Imagine having a personal travel concierge in every city in the United States — someone who knows the destination intimately, can get you into any place you want to go and can give you ideas and advice that you never would have thought of on your own.
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not: At convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and other similar organizations around the country, specialists are waiting and ready to help you with every aspect of planning great group trips. CVBs and their tourism departments are among the best resources available to group travel planners, and they offer a wide range of services that can help minimize your workload while also taking your tour to the next level.
If you’re not already working with CVBs, you should be. Here are some of the key ways in which group travel planners and CVBs can collaborate.
If you are tasked with planning multiple trips each year, coming up with destination ideas can be challenging. CVBs can make this easier for you by showcasing cities and regions that you might not have considered for group trips. The group sales staffers at CVBs work hard to get their destinations on your radar, and if you pay attention to their emails, phone calls and marketing materials, you’ll find yourself flush with new travel ideas. A great way to jump-start this process is to attend a tourism conference, where you’ll meet dozens of CVB representatives eager to share their cities with you.
Once you’ve decided on a destination for a group trip, there’s still a lot of work to do before you can start selling the tour. You’ll need to know the key attractions and activities in the city, the best options for meals and accommodations, and other nuts-and-bolts information. CVBs are the best clearinghouses for that data: Their staffers are experts on the destinations and have helped other group leaders arrange visits. They can point you toward the best attractions in town and get you information about restaurants and hotels that can meet your group’s needs and stay within your budget.