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Booking a Trip
Bank travel clubs, community and alumni organizations, seniors and special interest associations, corporate travelers and schools are a few examples of groups who enjoy well planned and orchestrated travel programs. Traveling with a group offers variety of benefits including companionship, security, ease of travel, and often, rate and value advantages. Group Travel is often the result of the efforts of well motivated and organized individuals who see travel as a way of providing enjoyment, adventure, education, companionship and for themselves and other individuals.
At Star Destinations, we provide group leaders with the highest level of professional planning, operational service and personal motivation to ensure your success.
Why Promote Group Travel?
Creative and Convenient:
As a group leader you may not have the time or information necessary to select a destination and put together all the components of a detailed group itinerary. The professional tour planners at Star Destinations have the destination knowledge and industry contacts available to plan and present the precise tour itinerary that meets all the requirements of your group.
Simple to Sell:
Travelers enjoy the security, “ease of travel” and companionship when traveling with an escorted tour making it easy to sell. With all the planning and operational details looked after by Star Destinations, you will be able to concentrate on the sales and marketing of the tour to your group.
Encourages Customer Loyalty:
People who travel with groups often develop a strong sense of loyalty to the organization and group leader who provide them with the travel opportunity. They enjoy the companionship of people they have shared a unique travel experience with and look to the organization for direction, security and creative ideas. Satisfied repeat customers are easy to keep.
Creates Incentives for Travel Organization and Group Leader:
Customized group travel tours create the opportunity for the Group Organizer to utilize the planning skills of Star Destinations to build different options into a tour. A commission or customer rebate can be built in to assist with the marketing and promotional costs of the tour. Group Leaders can negotiate reduced or complimentary fares to enable them to travel with the group. span>
How to Plan and Operate a Tour
1. Know Your Group
Before you select a destination and plan a trip for your group, collect all the relevant information that will help you make the best choices relating to the destination, itinerary, timing, rate and promotion:
2. Use the services of a professional Tour Planner.
- Past travel history – where have they been? What is their average length of travel time?
- Seasonality – when do they want to travel? Do they have times when they can’t travel?
- Does the group have physical, philosophical or ethical destination limitations?
- What are their parameters for price and value?
- Do they have special interests that can be featured in a tour itinerary?
- What is the normal or potential size (in passenger numbers) of the group?
- What is the composition of the group – singles/couples/families?
- How much lead time will the group need to make a travel decision?
- Do they have a preferred mode of travel (Cruise, Air, and Land)?
- Are they interested in both Domestic and International Travel?
- Avoid dates that conflict with big events (Christmas, graduation, harvest, sporting events.
Star Destinations tour planners are skilled at matching the unique requirements of your group to a travel experience that will match or exceed their expectations:
3. Utilize the promotional assistance of your Tour Operator.
- Drawing on the most up-to-date industry information our tour planners will first help you select the Destination from an array of traditional, unique or new alternatives
- Working with the information you have provided, our tour planners will design a tour itinerary that reflects the type of accommodation, transportation, and included features (meals, activities, gratuities, etc) that your group demands.
Star Destinations has helped group leaders successfully promote their group departures for over 25 years. Take advantage of the suggestions and promotional aids that we can offer.
Direct mailing/e-mail blast to membership list
Advertising in organization newsletter or magazine
Public advertising in community newspaper, magazine or directories
Sponsorship of charity events
Word of mouth
Personal presentation to the group at a reception/luncheon/travel shows
Timing of Promotions
- Give yourself lots of lead time to make sure your promotional material will be ready on time.
- Make sure you time your promotion well enough in advance to make changes if necessary.
- Avoid promotions that conflict with major events or holidays
- Watch for competitive promotions and revise your promotion if necessary
Why Use Star Destinations?
1. Established and Financially Solid
Since 1984 Star Destinations has been a family owned and operated tour company providing customized group planning and operations for a wide variety of group organizations. The financially solid company is located in Carroll Iowa which is also the headquarters for other travel related companies owned by the Greteman family including Town and Country Travel and Windstar Lines, Iowa’s largest charter bus company.
2. Professional and Creative Tour Planning
The tour planning team at Star Destinations is both professional and creative. Our tour planners have an average of over 15 years experience in the industry and are constantly exploring new and creative itineraries that will provide an experience that exceeds the expectations of our clients while continuing to operate within the financial framework they require.
3. Fresh Travel Solutions
Our recently introduced Fresh Travel Solutions concept acknowledges the dramatically changing culture of the group travel industry. Utilizing the preferred rates offered by our valued suppliers we have developed an “a la carte” planning process which features Essentials, Preferred and Signature product and pricing levels. This innovative system guarantees the that the group will receive the best value without sacrificing guest service or product quality.
4. Marketing Assistance
Star Destinations is pleased to provide group leaders with a variety of assistance for the promotion of their groups including:
5. Ongoing Service and New Product Development
- Customized flyers for direct mailing and group presentations
- Shells and Ad Slicks for advertising campaigns
- Video and PowerPoint presentations for group presentations
- Personal presentations for group meetings and receptions
- Webinars for group and individual presentations
At Star Destinations we know that our best customers are our repeat customers. We are committed to providing the best post travel service for you and your clients. We want to hear your feedback and we want to earn the right to provide you with new and innovative group travel opportunities in the future.