinerary, your clients will expect that level of service at every touchpoint.
Yet so many think that these goods should be a ‘nice-to-have’, something that’s created from whatever money is left in the pot. But we work with blue chip companies who spend years designing their merchandise, for a reason. When travel companies bring that level of thought and planning to the process, rather than leaving it till the last minute, the result is superb products that will bring an extra touch of luxury to your clients’ holiday.
First Class Swag
With so much of our lives moving online, there’s been a tendency to move away from paper itineraries and documents, bound in branded travel wallets, to be clutched proudly in airport queues and beyond. But as Gemma Antrobus from Haslemere Travel notes, one of her “long-standing clients threatened to cancel a rather expensive cruise if their travel details were only going to be sent via an app or by email.” Your clients and their trip are defined by the extra details – a first class trip needs first class swag. People book incredible trips such as yours to escape the digital world and step into the real one – an app or email hinders that experience.
Whether it’s the holiday of a lifetime or the next tick on a bucket list of the seasoned traveller, the holiday experience starts long before the plane touches down. It starts the moment they receive the holiday documentation or branded travel products. So if that’s just an email, or even an off-the-shelf generic travel swag, it’s not going to hit the mark. But if it’s a customised, high quality product that gives a hint of the quality to come, then their holiday is starting on a high note.
As this article in Travel Weekly makes clear, “travellers need to get the same impression of the company, no matter where they see its presence”. So from your website to the travel swag they take with them, quality counts.
Not only does that swag, when done properly, play an important role in how people feel about their trip, it also influences how everyone else views your brand.
Too many travel companies view their swag as an afterthought. But tie it into your overall brand messaging and you’re creating a seamless journey from initial enquiry to booking to trip, where your brand is represented to its very best at every step.
Invest in your brand
An investment in high quality swag is an investment in your brand. It’s a way to make you stand out in the airport queue, at the hotel, by the pool and on safari. Branded items make you visible, take you global and spread your name in the way e-tickets and e-itineraries can’t. But make it count, make it high quality. Because first impressions count. And as Travel Weekly says “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
So if that first impression is a stylish travel wallet, a luxurious bag tag, or a bespoke piece of luggage, you’re one step closer to capturing a new client. Checkfront notes that “when your tour and activity company looks polished and legitimate, guests will be more likely to book with you. That’s because professional translates to trustworthy.”
Keep the holiday alive for longer
As we mentioned in our article on how to make swag eco-friendly, 60% of customers keep promotional travel products for at least two years. That’s at least two years worth of travel opportunities where your brand will be out in the big wide world for everyone to see (and lust after!). Truly luxurious swag will last forever, and if it’s carefully customised, useful and stylish, chances are it will be used forever. Which is good for your brand and good for the planet too.
Not only that, but it’s going to keep the travel memories alive. By pulling out their travel wallet, probably stuffed full of mementos from their trip, they’re remembering the good times. A well-designed, customised documentation folder or wallet will get shown around at dinner parties. It will be the item they reach for when they want to remember the name of that amazing hotel they stayed in, or the national park where they saw the leopard. And when they remember the good times, chances are they’ll pick up the phone and start planning their next trip with you.
First class holidays start with the swag
If your next campaign needs a bespoke edge or your travel documentation materials could do with a luxury refresh, get in touch. D&S can help. We’ve partnered with some of the UK’s leading luxury travel companies, including Audley Travel, &Beyond, Jules Verne and Venice-Simplon Orient Express, creating luxurious yet practical branded travel items, sustainably. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s find out how we can work together to add an extra dash of luxury to your clients’ experience with bespoke branded travel accessories.
For more information about D&S please visit our www.dstravelsupplies.com or call 0203 996 1330
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