Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brick and Mortar Travel Agents - Start Cooking Up New Revenue!

Here's an interesting idea for creating a new revenue stream for your "brick and mortar" travel agency. Many agencies close their stores by 6PM. Earn increased revenue by extending your store hours and offering travel destination-inspired weekly cooking classes in your store.

Invite past customers and their friends to attend hands-on cooking classes focused on destinations, hotels or cruise lines that you sell.  Set a menu for each region, country or cruise line's best loved recipes, and conduct a hands-on cooking class.  Set-up is easy with hotplates...and tastings can be paired with regional wines. If you don't cook, find friends who do, and give them a discount on their next trip booked with you. You may even get a local cooking school to go in with you, as practice for their students!

Charge $49 per person, per session - complete with tastings - and apply the cooking lesson fee to any package booked with you to that destination within six months. You may also charge for a cooking "series" $249 for 6 cooking classes (one is free and one can be applied to a booking). You may even get regional cookbook authors to come in to do signings in your agency, once you've built a following, and sell their books too!

Tourist offices, cruise lines and hotels may also want to participate in your cooking class evenings - and you can charge them sponsorship fees, as well as receive exclusive travel benefits for your customers!  You can spread the word inexpensively through your local press, signage in your agency, and social media outlets (especially on your Facebook Timeline page - with gorgeous photography of the cuisine).

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