Ep. 224 — Travel Trade Events & Representation

Today we discuss travel trade representation with Mark Wright of The Adventure Connection.

Mark is a 30 year plus veteran of the travel industry who now represents tour operators and destination management companies around the World.

Representation is a little understand method in our community and it deserves more attention as a way to grow your tour operation.

00:00 Best time for operators to make connections.

05:40 Representation company acts as middleman, connecting operators.

09:44 Investment in shows can be costly for operators, particularly small ones, in terms of both time and money. Representation offers a range of services to help, beyond just attending trade shows.

13:28 Busy pre-event period: clients, meetings, presentations.

14:39 Monitoring meetings, efficient follow-up vital, tailored templates.

17:53 Supply chain and tour operators are affected. Marketing representation helps build relationships and increase business. Fan trips foster product experience and relationships.

21:15 Increased travel to Europe as restrictions ease.

24:49 Tour operators prioritize sustainability in DMC selection.

30:56 Niche identification and ready-made products for operators.

32:06 DMC developed toolkit to improve services.

35:27 Product manager must understand industry, work in product development. Challenging for TMCs to approach them.

40:26 We attend about 6-10 shows per year, including big ones like WCM and ITB, as well as smaller specialist shows. The rise of smaller shows is positive.

42:48 Traditional industry cycle guides timing of activities.

45:07 Need more staff to revive travel industry.

About Mark

Mark Wright’s journey began after serving in the military, when he went backpacking and discovered his passion for adventure travel. Inspired by his experience trekking in the Himalayas, Mark wondered if he could turn this passion into a career. Upon returning to the UK, he found a few companies already offering adventure trips and decided to gain experience by joining one. With determination and a desire to share his love for travel, Mark embarked on a new chapter in his life.