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BEST PRACTICES FOR THE STUDENT YOUTH TRAVEL INDUSTRY (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

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BEST PRACTICES FOR THE STUDENT YOUTH TRAVEL INDUSTRY (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly) Presented to Hotels, Attractions, Restaurants, Transportation – Saturday, August 29 Destination Marketing Organizations - August 31 2009. Agenda. Identify goals Define “best practices”

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slide1

BEST PRACTICES

FOR

THE STUDENT YOUTH TRAVEL INDUSTRY

(The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

Presented to Hotels, Attractions, Restaurants, Transportation – Saturday, August 29

Destination Marketing Organizations - August 31

2009

slide2

Agenda

Identify goals

Define “best practices”

Make new friends and share success stories

Hear from the experts – The Actives

(The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

Establish a SYTA Best Practices Draft

slide3

GOALS

  • To impart information relative to conducting successful business in the student youth travel sector
  • Spark one new idea for each of you to take away
  • Meet one additional person you did not know before you stepped in the room
  • 4) To create a “best practices” draft for SYTA
  • 5) Have Fun
slide4

BEST PRACTICES

A Definition

“Best practices are methods and techniques that have consistently shown results superior than those achieved with other means, and which are used as

benchmarks to strive for.”

slide5

Student/Youth Tour Company Needs Destinations

  • Hotels
  • Attractions
  • Restaurants
  • Motorcoaches
slide6

Student Tour Needs - DMOs

  • The ability to adapt facilities/services for student needs
  • Dedication to cater to the student/youth market ALL THE TIME
  • Be consistent
  • Patience; build program over time
  • Provide Active with tour itineraries
  • and new ideas
  • Send out leads/help source needed services/facilities (i.e. transportation)
  • Organize fam tours, site inspections
  • Dedicate resources for student youth sector
slide7

Student Tour (grades K-12)

Highest Priorities - Hotels

  • Student friendly & helpful staff
  • Large number of concentrated double-double rooms
  • Affordability and direct billing
  • 1/20 comp ratio
  • Pre-arrival check-in
  • Ability to turn off phones
  • No bars in rooms
  • Motorcoach access and parking
  • Ability to turn off premium cable TV channels
  • Provision of rooming list before arrival
  • Adequate stairways/elevators for large groups
  • Breakfast with area large enough for entire group
  • Interior corridors
slide8

Student Tour (grades K-12)

Lower Priorities - Hotels

  • Upscale appearance
  • No balconies or atriums
  • Sealed windows or windows with stoppers
  • Long straight corridors/hallways
  • Full American breakfast
  • Large sleeping rooms
  • Vanities outside the bathrooms
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Large meeting space
  • Lounge on site
  • Onsite laundry facilities
  • No charge for baggage
slide9

Hotel Good

  • NEVER WALK!
  • Emailed room floor plan 3 days in advance
  • Hand –written note/welcome gift to teacher, escort, other
  • Extend pool hours
  • Hotel staff contact information
  • Extra copies of rooming lists for all group leaders
  • Pre-keyed rooms/packets
  • Meet and Greet upon arrival/daily
  • Made special arrangements for injured student
  • Adapting billing cycles to meet client needs
slide10

Hotel Bad

  • No notice of hotel under construction
  • Solicited business then never returned inquiries made by operator
  • Didn’t staff restaurant properly – escort and client had to help serve
  • Promised no-smoking rooms but instead offered rooms with air-filtration machines in smoking rooms
slide11

Hotel Ugly

  • Returned call 2 weeks after inquiry
  • Hotel sales staff made promise upon booking; no evidence in file upon arrival
  • 15 rooms, 3 floors – enough said!
  • Using outdated images/collateral
  • Promoted “outstanding beach” eroded – no concessions
  • Promising shuttle but didn’t make arrangements – still charged client
slide12

Hotel Really Ugly

(then turned really good)

  • No notice of hotel under construction; sales manager gone
  • DOS helped find replacement hotel, more upscale AND unaffiliated with his hotel brand
  • CONVINCED OWNERS TO PAY DIFFERENCE and secured long time commitment for business
slide13

Student Tour Needs- Attractions

  • Student/youth friendly and helpful staff
  • Large group capability
  • Easy check-in
  • Interactive activities connected to education
  • Good group management environment
  • Quality entertainment
  • Able to deal with large group communications issues
  • Educational components
  • Able to deal w/ short attention spans
  • Location near other major attractions
  • Group friendly briefing/meeting area
  • Multi-media/multi-sensory
  • Technology driven
slide14

Attractions - GBU

  • Provide separate entrance to avoid public lines
  • Abundance of restrooms
  • Gift shops with abundance of fairly priced merchandise
  • Tour guide tuned into audience age level
  • 1 Comp per 10 students
slide15

Student Tour Needs - Restaurants

  • Student/youth friendly & helpful staff
  • Quick turn-around (45-60 minutes)
  • Location/accessibility
  • Non-smoking group area
  • Minimum wait (10 minutes)
  • Variety of entrée choices at single location
  • Food courts; buffets
  • Atmosphere/novelty
  • Easy in/easy out motorcoach access
  • Serve quality food, proper portions
  • Sensitive to dietary/allergies; able to provide suitable substitutions
  • Provide value
slide16

Restaurants - GBU

  • The Good
  • Allowed to pre-order or off the menu
  • Served after order, didn’t preset
  • Value priced
  • Color coded entrees
  • Comp’d driver and escort
  • The Bad
  • Overbooked restaurant
  • The Ugly
  • Corporate sent expired vouchers/not recognized by franchisee
slide17

Restaurants – The Really Ugly

(but then turned very good)

  • Students left hungry; small portions
  • and poor service
  • TD ordered pizzas to avoid complaints
  • Restaurant DOS refunded meal price
  • AND paid for pizzas
  • AND EARNED TRUST AND REPEAT BUSINESS!
slide18

Student Tours Needs - Transportation

  • Student/youth friendly drivers
  • Experienced drivers
  • Driver cell phones/direct communication access
  • Strong safety record
  • Clean equipment
  • Competitively priced
  • Late model coaches
  • Amenities on board
slide19

Transportation - GBU

  • The Good
  • Make up for cancellation or other or other portion of itinerary
  • The Bad
  • Mechanical failures/poor maintenance
  • The Ugly
  • Mechanical failure results in delay, excess driver time and unsafe conditions
  • Service quote request resulted in invoice for payment
slide20

Transportation

(Really Ugly)

  • 3 buses paid in full; 12 hours out, only 2 arrive
  • Company provided no help in securing 3rd
  • 2 buses arrived two hours late; old and non-professional drivers over hours
  • Had to replace two buses at arrival
  • Company kept full payment + booking fees
  • Kicked out of ABA in 2006 but still promote itself as member
slide21

In General - GBU

  • Suppliers who go all the way
  • Keep in contact
  • Deliver on promises
  • Make the time to spend with client when on location
  • Don’t send client contact information to others unless approved by Active
  • Be timely in response or pass on to someone who can
  • Communicate with client when account person moves on or changes roles, infrastructure changes, etc.
  • Step up to the plate to resolve unexpected issues or mistakes
  • Don’t be rude
  • BE HONEST
slide23

BE

THE GOOD

NOT

THE BAD

OR

THE UGLY

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