After only 3 months of operations, Vacances Maestro has ceased activities since this morning. Vacances Maestro was offering a range of vacation destinations and products with departures from Jean Lesage International Airport.
Because of that, there are actually 1645 Maestro’s customers outside the country wondering how they will get home and hundreds of customers who bought packages for the next weeks who would like to know if they will get their money back… and how.
In this kind of situation, as a customer, I always refer to the company to get information I need and to answer my questions. In fact, Maestro should give travellers all the information they need. I guess the staff of the customer service do the best they can but I don’t understand why they didn’t use Internet to communicate with their customers so far?
What should Maestro do?
They should remove the actual website and create a simple page explaining:
- The facts about what is going on with the company.
- How customers currently on a trip will get back home and what they should do.
- What will happen with the packages customers bought for the next weeks/months and what they should do.
In my opinion, Quebec Airport should also write a news on their website and even a post on their blog to give info about what happens with the tour operator or, at least, link the customers to the information given by Maestro on their website… ok, in this case it’s not possible. ; )
Okay Travel/Tourism bloggers, it’s time to get known. I have to say that I hate this kind of game but since it could be helpful for everyone, why not? The goal is simple, I want my favorite blogs (Guillaume, Chris, Darren, Claude, etc.) to be discovered by a maximum of people from the tourism and travel industry.
T-List stands for Tourism/Travel list. This concept have been used in the past with the Z-List. This time, it’s up to travel and tourism bloggers to be discovered. ; )
- Write a post.
- Copy/paste the link list from the post you’ve discovered the T-List into it.
- Make sure the links are active and correct.
- If your blog is on the list, remove it’s not a self-promotion post. As Tim Fehlman (Z-List) said : “Don’t worry, because if your name is on mine, it’s on others and will spread.”
- Add your favorite tourism and travel blogs on it.
- Add the url of the blog where you’ve discovered the T-List as well.
- Publish the post.
- People will notice the T-List and continue it.
Here is the list
Chrispitality Media Blog
A Luxury Travel Blog
My Travel Backpack
The Travel PR Blog
Travel Web sites clamp down on bogus reviews
“He estimates that 1 percent to 2 percent of the reviews on SideStep and other travel sites are bogus. But he says the industry and users are aware of the problem and addressing it.”
In my opinion, the problem is that this 1 percent to 2 percent of bogus reviews is not distributed proportionally. I mean when a company decides to cheat and writes bogus reviews, they won’t write one or two… they will try to improve their rating as much as they can. It creates variations of relevance from a hotel (tour company, travel company, …) to another. Who should customers trust? It’s not always easy but most of the time they can find out!
Sometimes it could look like cheating is a fast way to grow your sales but I really think you should take this time to improve the quality of your services by reading the reviews customers wrote about your company instead… and take action!
It looks like The Production Network (TPN) is looking for travel girl bloggers for the upcoming spring break in Mexico.
I guess that probably most men won’t read this post since the title is Valentine’s Day, so I hope that you’ll appreciate it, girls! haha
More seriously, I’ve ran a query on Google Trends with the expression “valentine day” and here is what it gave me:
Obviously, the number of searches about Valentine is at its maximum just before Valentine’s Day. What I want you to notice is that the searches start growing on January 1st. The slope is very impressive and you should remember that it’s important to be ready on January 1st. To do so, you should follow some rules:
- Your “Valentine’s Day” related content should be on the site a few months before February so that search engines can index it.
- You should start to link some pages to this content before January.
- On January 1st (depending on your marketing strategy and boxing day sales/promotion) you should start to switch from Christmas/holidays to Valentine’s day.
Driving traffic to the Valentine’s Day content, that is what’s important.
Keep in mind that this is not applicable for every business model but it’s always the same for that kind of event:
- Take advantage of the search engines (publish your content and link to it weeks/months before the event)
- Be sure to give people the content they want (know what they want and when they want it).
Vueling is a low-fare airline based in Barcelona. Maybe you don’t know them yet since it was established in 2004. As I already wrote in a previous post, I’m going to Spain next May. The planning is going well. We’ve decided to take a plane from Sevilla to Barcelona and another one from Barcelona to Madrid because it is less expensive (… and long) than the train.
Since we have flexible dates, we’ve explored all the possibilities. We compared Air Europa and Iberia on most of the possible dates and we finally decided to go with… Vueling! We’ve found them a bit late, but we’ve booked fast. Actually, we have been looking for the best deal with Air Europa and Iberia for a week and finally we booked with Vueling within 1 hour only. Really cheap fare, good reviews and comments on the Internet and very easy to use website.
Here is a top 10 of things I like about Vueling’s website and Internet strategy.
They don’t ask “Are your dates flexible?”.
Does it really matter if my dates are not flexible? I don’t get the point of asking. If they are not flexibles, I just have to ignore the other results.
The price per flight is all inclusive
It is written 40 Euros, it’s 40 Euros!
You can easily change your flight
You can change your flight for a surcharge of 30 Euros… but a least you can!
You can choose and change your seat whenever your want
Ok, not that important, but it’s a part of the “experience”!
Select your flight, Your flight, Payment
Simple and clear. They don’t try to sell you anything else during the process.
And by the way, a couple of things that could be improved :
- I can’t see the calendar with Safari.
- I feel like the website is not totally optimized for search engines. Actually it is very difficult to find them when searching for low airfare in Spain on Google.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, launched their new website in 2006. In terms of Search Engine Optimization and usability, it is not perfect… but WOW what a nice intro video! Take a look a this nice job done by some creative guys from Montreal.
The guys at Opodo recently asked me what I thought of their new promo : Weekend breaks.
I professionally can’t tell you all my comments but I really want you to take a look at the site. When I write about how to efficiently write for search engines, Opodo is a pretty good example of “what to do”.
Mailing Campaigns are highly used in the tourism and travel industry. Maybe you already use that to inform your customers and grow your sales.
Do you know Campaign monitor? You should!
Campaign Monitor helps you to do what counts the most : Monitoring! In each campaign your create, you will get stats about who opened the email, who clicked on which link, bounced emails, etc. I strongly suggest to take a look at it. It worth it. It is not really expensive, there is a base-fee for each campaign and 1 cent by email address.
You really should calculate your ROI in that kind of marketing/sales actions… and each of your actions on the Internet because it is measurable!
Even if I think that some parts of the strategy should be modified and that there are some usability issues to fix, Sheraton, with its all new Web approach (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/index.html) giving a place to customers to describe their experiences in the Sheraton hotels, understood that the Web is now ready to let visitors create and publish contents. Sheraton decided to give a big place to their customers in their new Web strategy. We so like this iniative.
Be prepared, it is just the beginning.