“How’s business” is one of those questions we always get. Sometime people are just curious but other times they are fishing for information. Like if you are:
- not busy does that mean I can get a deal?
- not busy does that mean you’re not very good since you don’t seem like you have other customers?
- are busy does that mean you won’t be able to give me good service?
Regardless of motive, here’s our response to how’s business. It’s helpful to answer this question
The usual destinations
Europe took a hit in 2016 but now, in 2017 it’s been quite busy. Since a lot of our business is river cruises we see the impact right away. Interestingly the recent terrorist incidents in the UK seem to have had very little affect on European travel. I think travelers are becoming more aware that incidents happen from time to time and it’s just something we all have to get used to. Many river cruisers are seasoned travelers and are aware and accepting of the situation we face.
The Caribbean and Mexico markets continue to have strong bookings. And now, we’ve seen much more interest in travel to US (national parks, Alaska), Canada and Costa Rica than before.
The unusual destinations
The more unusual destinations like Africa safaris, Galapagos Islands or the South Pacific continue to be strong. Travelers going to these more exotic locations aren’t really affected by geo- political issues and the economy continues to be sufficiently strong to enable strength in bookings.
But what’s really happening is that certain destinations like Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Portugal are increasingly popular. So while travel to France is soft, travel to other European destinations are growing to meet the demand.
The new destinations
As reported in my trends post here, many travel suppliers continue to look into new destinations. This really taps the very seasoned travelers that need a new destination. So we’re seeing cruise ships venturing into the Northwest Passage. We’re seeing ships spend an entire cruise circling Japan. Some of the cruise lines with smaller ships are really pushing into new ports every day.
So how’s business?
It’s very good. The traditional destinations, in aggregate, are very strong. When that’s combined with continued strength in the unusual destinations and with new destinations drawing in even more travelers, business is very good.
Overall Avoya sales are up significantly year between 2016 and 2017. So yes, business is doing well. And here at Go Astro Travel, LLC, business is very good indeed. We do turn down some business when we get too busy since servicing our existing clientele is very important to us. Our mission is not to grow every year for growth’s sake – it’s to expand only to the point where we can serve our customers well. We never want to let our customer satisfaction scores drop. And they haven’t.