Open Jaw

Spice Up Your Sales Skills

Mexico serves up a world of flavours beyond the beach

Mexico has a first class resort product. The 1.6 million Canadians who travelled to Mexico last year aren’t likely to argue that point. The accommodations are great. The food is tasty. The value is real.

In winter, the beach practically sells itself. For Canadians over serviced by sun operators, buying a commoditized product like an ITC package online is easy. Just point and click.

The question is, where do the services of a travel professional fit into the process? And how can that consumer get more out of their precious vacation?

Although many of the big resorts’ designs encourage guests to stay on site, Canadians who travel to Mexico and don’t explore the local scene are missing something. That something is Mexico itself.

“Outside the resort is the real destination,” says Rodrigo Esponda, Director, Canada for the Mexico Tourism Board. “Meeting someone, touching someone who is local is the 1st step to countering misconceptions of Mexico. It’s the 1st step to experiencing the depth and richness of our culture. It’s the way to discover the warmth of the Mexican people,” Esponda says.

Esponda believes travel agents can play a major role in educating clients about the Mexico beyond the resort properties.

Presenting clients with intriguing and commissionable Mexican options makes sense for a number of reasons. It adds value, especially when the product you’re selling is a tour operator package that consumers can book at essentially the same price at any retailer, online or off, or directly with the operator.

Plus, if the off-resort activity or add-on ends up being the highlight of the holiday – as it so often does – the client is likely to remember who recommended it – the foundation of a loyal relationship. ITC packages may be the bread of your Mexico sales, but the additional options you present and advice you offer is the butter, and the ticket to taking control of the sale.

With many travellers seeking authentic experiences and the opportunity to pursue their passions and pastimes during their vacations, Mexico is in a privileged position. This large and populous nation has so much more to offer travellers than a glorious beach.

There are millennia of pre-Hispanic history to explore, including well-preserved ruins of the ‘mundo Maya.’ There are colonial cities with cobblestone streets and thrilling architecture.

There are natural wonders galore, from soaring mountains to spectacular canyons, crystal-clear cenotes to bays where whales, dolphins and sea turtles are richly present. There’s a rich cuisine to be explored, both informally and in developed products like the Mole Route in Oaxaca. There are tequila trails and wine wanders. There’s an abundance of active pursuits, from deep-sea fishing to hiking, dolphin swims to ATV adventures in the jungle.

Esponda says the Mexico Tourism Board is eager to help travel professionals build their base of knowledge about his country and the opportunities for visitors. “The more agents know, the more they can offer their clients as add-ons or alternatives to vacation packages, that’s money in the bank, either through incremental commissionable sales or travel planning fees.”

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