The Defined Roles of a Travel Agent for a Destination Wedding
By: Amanda Beaver, owner of Glow Travel
Who loves to travel? We all do! Destination weddings provide a great backdrop for some of the most beautiful weddings in the world. While your creative juices are flowing with ideas and suggestions for your ideal client, navigating the logistics of travel can be a challenge.
* What properties to recommend?
* Which properties are LGBTQ friendly? What property is family friendly?
* My client wants a Catholic wedding where can they go?
* What are the requirements for a legal ceremony?
Partnering with a Destination Wedding Travel Specialist can help provide insight to these and other questions. Utilizing the Travel Specialist’s first-hand knowledge of the properties they recommend, as well as their relationships with the Wedding Team and Management staff on site, can help guide your decisions and provide your couple with the best options possible for their destination wedding. Utilizing each other’s areas of expertise can make for a dynamic and successful team.
So, what is the role of a Travel Agent for a Destination Wedding?
As a Destination Wedding Travel Specialist, we are here to work with the planner. A qualified and competent Wedding Travel Specialist can lend their expertise in the following areas:
A Travel Specialist can help you and your client, narrow down the search. By sharing your clients Wedding Vision with the travel specialist, we can provide fabulous options and suggestions. Those might include:
* An intimate rustic wedding in the country side of Tuscany
* A large lavish affair in Mexico
* A beautiful sunset wedding along the shores of Negril
Whatever your client’s vision, we have a resort recommendation to suite their travel needs.
When you are planning a wedding, every second counts. What could take you hours to find researching on the internet, could take us minutes with the customized software and information that we have at our disposal.
As Travel Specialists, we have visited many of the properties that we recommend. We are familiar with the wedding locations, the set up, and the cuisine. We can make solid recommendations based on your client’s vision, travel budget, travel requirements and needs. Many times, the Travel Specialist can provide your client with photos and videos of the property and first hand experience. We can leverage our relationships with onsite management staff and the wedding team to ensure that your client enjoys a positive customer experience.
Just like wedding planners, we follow the current trends for travel, stay up to date on hotels that are opening and we can provide you with ideas for up and coming travel locations and share ideas for offsite wedding venues.
CONFIRM THE ROOM BLOCK
Now that you have decided on a location and chosen a resort, we are ready to secure your booking. Travel Agents will secure the room block for your client and their guests. We negotiate the
group rates and will provide you with a breakdown of the benefits afforded to your group.
CONFIRM THE CEREMONY, RECEPTION LOCATIONS, and CO-ORDINATE THE SITE INSPECTION
The Travel Agent can assist the Wedding Planner by confirming the Ceremony and Reception locations with the resort.
Let us help you set up a site inspection for you and your clients to visit the property and wedding locations.
POINT OF CONTACT FOR ALL TRAVEL ISSUES
With the Rooms Blocked, Ceremony and Reception confirmed, your Travel Specialist will become the point of contact for all of your travel related questions. The Travel agent will maintain a rooming list, assist with payments and invoicing, send out all documentation and answer any travel related questions. We ensure that all travel related items run smoothly. This will free up time for the Wedding Planner to focus on planning the wedding and all events for their client.
The Travel Specialist can assist the Wedding Planner with any recommendations pertaining to local excursions and activities. Our clients have enjoyed the following:
* Zip-lining through the jungles of Costa Rica
* A nice romantic sunset cruise to Saona Island
* Dine under the stars and enjoy a live show at Rhythms of the Night in Puerto Vallarta
* Chartering a boat for some Deep sea fishing fun in Cabo San Lucas
* Enjoy a dip in YS falls before touring the famous Appleton Rum estates in Jamaica
As the Wedding Planner, you can present these options to your guests and allow them to experience the culture outside of the resort.
IN-TRAVEL CONTACT AND ADVOCATE
Once you have arrived at your destination, you have a point of contact should any issues or concerns arise. We have your back!!! Should a client miss their flight, have the wrong e-doc sent to them, or there is a mix up with their rooms, we are always a phone call away and happy to help resolve any issues or concerns that you might have to the best of our abilities.
The Travel Specialist will follow up with the clients upon their return to ensure their overall experience was positive. The travel specialist will address any issues that may have occurred.
CERTIFIED WITH TICO
Any individual or business that organizes events, including travel services must be registered with TICO. According to TICO guidelines any individual or entity that is advertising travel, collecting payments, signing travel contracts on your client’s behalf, or even making transportation to and from an event, must be conducted by a certified TICO travel agent. As a Destination Wedding Travel Specialist, we have this certification and can protect you while assisting the travel portion of the Destination Wedding.
Only a Travel Specialist can truly offer that “personal touch”. We have a vested interest to ensure that you are absolutely pleased with your experience. We offer advice, knowledge and first-hand experience that you cannot receive from a website. We conduct Familiarization (FAM) Trips to visit each destination and selected properties. We meet with the administration, learn about the wedding packages offered by that location, and see the actual on-site amenities. We can be a valuable asset to a Wedding Planner and by collaborating together, you can grow your business.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TRAVEL SPECIALIST
1. Get to know the Destination Wedding Specialist. You will be working with this individual for over a year so you want to ensure they have the same vision, professionalism and can represent your brand when they interact with your clients.
2. Find out what their communication style is like- What tools do they use to keep themselves organized and on task?
3. One size does not fit all- What is the agents niche? Ask the agent what they specialize in as well as what areas they specialize in.
4. What designations do they have? Have they taken WPIC’s Destination Wedding Specialist certification course? Do they belong to other industry groups such as DWHSA or Ensembles the Destination Vow program?
5. How many FAMs do they go on in a year and what supplier training have they taken. Knowledge is power and staying updated on industry changes is key to keeping the agent sharp.
6. How many weddings does the agent plan a year? You want to ensure that the agent is able to nurture your client and tend to the guests during the planning process.
7. Do they have a back up?
8. Client Testimonials- what are their clients saying and do they have any references.
In the end you you will know what works best for you and your guests.
If you would like to learn more about partnering with a Destination Wedding Specialist feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Beaver is the owner of Glow Travel. She personally takes care of each booking to ensure that you get the best service, with no detail left out. Couples and wedding planners who work with her find her friendly, helpful, assertive & efficient. Amanda is a certified member of the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist Association, Destination Vows and a certified Wedding Planner with WPIC.
Her professional resume includes time as a specializing agent with AM Resorts, Sandals (certified), Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Vacations, Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Honeymoon Consultant and a Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Wedding Consultant. Amanda is a Palace Pro Specialist, Riu Specialist and a Jamaica Travel Specialist. She is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
Her experience gives her the ability to accommodate your unique needs as a couple, family, or entire wedding guest list.