Travel Agents & South American Tours
Specializing in South American Tours
South America is a large region, so if you plan to specialize specifically in South American travel it's important to either familiarize yourself with the entire area, or pick one or two countries where you can focus your efforts. In general, South America is a great area for a travel agent to specialize in. It continues to grow in popularity, particularly with visitors from North America who view it as more accessible than Asia or Africa, but still culturally different their home countries. Many travelers are slightly intimidated when they begin planning their trip to the area. The language, culture and transportation systems are all dramatically different from what they find at home. These holiday planners reach out to travel agents to provide them with the security and peace of mind they may need during the preparation of their trip.
As a travel agent you can recommend reputable companies, offer them reassurance that their vacation will be hassle free, and keep them informed of any potential concerns that may arise. It's also important that you understand any visa requirements for each country. Travelers appreciate this peace of mind, particularly when they are going to a location that is unique and intimidating to them. By providing a voice of reason, knowledge, and confidence, you are creating a relationship with someone who will likely become a repeat customer.
As a travel agent, it is important to market yourself to potential clients. If you've chosen to specialize in South American travel, consider what types of people might be interested in visiting the area. South America is a very diverse region, so it appeals to many different types of travelers. This allows you to get creative when you begin marketing yourself. Look into potential partnerships with local businesses or community based groups. Many churches run mission trips to South America. Inquire with local churches to see if they are interested in doing this, or have a travel agent to help with these arrangements. Parts of South America are very nature oriented. Contact science programs at schools or local museums to see if they are interested in partnering with you to organize a trip to the Galapagos or the Amazon River. Outdoor shops may also be interested in partnering with you to coordinate a hiking trip to Patagonia or elsewhere in South America. Also reach out to students who may be interested in language programs that are based in the area. Many students enjoy taking Spanish courses in Ecuador.
When you're marketing yourself it's important that you think outside the box. Not only do you need to convince people to use your business, in some cases you need to start by convincing them that your region of focus is the perfect place for them to travel.
South America is an adventure destination for many visitors, and as such they are hoping for an experience that lets them explore the area in depth. Specialty tours are the perfect option for clients who want to delve a little deeper into one or two aspects of the region. There are many different types of tours throughout South America, so it is best to first consider what your client's interests are and find a tour that is in line with their activity level. Tours are available for almost anything. Football, or soccer, is popular throughout South America so if your client is a sports enthusiast they may enjoy a trip that allows them to attend games throughout the area. Hiking tours are available to places like Patagonia or Machu Picchu. Some tours include homestays that let visitors experience an up close perspective of what life is like in their country of choice. Customizing a tour to specifically meet your client's needs will help them have a unique and personal experience. This will ensure they return to you for their next travel needs.
There are larger tour companies that provide these specialty tours, but many times they are offered by smaller tour companies, some of which you may be unfamiliar with. If you arrange travel through a company that you are not acquainted with, do some research in advance. Make sure you, and your client, fully understand what is and is not included in the tour. Look into the style of travel the tour will provide and what the target demographic for the company is. You want to make sure that your client has the most appropriate and convenient experience for them. Also make sure you read reviews for that company to learn what experience other travel agents and travelers have had when working with the company. By arming yourself with knowledge, you can make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
South America is a large and diverse continent, so unless your client has a lot of time, they are likely to visit only one or two countries during their trip. The region is quite diverse and has many large, cosmopolitan cities. There is also beautiful natural landscape, impressive historic ruins, and cultures that are fascinating and fun. If your client hasn't yet selected a region they wish to visit, then it is your job to direct them in the appropriate direction. By asking the right questions you can determine which country they may find the most rewarding.
Ecuador is a popular destination for its unique wildlife. Made famous by Charles Darwin, the Galapagos have long been a favorite destination for amateur and professional naturalists alike. Peru is the site of some of the world's most impressive ruins. Machu Picchu is dramatically set among the peaks of the Andes Mountains and offers amenities for travelers of all styles. Travelers who are looking for natural beauty and an outdoor experience will be well rewarded with a trip to Patagonia. Those looking for great beaches, an excellent party scene, and plenty of nightlife are best directed toward Brazil. Brazil is also home to the impressive Amazon River, a trip which no adventurous traveler should miss.
There are tours available that travel through large portions of South America, but most focus on just one or two countries. These concentrated tours are really the best way for a visitor to fully experience a country, its culture, and all it has to offer.