3 Reasons To Partner with Travel Advisor Consortia

June 08, 2023

Destination marketers know that working with travel advisors is important. There is even greater potential to generate new business, however, by partnering with travel advisor consortia.

Think of consortia like the group chat of travel trade professionals – instead of texting each travel advisor individually, you can message groups of them all at once. That unleashes big possibilities if you know what you’re doing.

Travel advisor consortia are organized and hold bargaining power when it comes to things like commissions and fees. In general, however, they can only benefit destinations who work constructively with them to sell destination experiences. If you already have strong partnerships with tour operators, it’s time to think about how working with travel advisor consortia can elevate your destination story and drive more business to your destination.

1. Reach Affluent Consumers 
First, in working with consortia like Virtuoso, destinations can help place their message directly in front of the travel consortium’s concentration of luxury travel advisors, rather than trying to find them all separately. Consortia are experts at attracting travel agencies as members because they drive consumer leads to each advisor through their collective marketing power.

For a destination looking to target a niche – whether it’s luxury, family, LGBTQ+, or adventure travelers – partnering with travel advisor consortia is an effective way to reach the right travel trade professionals en masse who will connect your destination message to the affluent consumers you seek to attract.

2. Create A Knowledgeable Sales Force 
While travel advisor consortia don’t offer accreditation to their members, they do provide a host of other services. They regularly provide destination training to members through a members-only portal available 24/7. By partnering with a consortium such as Signature, DMOs can provide destination training modules and offer exclusive content to ensure your destination stays top of mind among members as they sell to their affluent customers. Think of this as the honors version of your typical travel advisor training modules.

Partnering with a consortium to provide specific destination trainings – such as a golf pro’s deep dive into a destination’s golf experiences or a curator’s take on a city’s arts and culture – will position your destination in front of travel influencers with the messages that are important to you, while opening up your marketing messages to an wider pool of eager sellers.

3. Amplify Your Suppliers’ Spend
There’s nothing new about pooling resources and yet so few destinations are investing to scale through travel advisor consortia partnerships, like those offered by Travel Leaders. Overall, when both a destination and its supplier partners commit to working with a travel advisor consortium, it will amplify your message by enabling you to invest in higher quality production, reach a larger audience, communicate more frequently, and form stronger partnerships.

A constant trickle of top-of-mind content will result in travel advisors sending more business, more consistently, hopefully even sending clients on repeat trips if your destination is delivering on its promise.

By connecting with travel advisors in a consortium regularly and staying on their radar, you’ll generate positive interactions that keep you top of mind among loyal sellers – even if they leave one consortium for another organization.

Whether you’re investing $50,000 or $250,000, through partnering with travel advisor consortia such as CCRA or Ensemble, you’re going to build a circle of loyal advisors. Those advisors – when they believe in your destination – will continue to sell it. They’ll also become big supporters of your suppliers.

Wondering how your destination can get on the radar of North American travel advisor consortia? DCI’s travel trade team has you covered. Get in touch with [email protected] to learn how our more than 60 years of destination marketing experience can help achieve your destination’s goals.

Written by

Siobhan Chretien

Senior Director