Q: I own five travel agencies in Florida and do a lot of advertising locally. Our trips, which give travelers an authentic experience in the country they visit, are led by experts and local guides. Do you have any marketing suggestions for how to take my business to the next level and attract travelers from other areas in the United states?
A: Seems like this is a high-end experience, so you're targeting a niche market of people with significant disposable income who are seeking meaningful leisure-time experiences.
You can reach this market through the publications they might read, such as Cigar Aficionado, Robb Report, Smithsonian magazine and Travel + Leisure, and possibly through AARP. If you don't already have one, develop a media kit including a press release about the tours, top 10 lists of trivia about some of the locations you visit, biographies of the experts who lead the groups, and traveler comments on their experiences.
Before sending your materials, contact the editor or travel editor at each of these organizations, and ask how he or she would like to receive the information (e-mail, overnight mail or fax). Follow up with the editor after you have sent the material. You might request an editorial calendar from each publication; this outlines special sections and other content that advertisers can piggyback on.
Nancy Michaels is president of ImpressionImpact.com, a marketing consulting company. Reach her at .