Agent Janis Anne, owner of Janis Anne Travel in Oak Lawn, Ill., has
been in business about 30 years and began specializing in
honeymoons eight years ago. "Hawaii has always had a romantic
atmosphere and reputation," says Janis Anne, who has visited the
islands 27 times. "There's a purity to the islands and, being smack
dab in the middle of the ocean, they have an aura, a mystery to
them. But they are also part of the U.S. and for many people that
means they are very comfortable."
Having visited Hawaii so many times, the agent says she has an
intimate knowledge of the islands, a crucial factor in selling
Hawaii. "My agents and I know the special areas, the charm of the
different resorts, the restaurants, the sightseeing," she says.
"And we continue to return to the destination to keep up with
what's going on. Every couple of months, one of my agents is
traveling to Hawaii to revisit a resort or to see a new one."
Focusing on the honeymoon couple is also key to serving the
market, according to the agent. "Honeymooners are in love; these
people are planning the first weeks of their lives together," she
says. "You have to focus on them and on what they truly want and
enjoy in a basic vacation, let alone in a honeymoon.
"Many honeymooners, for example, say they want to get away from
it all, but they'd be unhappy with the kind of destination that
offered nothing to do," she says. "For Hawaii honeymooners, I make
sure they go for enough days so that they can do a lot, but also
have sufficient time to relax, walk the beach and enjoy the
The retailer says it is important to create the right look and
feel for an agency that caters to honeymoon travel. "We have videos
of the destination, flowers, [and] pictures of previous clients,"
she says. It's a "comfortable, colorful" office with an atmosphere
conducive to imaging the perfect honeymoon.
Her efforts outside her agency to develop and retain honeymoon
business include a once or twice-monthly column in the local
newspaper on honeymoons and destination weddings. "This is the kind
of marketing tool that brings clients in," she says.
Suzanne Barry, owner of Associated Travel Services in Joliet,
Ill., joined five other businesses in creating a "honeymoon mall"
some 10 years ago. The agency and other businesses -- a florist,
tuxedo shop, bridal store, hairdresser and insurance company --
constitute a kind of one-stop shopping for wedding and honeymoons,
according to Barry.
Barry says the partners also created her county's first bridal
show which was marketed through a partnership with the local radio
Personal service is key to serving the honeymoon market, says
Barry. "I don't run the hotel or airline or car rental company, but
I am available 24 hours a days for my clients. My home phone number
is on every itinerary we print.
"We also do follow-up by sending a card to clients asking them
how everything went after the honeymoon," she says. Those cards
include a suggestion for the couple's next vacation.
"You can't beat the honeymoon business," adds Barry. "if you
develop a good relationship with the couple, you have a client for
life. And there's also a spin-off to the families of the bride and
groom who are also potential clients if you've done a good job for