Explore otherproducts
8 min

Marketing for Travel Agents: 11 Markup Strategies for Better Profits

Think of this less like a textbook and more like your go-to guide for outsmarting the competition. These marketing strategies are about getting your travel agency seen, building excitement, and filling those flight manifests.

Mike Arnold

Okay, travel agents, let's drop the boring brochure talk for a minute.

Marketing these days? Well, it feels like navigating a crowded airport with a suitcase full of sand, right? You know you've got incredible trips to offer, but getting people to actually see you and book those seats is a whole different adventure.

And here's the thing (and there's no way to sugarcoat it): loads of agents are vying for attention, including big dogs and global enterprises with budgets that are a hundred times yours.

But don't stress – we've got a game plan for you. 11 marketing strategies that can change the game and help you not just profit but thrive in your niche.

Let's get into it.

Destination Guides That Make People Pack Their Bags

Destination guides are everything in the travel business.

People come to your business looking for where they want to go and what they want to do. They have a limited budget and limited time, and they're going to go out of their way to ensure their trip is perfect.

If you can simply outline and highlight precisely how you'll do this and what's available (making their life as easy as possible), you'll win. Simple as that.

However, you need to know that travel guides are more than a list of things to see. Done right, they're the ultimate planning tool for your clients and a sneaky way to get noticed by Google.

Why it Matters (The Stuff Your Clients AND Google Will Love)

  • Clients Get Stoked: No more endless scrolling for hours. A good guide is like their own personal travel advisor, ready to answer their questions before they even ask them. We're talking quality, long-form content that covers everything.
  • Google Sends You Traffic: Guides are packed with juicy keywords and optimized with SEO optimizations, which search engines love. More keywords = getting your travel agency higher on those results pages.


And look, I've recently been writing with Virgin Australia on some of their travel guides, and they're pushing the boat out because they know how important these guides are, typically the first point of call for so many travelers looking for the destinations that interest them.

We're talking 6,000-word super guides to Melbourne, Australia, and a soon-to-be-released 9,000-word guide on things to do in Sydney. These travel guides cover:

  • weather,
  • travel,
  • getting around,
  • things to do,
  • local restaurants,
  • where to stay,
  • the best time of year to go,
  • how the local travel card works,

and so much more.

You need to be producing this kind of caliber content to be seen.

Okay, But How Do I Make Them Actually Good?

  • Forget Being Wikipedia: Many travel guide content will say the same thing. Visitors know this. Instead, we're looking for juicy insider secrets, which you won't find on every travel blog. Did you find a fantastic taco truck down a hidden alleyway on your last trip? That's guide gold!
  • Picture Perfect: Photos (and videos) sell trips way better than words alone. Bonus points for short videos that give a feel for the vibe of the place.
  • Don't Make Them Work Too Hard: Headings, short paragraphs, maps – make your guides easy to skim on the plane or in line for coffee. People want info fast.


If you can provide real value, you'll build your authority and reputation, and travelers will be happy to book with you.

The Power of Guest Post Team-Ups

While we're on the subject of travel guides and content marketing strategies, it's worth noting that posting to your own blog isn't enough. Doing that will only feel like shouting into the void of the internet.

To get more eyes on your content, you need to partner up with other blogs (travel bloggers work amazingly), websites, businesses, and networks, building essentially a travel community and boosting your visibility in the process.

Why It's a Win-Win

  • Double the Audience: When you guest post on someone else's blog (and vice versa), you're tapping into their readers, too.
  • Combo Skills: Imagine a blog post where you offer travel expertise, and they bring insider tips on packing light or photography. It's valuable stuff that neither of you could do alone!
  • Google Loves This: Quality guest posts mean more backlinks, which tells Google your website is trusted... and that boosts your ranking. However, a few quality backlinks are far better than mediocre, spammy ones.


So, how do you find quality backlinks to boost your site's visibility and ranking? It takes some matchmaking prowess.

Firstly, think about businesses that work with the same kind of travelers you do but who offer something DIFFERENT. A great example would be to partner with a luggage company if you specialize in adventure trips. Make a list of potential candidates.

When you find some, reach out! Don't be shy – explain why it makes sense for BOTH of you.

Once accepted, create awesome stuff together. Brainstorm some killer topics that showcase your expertise.

Top tip: You can search your niche on Google, followed by "write for us," to find websites and blogs actively looking for people to write for them. Check the domain authority (this free one from Moz works well) to ensure they're a quality website.

Video is Your Marketing Swiss Army Knife

Let's face it, travel is visual.

People want to see turquoise beaches, bustling markets, the cozy little cafe down the street. And guess what? Video is the BEST way to make that happen from anywhere in the world. Think of it as your do-it-all marketing tool.

Why Video Rules (It's Not Just About TikTok)

  • Grabs Attention in a Crowded World: Scrolling past mountains of text? Meh. A vibrant video? People stop and take notice.
  • Builds Trust Like Nothing Else: Show – don't just tell – what an amazing time your clients are having. Genuine testimonials or a quick walkthrough of a hidden gem does wonders.
  • Travel is All About Emotion: Video lets you capture the feeling of a place, and that's what gets people dreaming about booking.


Video now accounts for over half of all internet traffic. In the boom of TikTok and short-form videos, content videos have become more in demand. Think about how much video content you consume daily, too. If you're not showing up in these spaces, you'll simply get overlooked by those who are.

Where to Use That Video Magic

  • Social Media: Short, eye-catching clips are perfect for Instagram, Facebook, you name it. Show off popular destinations, tours, anything exciting. If you have a YouTube channel, post there too.
  • Emails: As we discussed, videos in email marketing content boost engagement like crazy, increasing clicks by an average of 50%.
  • Your Website: Turn potential clients into excited bookers with a killer video on your landing page.


Even simple videos filmed on your phone can be hugely effective. Don't overthink it! It's time to start making videos part of your everyday marketing.

READ ALSO: Cold Email Sequence Examples — Make Your Outbound Sales Emails Count!

Trendspotting for Travel Agents (Don't Get Left Behind)

The travel industry is overflowing with fleeting and long-lasting trends that come, go, peak, and thrive at all times.

Glamping. Staycations. Eco-friendly adventures. Work abroad. Road trips. Van life.

Now, let's say a potential client who's ready to spend comes to you asking for one of these, and you haven't heard a thing. Not a good look, right?

The travel world moves FAST, and staying ahead of the trends is how you stay ahead in the game.

Why You Gotta Be a Trendsetter

  • Clients Expect It: They want to feel like you're the expert with the inside scoop, not playing catch-up. They want to come to you and know in their souls that you know everything there is to know and can give them the best, most valuable experience.
  • It's Not Just About What's Cool: Trends tell you what travelers actually WANT right now, so you can offer the trips that sell themselves.


How to Stay in the Know

  • Always Be Learning: Webinars, travel magazines, even what other travel agents are talking about on social media – soak it up.
  • Eyes on the Ground: Are people asking for things different from last month? That's valuable intel!
  • Adapt, Don't Cling: Got an outdated package deal gathering dust? Tweak it to match a current trend and promote the heck out of it.


Trendspotting isn't just about knowing what's hip – it's about understanding your clients and being the first to offer those dream trips.

Turn Your Happy Clients into Your Marketing Team

Okay, listen up because this might be the easiest marketing trick ever.

Forget fancy ads, paid campaigns, and struggling to find new marketing avenues through the biggest platforms – your BEST clients are already out there, ready to shout about how amazing you are.

You just need to give them a little nudge in the right direction - and there are several ways to do this, with two as your main focus.

The Magic of Referral Programs

A referral program can be an extremely effective way of using clients' reputations to boost your sales. Quite simply, you take someone who's already doing business with you and is happy about it and give them the opportunity to tell their friends.

For every sign-up that comes from them, you give them a discount, money off, or other incentive, and thus, you grow and keep your customer base loyal and active with you.

This works fantastically because people trust people more than a random ad on Instagram. When a friend says, "This agent is amazing," it's way more likely to turn into a booking. Recent stats actually show that 92% of consumers (Chua, 2021) trust the referrals of recommendations of people they personally know, and referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate because of it.

Compare that with the only 6% of people who automatically trust what they see on their social media feeds (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2022), and you'll quickly begin to see why this is so important.

On top of this, referrals often cost you less than advertising, but they can bring in even MORE clients. Lots of wins all around.

Your Referral Program Playbook

  • Sweeten the Deal: Discounts, vouchers, upgrades... Make it worthwhile for both the person referring AND their friend.
  • Spread the Word: Blast your program on social media, your website, and email blasts, and even mention it when someone books!
  • Don't Overcomplicate: A confusing referral process isn't going to get used. Keep it stupid-simple.


Think of this as unleashing a whole army of mini-marketers singing your praises. A well-run referral program can seriously fuel your growth!

Client Marketing with User Generated Content

Okay, the second approach here is making the most of user-generated content (UGC) or the stunning photos and videos that your customers take while on vacation. It's essentially free marketing, but it also helps to create a community around your travel brand and make people feel more loyal.

Just imagine if you went for a run, took a selfie, and Nike featured it on their IG story. How mad would that be? How cool would you feel with those kinds of bragging rights? Your customers can feel the same about you, so give them the opportunity to do so.

Why This Isn't Just About Cute Pics

  • Google Loves Freshness: All those client posts and reviews? Tell search engines your site is active and relevant, which means better rankings.
  • Community FTW: Sharing other people's travel experiences makes your brand more human and builds excitement for those still dreaming of a trip.


How to Get Those UGC Goodies Flowing

  • Hashtag Power: Create a branded hashtag for your travel agency. Tell people to use it to get a chance to be featured.
  • Contests Rock: Who doesn't love free stuff? Offer a prize for the best travel story, photo, etc., that uses your hashtag. Encourage travelers to show off their visits and experiences with local attractions in any particular destination for fame, glory, and maybe some exclusive deals.
  • Show It Off: Feature the best content from your existing customers on YOUR pages. Seeing others featured inspires more people to play along.


This is all about turning those happy travelers into walking, talking advertisements for your travel agency. Ready to come up with a killer hashtag?

READ ALSO: Why H2H Marketing Is the New Black in the Business World

Get Chatty on Podcasts (And Get Clients Listening)

Podcasting is still a big deal these days, and yes, there's a bit of a meme culture around it, but with 414 million podcast shows worldwide and over 504.9 million global listeners, this is simply a market you can't afford not to tap into.

Picture busy commuters, adventure planners, people getting hyped for trips...they're listening, and it's your chance to be the voice in their ears.

That said, it only works if you do it right.

Why Podcasts Are Your New BFF

  • Your Audience Is On-The-Go: Consider how many people listen to stuff while driving, working out, etc. Podcasts are perfect for grabbing attention in that multitasking world.
  • Build that Expert Status: You get to share ALL your best travel tips, stories, and destination knowledge – it's like a mini-masterclass proving you're the real deal.


How to Get in the Podcast Game

  • Go Solo: Love to chat? Start your own travel podcast! Niche down (solo female travel, luxury adventures, etc.) and consistency are key.
  • Be a Guest: Already some podcasts you love? Pitch yourself as an expert guest. It's a great way to reach their existing audience.


Podcasts let you build way more of a personal connection than a quick social media post. It's your insider tips going straight into the ears of potential travelers.

Spy on the Competition

I'm not saying steal your competition's ideas or simply copy their actions. You'll already be behind at that point. I am saying that modern business requires you to keep tabs on what other agencies are up to. It's just smart business.

Think of it like scouting the other team before the big game – you gotta know what you're up against to beat them. You also get insight into what your content needs to be to be number one, as well as ensuring your marketing efforts are heading in the right direction.

Why Competitive Snooping Is Your Secret Weapon

  • Find the Missing Piece: What are they NOT offering that your clients might want? That's your chance to offer something truly unique.
  • Don't Get Outpriced: You gotta make sure your packages are competitive and that you're not underselling yourself.


Once you start clocking your competition (typically pick 5-10 of your main competitors and similar businesses and check in with them every now and then, or use monitoring tools), use this information wisely to:

  • Know Your Edge: Use what you learned about the competition to create packages they can't match.
  • Play to Your Strengths: Got a killer connection with a boutique hotel? Special access to a cool tour? Make those the highlights.
  • Shout It Out: Don't be shy about why your packages are better! Bold marketing wins the clients.


Knowing the competition lets you outsmart them by offering what no one else can. Now, that's a recipe for success!

Forget Generic Marketing, Get Personal

In this crazy, noisy world of ads, people crave feeling special. Generic travel brochures? They go straight into the mental trash bin. Personalized marketing is how you cut through and make clients feel like you "get" what they want.

And at the end of the day, statistics show that personalization will, on average, lift your revenue by between 10-15% and is expected to be offered by 71% of customers. (Source: Next In Personalization 2021 Report by The McKinsey.)

Why a Personalized Experience Works Like Magic

  • Build That Bond: Tailored messages make people feel like you actually care, not that they're just another booking.
  • It's a Numbers Game: Personalized emails, offers, etc., get way better responses than mass-produced ones.

Getting Personal Doesn't Have to Be Hard

  • Divide & Conquer: Group clients by interests – families, adventure seekers, luxury travelers, etc. You can't write to them all the same way!
  • It's in the Details: Different groups get different messages. Focus on what THEY care about.
  • Use Names: Seriously, it's such a simple trick, but it works! Emails that say "Hey Sarah" open more than "Dear Valued Customer."


And try to get creative when it comes to personalizing content. Think emails, social media comments or DMs, click-to-call widget, and emails. Wherever you can use someone's name and customize the content they see based on interests, do it.

Think of this as less about being a salesperson and more about being a helpful travel advisor for each individual client.

Make Clients Feel Like VIPs (And Keep Them Coming Back)

These days, customer experience is everything.

Unlike business of the past, building strong customer relationships isn't just about the sale, it's about creating long-term fans of your business. Think of it like becoming their go-to travel guru.

Why Relationships are Your Superpower

  • Trust = Repeat Business: When clients feel like you understand their needs, they'll book with you again and again.
  • Happy Clients Are Walking Billboards: They'll tell their friends, leave glowing positive reviews, and basically do your marketing for you. As we've covered above.


CRM to the Rescue

  • Never Forget a Detail: CRMs (customer relationship management tools) are your memory bank. Know their favorite destinations, dietary needs, anything that makes them feel special.
  • Tailored Offers: Don't send generic deals. Use your CRM data to send them offers actually relevant to their past trips or interests.
  • Listen & Improve: Track feedback and actually USE IT. Shows you value their opinions and helps you get better.


CRM might sound techy, but it's about making your clients feel valued. That's what turns a one-time booking into a lifelong customer.

Get Serious About Digital (Or Get Left Behind)

Okay, chances are you have a travel website, some social media pages, and the sorts, but are you taking it seriously?

Look, it's all good. Dip and dive around, change your website theme here and there, and ensure you're on the platforms, but let's be real: Do you have the resources and time to manage all those accounts? Is it really worthwhile?

To be a successful travel agency these days, you don't need to be on every single platform, nor do you need to serve millions of customers a year. You just need to find your USP, carve out your niche by identifying who your best potential customers are, and then set up your business in a way that gives them what they want.

You could quite easily run a sustainable business serving no more than a few hundred customers who pay a premium for their yearly travel adventures. Or you could serve thousands of customers on a budget.

It's about finding what works for you but then setting up your digital space to reflect those goals.

How to Get Serious About Your Digital Strategy in the Travel Industry

  • Audit Your Current Efforts: Be brutally honest about what's working and what's not. Do you even track where your bookings come from?
  • Find Your Focus: Don't try to be everything to everyone. What kind of trips are you passionate about? Who's the ideal client you want to attract?
  • Choose Your Weapons: Pick a few key platforms where your ideal clients will likely be. Quality over quantity!
  • Match Your Message: Does your website, social media, etc., feel tailored to your niche? Generic content won't attract your perfect clients.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Are you aiming for high-end, small-volume bookings? Or lower price, greater volume? This dictates your entire digital strategy.
  • Analyze, Adapt, Repeat: Don't just post and hope for the best. Track search results and adjust what you're doing based on what's actually working. Google Analytics exists for a reason.


Think of this as less about tech and more about making sure potential clients stumble across your awesome travel agency anywhere they look.

The Final Polish: Making Your Online Presence Shine

And finally, while we're dreaming big and working on these amazing strategies and goals, I have to stress how important it is that you don't overlook the fundamentals of marketing because if these are what will hold you back, if anything.

Think of this as the final walkthrough before those VIP clients arrive. We want everything to be flawless, right? A polished digital presence isn't just nice; it's what gets you noticed and booked. Let's dive in!

SEO Tune-Up (So You Get Found!)

  • Website Detective: SEO tools are your friend! They'll find those hidden issues (broken links, outdated keywords) that might hurt your search rankings.
  • Update Those Keywords: Make sure your travel-related content uses the freshest keywords - what people are ACTUALLY searching for right now.
  • Don't Forget Meta Descriptions: Those little snippets below your search result link? Treat them like mini-advertisements to get those clicks.


Focus on Optimization of Website Conversion Rate

  • Conversion Rate Optimization: analyzing and testing various elements of your website, such as the design, layout, and texts, to determine what works best in persuading visitors to take action.
  • Implement Lead Capture Software: capturing potential customers on your travel agency website can dramatically increase your conversion.


Mobile-Friendly Isn't Enough, It's the Minimum

  • Test on ALL Devices: Your website must look AMAZING on phones, tablets, laptops – the whole range. Don't assume; actually, check!
  • Speed Matters: Slow-loading travel websites = lost customers. Use tools to analyze (and fix) anything slowing you down.
  • Touchy-Feely Travels: Make sure buttons, links, and everything are easy to tap, even on tiny screens.


Your Message, Bold and Beautiful

  • Mission Check-In: Does your mission statement still ring true for your goals today? If not, it's time for a rewrite.
  • Why Choose You? What makes you truly unique? That should be front and center on your website for everyone to see.


The Checklist of Crucial Marketing Activities for the Travel Industry 

To go truly next-level, tick off everything on this list:

SEO Health Check:

  • Site speed test
  • Mobile usability test
  • On-page SEO elements audit (title tags, headings, etc.)
  • Off-page SEO analysis (backlinks, social media presence)
  • Content freshness review
  • Is all metatags and data in place?

Website Performance Optimization:

  • Image file size reduction
  • Usage of caching technologies
  • Implementation of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Minification of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

User Experience (UX) Enhancement:

  • Streamline navigation menus
  • Improve content readability
  • Provide clear calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • Accessibility review for inclusivity

Technical SEO Advantage:

  • Fix crawl errors
  • Implement structured data markup.
  • Enhance XML sitemaps
  • Secure your domain with HTTPS.

Mobile Experience Perfection:

  • Adaptive design for all screen sizes
  • Touch-friendly interfaces
  • Quick-access contact and other basic information
  • Mobile payment options

Brand Message Clarity:

  • Refine branding elements (logo, color scheme)
  • Create a consistent voice across all content
  • Elevate customer testimonials

Analytical Review:

  • Track bounce rate trends
  • Analyze user demographic data
  • Set up conversion tracking


Pro Tip: This isn't a one-time thing! Regular maintenance keeps your site at the top of its game.


checklist of marketing activities for travel agencies

Here is a copy for you to download.☝️

Wrapping It Up

Okay, we've covered A LOT! 11 strategies that act as your toolkit for seriously leveling up your travel business.

From finding your specific niche to embracing the digital world, each one adds a powerful boost to your marketing game.

And tools like CallPage? That's next-level stuff, making it super easy to connect with clients and turn interest into actual bookings. Remember, the faster and more personalized your service is, the more connected customers will feel toward your business, and the more likely they will book and become loyal customers.

This isn't just about chasing profits (though let's be real, that's important too!). It's about becoming THE travel expert people trust, the one they go to for amazing trips, and sharing with all their friends.

It's all about the experience, from the booking process to the actual experience itself.

The online travel industry is always changing, and these strategies will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Start generating leads today!

Start a 14-day free trial now,

set up the widget on your site, and see how many more leads you can capture with CallPage

  • No credit card required
  • 10 minutes set up
  • 14 days fully-features free trial