Itineraries – The Art of Story Telling

Written By Vishal Mehra


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We are all Dreamers, We all like to dream about the Beautiful Places we have seen on Travel Brochures or Articles or Magazines. If there were Travel professionals who could incorporate the same when designing the Itineraries it would transport the prospective travellers to those places.

After 3 decades in the Travel Industry, the one biggest learning for me has been that Visual content sells, content made around a Theme and with a Story combined with graphics converts the fastest. Yet over 80% of the Travel Companies are happy being Mediocre, the itineraries I see, being created with are plain and simple lacking any Soul. The reason that they lack a soul, is because they have been created by Someone who had no emotional connect with his / her job, has just made the Itinerary to fulfil the Obligation to justify his Job. If your excited prospective client doesn’t receive the same excitement from his Travel Itinerary guess where he would take his Business? & The Senior Management wonder’s why the sale didn’t close. The Sale didn’t close because the company hired the cheapest resource and not the right resource who obviously did not put his/her heart into creating content which should have been around a theme.

Imagine this, You are thinking of going to Maldives, a beach location, the first picture that pops into your head is probably the Water Bungalows in Maldives, the pictorial Journey of the water villas and the dining options, the sunsets and water sports, which makes you want to be on the next flight out. However, you get an Itinerary which is all of 4 measly written paragraphs, lacking all Imagination and with ZERO creativity, What would you do? Would you book with someone who offered you this? If you answered NO, then why would your client?

As a DMC, we used to deal with Luxury clients from around the world and our first and foremost focus was on presentation, irrespective of the conversion rate of the our Travel Partner, Our Key focus was A) 24 Hours revert with availability check and B)  we always created stunning Itineraries, some of the Travel partners would feel bad that we put so much effort into creating such visually appealing itineraries and their conversions were low. But we stayed true to our Goal and didn’t care really if the conversions were low with a Particular partner, my teams were absolutely clear that we have to build a theme around our itineraries and there was always a Story which we would weave. This comes from a Simple Human trait, If we would use enough Hypnotic words and would have a compelling story to go with it, it would sell the Journey for us. Imagine if you were to create a personalised travel document for the client based on his travel theme, he may not throw it away after the trip, he may keep it for memory sake and every time he looks at it (even if it is once in a year) it is your free publicity.

I do understand that creating such itineraries is a Pain, specially when dealing with clients who like to shop, but then I still believe that if you offer the same product that everyone else is offering, there is no differentiator that you offer, and there is no reason for the clients to book with you.

Create a Theme, build your travel Itineraries around it and market these on the Social Media and see the results for yourself. This line comes to mind here,

“We sell more because we tell more”



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