Travel Advisor Gets Creative to Keep Clients Engaged

Despite the shutdown of travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Travel Experts’ travel advisor, Linda de Sosa, has found creative ways to keep clients engaged.

De Sosa, who owns Bucketlist Travel Consulting, an independent travel consultant affiliated with host agency Travel Experts, created the Quarantour, designed to keep her clients entertained and interested in future vacations.

"I got a great reaction," de Sosa said. "It was not designed to get bookings, but just to let them know I was thinking of them. Each week different clients viewing the Quarantour sent their appreciation. We then asked them to where are you dreaming about traveling? More than 40 got back to me within a day after I sent out that email telling me about their dream trips."

What’s included in a Quarantour? De Sosa provided language lessons, books, and movies to make the destinations come alive and also sent recipes and music.

"My passion is travel. That is what lights up my eyes. I use it to help color in my future. Experiential travel lets me feel. Themed travel lets me learn. Let me help you color in your future dreams and fill your senses with the world around you."

De Sosa became critically ill at age 36 and decided to focus her life on what made her happy, travel, rather than climbing the corporate ladder. She has now been in the industry for more than 25 years and has traveled to 150 countries, all 50 states and seven continents, and has taken 38 cruises on rivers and oceans.

“My valued clients have benefited from my insider’s knowledge and experience as they choose to explore our world," she said.

She started Quarantour for both herself and her clients, taking them on a round-the-world virtual adventure.

"This is the longest I have gone without traveling in the last 25 years. And I don’t like it. So, I am leaving now and I invite you to join me. We will literally travel around the world with one stop per continent. As I always do, I will prepare you for the journey with resources and provide insights from my lifetime of travel to 150 countries and all states and continents."

Beyond her Quarantour, de Sosa has been busy with several other projects to streamline her business, including a new website with booking capabilities, updating her client list and contacting clients about their dream trips.

De Sosa has also updated her logo and made travel bags that she hand-delivered to clients around town. Like many of the recent travel, surveys have revealed, she has found that most of her clients are not yet ready to travel but that some are traveling domestically.

Not too many people are ready to travel right now, but we do have a few going to places like South Dakota and Utah,” said de Sosa. “Most of my clients haven't been affected economically by the coronavirus crisis. I have one pharmacist who wanted to go somewhere because she was working so hard and needed a break, but one trip after another that we planned for her got canceled. Some other clients are desperate to travel, but they too have had multiple cancellations of planned trips. Other clients are not wanting to go anywhere internationally because they are afraid to get stuck somewhere like what happened to some travelers in the beginning of the coronavirus crisis."

De Sosa believes that a crisis like the coronavirus is an opportunity to share ideas and help others and she has shared some of hers:

"When everything turns upside down, take the time to evaluate what you want to be when you grow up, where your passions, experience and skills lie and use the disruption to make it easier to make a change,” she advised.

De Sosa also encouraged travel advisors to take care of themselves and their clients.

"Take care of yourself during disruption. It doesn’t take much to mess with your brain and result in depression. Ask for help,” she said.

A positive outlook also helps and she recommends keeping the future in mind.

"Visualize yourself at the other side of the crisis.”

Travel Advisor Gets Creative to Keep Clients Engaged

Hongxia Sun