My Travel Professionals EARNED Respect Today
Why My Travel Professionals Earned Respect Today
Working through Irma
By Shellie Wylie, Owner
September 6, 2017
The devastation of Irma has been, and unfortunately continues to be profound. Our hearts are breaking for the people in her path. She has already claimed 3 lives as she churns through the Caribbean, Bahamas and then the US…
As an Agency, each of us had to put our personal fears aside today to assist our clients who have travel plans being ruined by this nasty, dangerous storm. Our work day has not ended yet. Tomorrow will be another long day for the Wishes Family Travel professional travel planners.
I am writing this essay to speak of their honor, devotion and worthiness: To also describe what today was like so maybe, just maybe you will understand why I respect them and hopefully for you to gain some understanding of their value.
Each client with travel plans needed to be contacted. Decisions had to be made after many discussions regarding what travel insurance may or may not cover; cancelation policies; flight changes; hurricane policy; when the hurricane policy takes effect. Do the clients wish to reschedule or cancel? What are the differences in pricing, and availability? And there are potentially several more DOZEN questions to be answered FOR EACH VACATION.
What does this look like? Picture one woman with her cell phone and landline. One phone she has been on hold for 2+ hour waiting for a supplier, getting bounced from department to department as each of the problems is solved; while simultaneously texting her client the progress and making decisions. This goes on for hours, client after client ALL DAY LONG and into the night.
It won’t stop at just changing the dates and all travel arrangements. Now the Wishes Travel Professional must reconstruct the dream vacation extras like shore excursions, dining reservations, and stroller rentals. All the items she completed once before she is doing again. After all, the rescheduled vacation still needs to be magical and what the client dreamed it would be.
That’s the part I want you to know. They did all this work, under extremely difficult circumstances and time constraints, only with the client’s best interests in mind. They did what needed to be done to serve their clients. No less. They fought for their clients. They advocated for their clients. They WORKED.
What happened today to people who didn’t use a travel professional? See that photo? That’s ONE phone call.
Sometimes I just want to scream on a day like this when I get an email or call that questions our value as a profession. Today that was like getting kicked in the gut by a mule.
My response was this is an intensely personal business that cannot be conducted solely online. Our value as travel professionals is found in our experience, advice, architecture of the vacation experience, concierge services, and ADVOCACY. A single 9-hour phone call proves my point perfectly.
I value and respect each of the Professional Travel Planners who work for me. They EARNED that respect today.