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Travel Toolbox: Finish Strong with Post-Trip Follow-Up

You spent months planning the perfect trip and then dedicated more than a week of your life to accompanying your travelers on the road to make sure they had a great time. Now that everyone has returned from a successful adventure, it’s time to finish strong with some strategic post-trip follow-up.

Afte a group trip, which can be both rewarding and exhausting, it’s tempting to close the chapter on that tour and move on to other things. But the days immediately after you return home present opportunities to seize on the success of the trip and boost your travelers’ loyalty, make a statement to your senior leadership and tweak your processes to make the next trip even better.

Don’t miss these five vital follow-up actions when you return from a trip with your group.

Get Feedback and Suggestions

Even on the best trip, your travelers are likely to have some valuable feedback about what they liked most, as well as what elements of the tour they could have done without. If you don’t already have them fill out evaluations during the trip, send an email asking for feedback in the day or two after the trip to give them an opportunity to share their thoughts. This is also a good time to ask about where they’d like to go in the future, which can help you select destinations that will be popular.

Share Photos and Videos

Back in the day, savvy group leaders would hold photo-sharing parties after returning home so participants could swap prints of the pictures they took during the trip. Now, thanks to digital photography and smartphones, people don’t print hundreds of pictures from their travels; but that doesn’t mean you should stop sharing. Use a website like YouTube, Dropbox, Flickr or Shutterfly to upload and share your best pictures and videos from the trip, and encourage your travelers to upload their favorites to share with the group as well.

Strike While the Iron Is Hot

Immediately after a trip, when your travelers are still basking in the warm glow of their experiences, is a good time to entice them to think about their next trip. If you have planned your group’s travel schedule for several months, you can reach out to participants from your most recent trip and ask them to join you on an upcoming adventure that still has open seats. You might even offer them a special repeat-traveler discount or incentive, or even come up with a referral program that rewards them for bringing a new friend or family member on the next trip.

Connect With Your Leaders

If you plan affinity travel for a bank, a university alumni group or a chamber of commerce, you likely report to someone in senior leadership with that organization. So when you return from a trip, keep those leaders apprised and appreciative by preparing a brief report with trip highlights, feedback from customers and any revenue or profits from the trip. This helps ensure that your supervisors continue to value your travel program and understand how it is connected to your organization’s mission.

Handle Compliments and Complaints

Every trip has some high and low points, and you might encounter some situations that merit your attention after the trip. If you had customers who complained to you about experiences they had, circle back around to them and see what you can do to make sure they are satisfied. This is also an appropriate time to bring up both compliments and complaints with the tour operators, hoteliers, bus companies and other vendors with whom you work. If a company isn’t interested in addressing your concerns after a trip, that’s a good indication that you shouldn’t do business with them in the future.