2014 marks the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) 37th year as Canada's retail travel trade association. We are excited with the launch of our member toolkit that declares "...Without a Travel Agent...You're on Your Own!*"
The ACTA member toolkit is a collection of resources that can be used for free by ACTA members to promote the value of their services to the consumer. Offering both digital and printable content, the toolkit can be leveraged to use in tradeshows, document dressings, advertising campaigns and PR initiatives. All the materials feature the slogan "Without a Travel Agent, You're on Your own*" and highlights reasons to use a travel agent when planning a trip. Materials can be customized with agency contact info by using ACTA's print shop.
David McCaig stated, "the ACTA toolkit has been designed to remind consumers that ...Without a Travel Agent...You're on Your Own!*, and that when it comes to trip and travel planning, an ACTA travel agent is the perfect companion."
"We are very excited to be able to offer ACTA members the resources to promote themselves and their professionalism. Our toolkit materials reinforce the value proposition of today's travel agent:
Expert Advice - Personal Attention - Peace of Mind - Convenience and Time Savings & Trust," said McCaig.
2013 was a year of planning and discovery for ACTA. Following the Board's conception of ACTA's new strategic direction, a committee was formed and led by Mike Thompson (appointed ACTA Director and committee chair). This committee was responsible to execute the research and map out a plan that included specific goals and metrics that would lay the foundation for the fulfillment of ACTA's three new strategic priorities. The marketing toolkit is to support the objective of the first strategic priority which is to build consumer awareness on the value of using a travel professional.
To start, the committee had to establish a quantifiable benchmark on the consumer perception of travel professionals. ACTA turned to research done by the Conference Board of Canada in October 2013 using an online panel of Canadians aged 18+. Three questions concerning the use of travel agents for arranging outbound trips during winter 2012/13 were asked of all respondents. A total of 1,504 Canadians were asked if they took an outbound winter vacation trip of 6+ nights and if so, how they arranged their trip. Of respondents that took an outbound vacation trip of 6+ nights, 552 used a travel agent to help arrange their trip in some capacity. Additional questions were asked regarding why they used an agent rather than booking their trip entirely online and the answers to these questions pointed to Expertise, Trust, Convenience, and Peace of Mind as the top reasons, which became the foundation of our toolkit and the rebirth of a positioning statement that resonated with all members "...without a travel agent ...you're on your own*"
The marketing toolkit offers:
- Customized email signatures
- Marketing email that you can use in email advertisements
- Banner ads you can use for web advertisements
- Post cards
- Cue cards
- Printed ads that can be part of a direct mail initiative (value of using a ACTA travel agent)
- Header/Footer that agents can add to their corporate letterhead and proposals
- Ticket jackets and bag tags
- Videos promoting your value
- Social media programs