Boat on water in Thailand

Zoom for improvement, as seen in TTG

With in-person events scrapped due to Covid-19, travel professionals have turned to virtual platforms to host events and connect with customers old and new.

Travel Counsellor Katrina Smith created “Zoom Around the World with Katrina” in September, a fortnightly virtual trip hosted by herself and a different supplier partners to destinations such as Japan, Sri Lanka and the Galapagos Islands.

Katrina explains: “I decided to launch the virtual trips to keep my clients interested and also look for new clients ready for when the world opened up again.”

“They have proven to be really popular. We regularly have between 20 to 30 people attend, and I now have a group of 14 confirmed for a trip to Iceland, six of whom are brand-new clients.”

Katrina promotes the virtual trips on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, which leads to new customers attending. Existing clients, who make up 50% of attendees, have also invited their family and friends to join.

“I always put a ‘thanks for coming’ post on Facebook after the event. Which leads to lovely comments and more attendees for the next event," she adds.

While the virtual trips were a "slow burner" initially, things have picked up in 2021, especially since prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement on 22 February.

“I have a confirmed Nile cruise booking, I’m working on two enquiries for Sri Lanka next year and two for Costa Rica, as well as one for Peru, so the virtual events are definitely worth it! Zoom has been a godsend – it’s put me in front of clients I wouldn’t have met before,” says Katrina.

TTG highlighted Katrina’s success in their feature “The agents who have secured new business during the pandemic”.

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