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How do you get guests to book thru your travel agent?

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    Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:45 AM

    Most of my guests just booked through my TA. I said space is limited and the quote I gave is only guaranteed till DATE. Still I have a few who thought they could get a better deal. Non have been successful yet. I was also allowed to change my rate once. For this I waited till the rate went down, the regular rate was about what we were paying, then I got a re quote and locked in again. (The group rate should be approx 10% cheaper then regular)

    I would say that you need a better group rate if even you found a better deal.
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    #12 JenniferSS



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      Posted 13 September 2009 - 01:20 PM

      Not if they are booking elsewhere, they will not count towards your amenities and can not be added in. What concerns me is that Sandals/Beaches has a one price policy so the room rates will be the same no matter where they book, unless someone is discounting the rates.

      It's a huge No -No, Sandals/Beaches cut off Expedia for discounting- it was one of the big onlines.If they'll stop a big company, they won't hesitate to do it to another smaller company. In that case Sandals/Beaches can cut them off from booking and then the clients reservations will not be able to be serviced.

      Or, your guests are getting a quote from the TA and then a few days later taking a peek and going to book and their was a sale- the guests then assumed that the TA's rates were higher instead of checking back.

      Originally Posted by bosi
      Some guests are getting better rates elsewhere. Do you know if i can call Beaches and still add those guests to my total rm count to still perks?
      I guess this is directed to the TAs out there?

      #13 BTurner

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        Posted 18 September 2009 - 08:02 PM

        When my sister got married in Jamaica 3 years ago, the air and hotel was booked at the same time. Air went up and down for months. The price of the resort dropped once. My sister contacted her TA and told her about the price decrease on the hotel - although it wasn't much at all $10.00 per person, her TA went back and renegotiated that price for her. There is nothing that can be done about the air as it was a scheduled carrier - American airlines. They had a penalty to cancel or change the air to the most current lowest price. Many people get upset with their travel agents and it really is out of their hands to do anything about the air. At least my sister's travel agent explained that to her in the beginning. Also, my sister was the one who found that the resort had put on a sale and she called her TA. Her TA did not know the sale was taking place, but was very willing to contact the resort about the lower pricing. Also we have not been looking that long since I singed up with Best Destination Weddings, but the two resorts we have in mind within 2 months already had a price decrease and one had a price increase! lol. We are still entertaining the idea of the one with the price increase - still watching the rates on their website. As my sister said, hotels change prices frequently. You would have to monitor their websites 24 hours a day to know when a sale goes on. Just my 2 cents! BT

        #14 Flasong

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          Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:52 AM

          I have to give a shout out to TA Maureen on here. I am using her and she has been great! I am the bride who booked and then a week or so later my resort came out with a 30% off sale. I truly was soo bummed but she rebooked me, actually upgraded my room and still saved me $350 off my trip. My mom saved over $400. The online sites did not beat her prices at all. And I like having the TA to help me with questions and or concerns I have with the resort. Not all of my guests used her to book but I gave them her info if they so desired. You cannot force anyone to use a TA but I think with a DW, it is def. a must to have a travel agent on your side!

          #15 JenniferSS



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            Posted 19 September 2009 - 12:32 PM

            I find that many times the brides have quite a bit of power over this but they are extremely hesitant to use it. My brides that have strongly recommended or insisted on their guests using my services- and didn't provide information about using the internet or direct with theresort, usually 95-99% of the guests utilized me. I was able to provide a smooth and stressfree travel experience for them and their guests as I can address any potential issues before they book anything. I am also forever addressing schedule changes behind the scenes- in general I spend several hrs each week working on issues and getting them resolved -that the guests don't even know popped up!

            Then come natural disasters, swine flu and who knows what and I am there doing what it takes to make everything work out. The guests who booked online- they are on their own to take care of those issues. I've had a few that booked online and offered to pay me when something came up to take care of the problem. They are not my client though and I must take care of my own! Plus we really can't do much when we're not listed as agent of record. We also get many that booked online and still wants us to answer their questions- we have to refer them back to their booking source as that is their TA. I actually had one guest threaten to sue me because I wouldn't answer his questions and make changes to his reservation after I spent weeks with him and he booked online!

            Anyways....The brides that had both my information and that of online booking sources- I still had 95-99% contact me to get their questions answered but for a few dollars less ( it was usually a difference in flights- they didn't realize that the connection was impossible /they'd arrive after dinner/have to leave the resort for their return at 7am/ transfers weren't included ect ect) they'd book online.

            What many guests do not realize is that good travel agents strive to offer the best value overall! That often is NOT the absolute, rock bottom, lowest price- in travel often you really do get what you pay for!

            So many look for the absolute lowest price but have no idea about getting the GREATEST VALUE! Only you, as the Bride can communicate that to your guests-the value that your TA brings into the equation. There is a huge difference between the two.

            If the guest comes back to me and says well I found this online can you match or beat it I can them explain why I didn't offer that option - and why it's NOT a good value ( such as your only staying three days at the resort and you will miss all meals day one - for $25.00 more I can get you in to the resort 6 hrs earlier and your have both lunch and dinner! Or, I know that airport and there is no way to make that connection with your luggage- you will be going to the wedding in the clothes you arrived in! Or, no way to make that connection and the next flight out is at 10am the next day- we can only hope that it isn't already full) I can give thousands of examples!

            #16 Flasong

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              Posted 19 September 2009 - 03:26 PM

              No problem Maureen. You deserve it! And btw...I LOVE ur pic with your dog:) soo cute!

              #17 md2002

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                Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:39 PM

                I haven't gotten into this yet.... but my TA has told me that if there is a price drop at ANY time before final payment is made that she will price adjust and let me or my guests know that she has done so.

                I don't know if that's how it will work but she assured me if I book now she will always get me the lowest price , through price adjustments, right up until I make the final payment on the booking.

                #18 thefuturemrslutz

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                  Posted 06 October 2009 - 10:50 PM

                  Do you recommend talking to a few travel agents before choosing which one to go with? Does every TA get the same prices? What are some things I should look for in choosing a TA? THANK YOU!!!

                  #19 Tanya Marie

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                    Posted 06 October 2009 - 11:13 PM

                    You should try one of the travel agents on the forum. They are very knowledgeable, and get great rates. You can shop around and see if one gets better rates than another, but they are all roughly in the same ball park. The benefit to choosing one from here is again the knowledge of destination weddings and the relationships with the resorts. Good Luck!
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                    #20 bride2b10

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                      Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:43 PM

                      We have a slightly different story - we are not using a travel agent but somebody who books the hotel rooms under a group contract. The thing is, once we sign the contract, we are fairly locked in. I think the price is fair, but I'm concerned about what will happen if somebody delays booking and finds a nice 48 hour 30% off sale.... We have to get the minimum # of rooms... and I need to politely "encourage" our guests to book through our contact.

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