Keys to selling big

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A group at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay in Kailua-Kona.
A group at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay in Kailua-Kona.

To cash in on lucrative family reunion group travel, target your message and specialize itineraries so that every age segment will enjoy experiences tailored to their abilities and interests.



• Especially with families traveling from multiple destinations, emphasize the ease of working with a single agent to handle the details for the entire group. This is critical in securing accommodations on the same floor/building and reducing ground transportation expenses since people will arrive on the same flight or flights scheduled for similar arrival times.

• Define a single contact to represent a collective voice.

• Consider access ease for families traveling with infants or seniors. Nonstop and direct flights make the journey flow more smoothly and help to avoid missed connections.

• Clarify that accommodations range from upscale with adjoining suites at oceanfront resorts to homey comforts and conveniences in vacation condominiums or villas.

• Confirm if properties have cribs available, access to sundries like diapers, accessible rooms and other family-friendly amenities.

• Share the vast range of activities with appeal to every age segment. Create itineraries that incorporate the entire group, and separate ones to accommodate different ages and interests. Bear in mind that many attractions are multifaceted and have broad appeal. At places like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, active members can hike along trails and explore the Thurston Lava Tube as others peruse the park's visitor center, the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum and Volcano Art Center.

• Prebook excursions. Not only will this boost your bottom line, but it also guarantees that your clients enjoy those bucket list experiences like whale-watching, ziplining and helicopter tours.

• Consider resorts with kids clubs and babysitter arrangements so that parents have adult time for shopping, spa treatments or a round of golf.

• Be sure to match your clients to the islands, resort areas and accommodations that best fit their needs. Those who prefer to pack light, have picky eaters and plan to stay awhile will appreciate condos with kitchens and laundry facilities. Others into pampering at every level may be better suited to a posh resort.
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