Building Relationships in the Travel Industry

In a story for the Boston Globe last year, I interviewed Jacob Tomsky, author of the best-selling “Heads in Beds” (Doubleday). Tomsky spent a decade in the hotel industry, seven of those years manning the front desk at an upscale Midtown Manhattan hotel. He told me that folks who book their room online from websites like often received the worst room in the hotel while the people who booked through a travel agent often receive the best room. Why? Because the travel agent usually has a personal connection with the general manager or director of sales at that hotel and calls 2 to 3 days prior to ensure that the hotel knows their client is coming. Like many businesses, the travel industry is all about relationships. Our clients at ActiveTravels often receive free upgrades and that’s because we send a VIP email telling the general manager that our client will soon arrive. We’ve already developed wonderful relationships with properties around the globe so they know us and appreciate our book of business. Lisa will meet hundreds of those general managers next week when she’s in Las Vegas for the largest travel conference of the year, Virtuoso Week. She has over 400 meetings already lined up with the top hotels, outfitters, and representatives from countries around the globe. Meeting people face to face and having their contact info will help us ensure that you always get the best room available on your next trip. 
I’m off to Saratoga to hang with my high school buddies. Have a great weekend!