Travel MLM Opportunities – Do They Actually Sell Travel?

Right now there is so much hype on the internet about making money in travel. The travel deals are touting that it’s an $8 TRILLION per year industry, if you just get the tiny-est slice of this pie, you’ll be rich.

The problem is, most of the travel deals are not selling travel – they are just pretending to be. There is nothing wrong with selling travel packages and getting paid a commission. If you can selling a luxury holiday package and save your customers 60% if they had have arranged that package themselves, then more power to ya. But that’s NOT where the travel deals are making their money.

There may be a few legitimate online travel deals using a multilevel marketing pay plan, but there not many. Travel MLM’s simply can’t make money selling travel. They just can’t, the profit margins are too low. The industry is too competitive. You can find many great, competitively priced travel deals just by asking Google. The travel MLM’s are making their money on selling memberships. Here’s how they work…

They sell you a monthly subscription that allows you the privilege of purchasing travel packages at a discounted price. There’s nothing wrong with that. Consumer retail stores like Sam’s Club and Costco do the same thing. For $40 to $50 per year, you get the privilege of purchasing goods at these stores for less than you would at other retail stores.

The problem is the travel MLM’s are putting a compensation plan behind the membership programs. They are not selling travel, which is the real product, but they are selling memberships and compensating their reps on the sale of memberships. It seems legit, but it in fact is a very sneaky way to pass up money from people at the bottom, who pay the monthly fees, to the people at the top, without giving them something of real value.

Yes, the memberships do allow you to purchase travel packages at a discounted price, but that’s not where the emphasis is. Most of the emphasis is on the sale of memberships, not the travel packages.

Please understand this – memberships for travel discounts are not real products. They are one step away from the real product, the travel packages. But they can be cleverly disguised to make them seem like they are something of real value, which they are not.

A membership only gives you the privilege of discounted travel, not the travel itself. Therefore it is only valuable when you decide to use the privilege. At all other times, it is worthless. And that is what’s wrong with most travel MLM’s. They are trying to recruit people into their “travel club” where only a small portion of the people are going to take advantage of the real products – discounted travel.

To give you an real example of this type of business, a well established travel MLM company is currently under very close scrutiny from several state attorney generals because people are questioning the validity of it.

In 2006, the company reported gross revenues of over $24 million. The actual sale of travel totaled $2.5 million, or 10.5% of the total revenue. About $18 million, or 74.3% came from monthly membership fees and $3.3 million, or 13.9% came from selling training tools to the distributors. The company’s real product, travel packages, only constituted a small percentage of it’s total revenue.

You best watch out, because the attorney generals are not just going after the perpetrators, they are coming after the distributors as well.

Yikes! What A Way To Go: New York City’s Travel Experience

As long as man has been around, he has always found a way to transport himself and the things that he needs from one location to another. Transportation is essential to trade and travel, whether we live in a big city or a small town, U.S.A. We entrust our livelihood, our food supply and even our social lives to it. The wheel and combustible engine were 2 of man’s most important technological developments. We are heavily dependent on them still to go from one destination to the other.

New York State plays a key role in the nation’s economy. For this reason, millions travel to New York using its transportation system when they get there to access employment and financial opportunities.

Here is a perfect example:

For the millions of commuters who travel daily to access business and investment opportunities, rush hour is a frightening scenario as key roadways and bridges are jam-packed with cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses, inching their way through bumper to bumper traffic. The overwhelming congestion of vehicles and passengers snakes everywhere. It can often take an aggravating hour or two to get to one place in just one borough.

Millions of motorists dread this daily commute while many are resigned to accept gridlock as a way of life. One can definitely say that the time that angry and frustrated motorists spend in traffic congestion has tripled or quadrupled over the years. Not to mention the gas that is wasted and the damage that is inflicted on our environment from vehicle emissions. Wasted fuel consumption resulting from the congestion of traffic has put most of its commuters in financial turmoil, many of whom are already struggling over ballooning home and healthcare costs.

Let’s not forget to mention the subway. Train after train rumble their way into the station to be welcomed by an interminable barrier of commuters lined up on the platform. The crush of commuters make a mad dash to the train, pushing and elbowing their way. After a few seconds the train doors slam shut, leaving the unlucky ones behind. Some frustrated passengers fly, trying to push the doors open j-u-s-t far enough to wriggle their way inside before the train begins to move. If the train is a local it will continue to stop and pick up more passengers along the way, thus intensifying the unbearable crowding. Ill-humored, standing passengers are crushed together like sardines in a tin can with no room to fall if the train should suddenly stop.

This situation exists year-round as New Yorkers and tourists swarm about, seeking out beaches, parks and other recreational areas looking for a way to unwind. Here and there, stranded motorists along the highway stand beside their cars in the sweltering, dizzying heat, worsening the weekend obstruction filled with thrill seekers. Once the transfer of vehicles takes place, desperate motorists fly away. They frantically search for a gas station, only to find themselves once again trapped in an enormous column of 50 to 100 cars inching their way to the pumps hoping that the gas won’t run out.

Even the air is congested with airplanes, departing and arriving in near collisions over populated areas. Everywhere there is congestion, clustered merging traffic entering airports from main arteries often causing passengers to report late for their flights. Fliers are getting fed up with the spiraling air fares and poor quality of service. They are totally disgusted with long lines at the check in, security, flight delays and incompetent baggage handling. As for finding your luggage… good luck! The worst part of traveling by air are the cancellations due to bad weather conditions, the grounding of airplanes with faulty wiring or other safety hazards leaving thousands of travelers stranded. If the frazzled flier is dissatisfied, imagine the unhappy investors agonizing over sagging profits. Many passengers are forced to turn to ground travel to get to their destination within the country. The railways and buses are all struggling to cope with more travelers than their carrying capacity. All forms of transport rely on fuel, which is being consumed at an alarming rate. The rising price of fuel will raise fares and create a reduction in air and surface travel, forcing many to adjust their current lifestyles in anticipation of the coming shortages.

The Federal Government as well as State and local Officials are frustrated as they try to find solutions and accommodate the increasing demands of traffic, whether on local streets or highways. Many of the roads and bridges that were built years ago have aged to the point of needing major repairs or complete replacement, taking priority over any newly suggested road project. New York State has been urged to adopt a “fix-it first” approach to protect its transportation assets. The overwhelming costs of eliminating traffic congestion at hundreds of stressed areas throughout the state only adds more of a burden to financially strained budgets and to the taxpayer’s dilemma.

Almost everything we use and eat is transported by truck or train, both of which depend on abundant supplies of cheap diesel fuel. As gas and diesel fuel prices continue to climb, the price of everything will increase accordingly. All food supplies and products that are transported from a distance become far more expensive due to the increased cost of transporting them. Eventually this situation will create changes in people’s eating habits and add to mass unemployment.

New Yorkers and the entire nation love to drive their own cars instead of using public transportation, even though New York is perhaps the most public transit-rich city in the United States. Between the cost of insurance, maintenance, tolls, gas consumption and depreciation, driving a car would not necessarily be cheaper, nevertheless, to a motorist, a car represents independence.

New York City’s traffic congestion is already in an intolerable state; just imagine what an additional million cars will do.

The New York City Advisory Panel recently convened and came to the conclusion that if mass changes are not made to the New York City transportation system and soon, the infrastructure of the state is in deep trouble, the state economy will collapse and New York Citizens will see a serious decrease in their quality of life, all because there is too much congestion, too much gas is being consumed, and the transportation system itself is completely uncoordinated. Agencies must be consolidated to be more efficient, the infrastructure of roads must be replaced, and funding must be found to pay for all of this. The problem is, they really have no idea as to a solution to this huge problem.

As for public transportation, not a day goes by, in which there isn’t some mention that the trains and buses are never on time. They constantly break down, leaving transit riders distressed. Let’s face it, we are in a national crisis, gasoline and diesel is freely available for now, but is becoming more and more expensive by the day. If prices keep spiraling, people will not be able to drive. If people can’t drive they won’t be able to work. This will affect the overall American economy.

“Under these conditions, affluent people are going to buy downsized hybrids and the rest of us will probably have to fall back on public transportation as the most energy efficient (that is, least expensive) way to get from Point A to point B.”

It is obvious that the transportation problem in New York is not destined to find a permanent solution. Now that we have a clearer picture of the current transportation crisis and the greater one forthcoming, let’s take a backward glance at New York City’s public travel history as it transpired over the last few centuries, evolving inevitably into what it is today. In order to enlighten you on this subject matter, I have researched and compiled a list of selected historical facts which are documented regarding the development and growth of public transportation and its infrastructure. I have arranged the entries chronologically. Please note that the growth of the city during the twentieth century has been phenomenal. Manhattan, the most popular borough, has always been the financial center of the United States. This is where the greatest passenger traffic movement originates, develops and is distributed to the neighboring boroughs. This is where the overwhelming congestion of vehicles moves everywhere and at the same time nowhere, strangled within the narrow, confined limits of the island, thus creating transportation problems far too difficult to solve. Through this chronology you will observe how city officials keep making every effort possible to accommodate the demanding outcries of the populace for an improved transportation system.

I hope, this list will prove grist for the mill of your curious mind. At least, it should give you something to think about while you’re stuck in traffic!

Travel Advertising – Make It Work Harder For You

The first step in attracting and maintaining potential travelers is to review your travel advertising budget to make sure you’re investing enough time and money crafting quality ads that are designed to attract needed tourist dollars. Most people depend on quality travel advertising to guide their choice for a vacation location. They want advertisements, brochures and other travel literature to provide accurate, up-to-date information on total costs, what their accommodations will include, and what sights are located nearby.

If you feel that your travel advertising budget needs some revisions, if you think you need more “bang for your buck” in order to attract more people to your business, consider working with a full-service tourism company.

By investing your money with an experience business that keeps an eye on tourism trends, travel agencies, hotels and other tourism-related businesses can derive maximum benefit from their travel advertising dollars. Some examples of the types of travel advertising services that they offer should include:

A Multi-Media Package

Why just use print if you can develop a presence on the Internet? Consider your options carefully: in some cases, a full-color, glossy travel magazine distributed annually to the right audience may be exactly what you need to advertise your business. However, it might not hurt to search a little further to see if you can find a company that can offer you an Internet web page, access to an e-mail newsletter and other similar amenities to reach potential vacationers. A personalized web site will allow interested visitors a chance to see exactly what accommodations your hotel can offer, or list the types of services your company can provide. Look for a business that employs experienced writers and artists, who can help you craft an advertisement into an attractive package that is bound to draw new business. Since advertising is usually the first contact customers will have with your company, make a good impression! Lure potential business with a well-designed and well-placed ad, which features quality artwork.

Budget-Friendly Costs

Whether your business is new or well-established, you want to make sure that your travel advertising dollars are spent on an advertising campaign that is well within your means. Does the company you choose to advertise with offer any incentives, such as full color on your ads for no extra charge? To make sure your getting your money’s worth, the print medium you select should run your travel advertising at the right time of the year to allow visitors to select the right vacation spot for them, no matter what the season.

Know Your Market

In Power Marketing for Small Business, author Jody Hornor noted: “Targeting your market with the use of demographic data helps you get the most out of your sales and advertising efforts.” So, if you know that your travel advertising campaign will appeal to a higher-income audience then “by targeting your promotional materials to those prospects more likely to buy your product, you will obtain a higher response rate at a lower cost.” A knowledgeable tourism company can help you achieve that goal.

Always Room for More

If your company has grown or added a new service, don’t forget to promote any changes with a feature article, which can be distributed to local newspapers and magazines as well as national publications. Extra space for additional details gives your travel advertising that extra edge!

Dependability

Look for a publication or tourism agency that has been in business for a while, offering quality service to members of the tourism profession. A professional firm will always be happy to offer references. Working with a well-established company will allow you to establish a long-term relationship with talented professionals who understand your needs, and who will help you achieve all of your travel advertising goals.

People have enjoyed vacationing since the days of the ancient Roman Empire. In 19th century England, every upper-income person knew it was necessary to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe to learn more about the history and culture of different nations. Not long after the United States was born, tourists were traveling to seaside resorts or mountain spas where they could relax and unwind.

In addition to having enough time and disposal income, the majority of today’s travelers is often better-educated and visits a destination with a particular objective in mind, whether it’s outdoor sports or cultural events. For a growing number, there is often sufficient time to add a second, “mini” vacation to their schedule, further increasing demands on the tourism industry infrastructure.

In recent years, more than 27 million Americans traveled abroad to fulfill their vacation fantasies, which ranged from touring ancient ruins, or trekking through lush forests, to just lounging on a broad sandy beach under a bright summer sun. Although portions of the world may be in turmoil, there are still a lot of places to see and millions of people happy to spend part of their annual income on a memorable vacation.

In exchange, millions of travelers from foreign countries spent more than $93 billion in the United States in 2004, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. A growing number of them are from emerging markets such as China, which will probably see more than 100 million vacationers traveling abroad to destinations like America by the year 2020. The World Tourism Organization predicts that international tourism will continue to grow annually overall by four percent.

However, it is important to remember that tourism has been affected by two primary factors in recent years. First, the tragedy of September 11, 2001, which has caused some travelers to reconsider their choice of a vacation destination. Second, access to the Internet has provided them with the opportunity to book their own trips, sometimes at a cheaper rate than they can find from local travel agencies. As a result, it’s up to you to find new ways to attract their attention and show them the benefits of bringing their business to you–the tourism professional.

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has stated that lack of planning is the primary cause many companies fail to succeed in America. Do you want to become a leader in your particular market? If you do, then remember that it is necessary to invest time, energy and capital in your travel advertising, which will undoubtedly help your company reap greater rewards.