Travel agencies have collected life hacks on a luxury product for ANEX Tour
Off-site event ANEX Tour, which took place from 4 to 8 April in Turkey, stood out from the usual style of events of tour operators of the mass market – all formats were aimed at getting feedback from retail partners. The main event was a foresight conference on the development strategy of a luxury product company. All the following days, the leaders of the tour operator held personal meetings with the tour participants.
The choice of the topic was not accidental – the product of “Anex” in the prioritization niche was replenished with exclusives, among which the famous Regnum carya (this time he received a delegation of the tour operator’s partners), Gural kemer, Gural Belek… The total number of rooms in these hotels alone is more than one and a half thousand rooms. Besides them, ANEX Tour presents a hotel Lujo in Bodrum – its opening in 2019 was a sensation, hotels Selectum, Granada luxury… All in all, the exclusive tour operator has about 190 hotels, most of which belong to the category of premium.
However, the presence of branded hotels in the window of ANEX Tour does not mean that it is recognized by the trade community as a specialist, who can be entrusted to VIP tourists “without looking”. Obviously, realizing this, the leaders of the tour operator decided to consult with retail partners – how, without losing the scope of activities, in the best way to adapt the niche of luxury tourism for themselves.
The breaking of stereotypes about the communications of a large tour operator with retail happened during a foresight conference. To hold it, the organizers invited the founder and leader TourDom.ru Tatiana Dmitrova… “The name of Tatiana in the industry is associated with the highest level of professionalism and trust. She is close to the concepts and principles of the formation of status brands, and her business is based on respect, teamwork and detailed immersion in the topic. In addition, Tatyana, with her empathy and tact, easily unites completely contradictory people and their opinions with the ease of a juggler, ”explained the decision Yana Muromova, Deputy Director of ANEX Tour.
The moderator of the discussion invited the representatives of the travel agency community to rate the current level of the supplier’s readiness to work with VIP tours on a 6-point scale. And then also explain your opinion. The experts were warned in advance that they had nothing to fear from the consequences of criticism. But for many of the participants in the hall, such an honest position was unexpected. But after the discussion in this part was over, the level of confidence in the statements clearly increased, the audience easily joined the discussions on the most important topics – about the specifics of competition in the premium segment and about the specifics of customer demand.
The atmosphere of the conference contributed to enchanting improvisations of the participants, gave an opportunity for charismatic leaders of the community to demonstrate their expertise.
It is curious that the specialists of travel agencies named the most powerful qualities of ANEX Tour: adequate prices and a high level of qualifications of employees.
There were many proposals for the ANEX Tour strategy in terms of priority. Here are the opinions of the main participants in the foresight session.
Georgy Tamaev (Travel Times) structured my vision:
– Create a separate prioritization unit.
– To head and to the management of this department “hunt” the well-known in tourism professionals, opinion leader, charismatic, sociable, the one who can lead, the best employee, the one whom the agents know and trust.
– Conduct a competitor analysis and do the same, but better.
– Come up with a “carrot” to reward agents. It can be a rating of agents, praise and PR of the best! It is necessary to form an elite backbone of loyal agencies so that others will envy and follow them.
– Within the framework of this department, gradually create and implement unique tours. These should not be just packages (air, transfer, land), but something interesting. So that everyone understands that Anex has no limit and no impossible tasks. It’s important to capture the beautiful content of these tours.
Georgy drew attention to how the tourist has changed: “There are almost no clients with easy money, mostly those who really earn by their work and can confirm their income. These people are completely different, with a different mentality and upbringing! They go with a backpack, they are actively involved in sports, do not drink, do not smoke, they do not wear flashy branded clothes, they are curious. They want to get not just a hotel and a flight, but an experience, something that almost no one has seen or tried, something unique. ”
Natalia Shmailova (More positiva) from Rostov-on-Don: “The presence of quick communication with the agent during negotiations and further at the time of the tourist’s rest was highlighted by all the conference participants.
There is also a need to expand the range, include boutique hotels, and increase business class seats.
Agencies, when deciding which of the suppliers to work with, need a guarantee of the performance of the services sold and an instant response, “smoothing the corners” in the event of force majeure.
For me personally, the opportunity to implement VIP-sales based on Anex is very important: the company is a priority partner for us, and I prefer not to “experiment” with niche operators unfamiliar to us, which is especially important in the current “financial crisis” situation, and even more so when it comes to serious amounts of transactions. ”
Another sales leader of ANEX Tour – Georgy Pogosov (Marselina travel) – supports the idea of creating a full-fledged department that will deal exclusively with the priority segment, this should increase the speed of processing applications. He also advocates for increasing the number of business class seats on board and expanding the pool of flight programs on board airlines (Aeroflot, Emirates, Turkish Airlines etc). George connects the solution to the issue of quick feedback with the organization of the 24/7 support service, whose employees should always be in touch to resolve emerging issues. The head of Marselina travel considers increasing the brand awareness of ANEX Tour to be an important condition: “The VIP client must remember who owns the product he has used”.
Yulia Shokireva (“Travel boutique”) draws attention to the need for explanatory work with agencies so that partners understand what the advantages and convenience of the priority system are. Julia invites the tour operator’s management to think over options for speeding up the feedback: “It is very important for us that the calculation of the cost of the tour is quick, we need to get information about the availability of rooms as quickly as possible – otherwise we will lose clients”
“If ANEX Tour is seriously planning to get a piece of the pie from VIP clients, from my point of view, the strategy needs to be changed completely,” I am sure Diana Ferdman (Facebook group “Country of Tourism”). She also speaks in favor of a personalized approach to each application, “which will help to quickly confirm and change the reservation, as well as at all stages – from the beginning of registration of the application to the return of customers – to be in touch.”
Heads of networks of travel agencies and large online agencies commented on TourDom.ru their opinion on the business program of the tour. They noted the commitment of the tour operator to an honest and trusting dialogue with partners. Dmitry Malyutin (Level Travel) wrote in his review: “ANEX Tour has demonstrated flexibility and showed that the formats of such events can be changed. It was interactive, all forum participants were involved, and the top management of the company actively contributed to collecting feedback. “
Evgeny Danilovich (Fly off.ru) praised the tour operator for their courage: “It’s great that Anex is experimenting with formats, moving away from the usual presentations and involving partners in discussing their projects. Foresight allowed everyone to get involved in the discussion and, as a result, present the fruits of their discussion to the audience. I am sure that the team of “Anex” will take into consideration and implement the results of today’s conference in their projects ”.
Sergey Agafonov (IHL) noted the timeliness and relevance of ANEX Tour’s decision to differentiate the mass market and luxury, since the one-stop-shop principle is very convenient for agents and the ability to book a different product from a trusted reliable company.
Oleg Melnik, “TBG and Hot Tours” summed up: “The operator clearly understands the competitive environment, uses the period of the pandemic as an opportunity to develop and strengthen emphasis on points of growth, is looking for new ways to improve communication, and correctly evaluates the role of the agent in his work.”