Travel Information Center / Info vendors?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Christopher A. Steele, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    My first post, and I look forward to gaining some useful information, and providing some help to others, also.

    So ...

    I am helping start a small “Travel [information] Center” of the type that specializes in providing destination information (brochures, pamphlets, etc.) to tourists, as opposed to the full-featured truck stop type of thing where they sell and do everything.

    My most important question right now is: does anybody here know if there are businesses that specialize in placing the racks that hold the tourist-site promotional material, and also provide the promotional material itself? Or are we going to have to communicate with each travel destination (e.g., museums, fun parks, zoos, etc., etc.) and ask them to send us a box of material …?

    I have more questions of a more general nature, but will wait to post them in a day or so: the above is the critical question for now.

    Christopher A. Steele
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Hi Christopher and welcome to Business Advice Forum. Did you try searching on Google for racks for promotional materials? I did a couple of quick searches and found the following suppliers;

    http://www.displays2go.com/sub4w.asp?ID=20938
    http://www.arlreps.com/
    http://www.spotondisplay.co.uk/literature-stands/#literature_products
    http://www.huntoffice.ie/wall-mounted-literature-holders.html
    http://www.displaysense.ie/floor-st...ure-displays?gclid=CNugk4-A5pkCFRC7ZwodJhVPSA
    http://www.pod-exhibition-systems.co.uk/static_literature_stands.htm
    http://www.discountdisplays.co.uk/html/exhibition_literature_racks.html
    http://www.literaturestands.co.uk/
    http://www.sdsignco.com/
    http://www.godfreygroup.com/literature-displays--brochure-holders.php

    Have you looked at similar businesses to see what they are doing and what you can learn from them?

    How will the business generate revenue for you? The answer to this question will most probably have a strong impact on where you source the literature and brochures from.
     
  3. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    Fergal:

    I’ve had no problem finding vendors of the racks and displays themselves. It is the gathering of the promotional materials that presents the problem (thus my underlined sentence above). So far, I have ‘collected’ a database of 80+ tourist attractions and haven’t even really started yet, so getting all that material will be a bear unless I can find a vendor who specializes in it.

    I just got involved in this project last week end: I am fairly adept at this computer and internet stuff (got on line so long ago, Prodigy was the pre-eminent "ISP", and logging on to bulletin boards was a big deal) and have also written professionally, so they called on me to help.

    “ Have you looked at similar businesses to see what they are doing and what you can learn from them? “

    Uhhhhhhh … not to the extent I’d like to. I am going to make that suggestion to management. Things for us here are just a bit more complicated than they might be for people who are located in “the normal world.” We are very, very isolated at this location … have to drive 50 miles to shop for groceries, or go to a Taco Bell, or see a doctor. But I’ll make the suggestion that one of them [management] drive into town and talk to somebody.

    “How will the business generate revenue for you?”

    At this point, mngt. doesn’t see this as a profit maker, per se. But I think it has the potential to make money if we use our imaginations, work at it, and are willing to be a bit un-conventional.

    Thanks, Fergel. ANY other suggestions you can make …

    //cas
     
  4. Nazreen

    Nazreen
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    Welcome to the Business Advice Forum Christopher.

    Fergal's suggestion is a good one. You'd need to find a similar business and do as what they do. I have some businessman friends who started exactly as this. He first started by pretending to be a customer and even invited me along. That was how he got knowledge about his business when he was just starting and also to find out what the competitor does for their business.

    It's too bad that you're living in a very remote location. I think it would be better if you moved to or near where you intend to do business.
     
  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    What is the objective of the venture, is it to provide a useful local service?

    Have you considered emailing all the tourist attractions and asking them to post on their information and promotional materials to you? It wouldn't take you long to contact them in this way. Plus the tourist attractions will be delighted to send you on the info, if they feel it will help attract visitors to their locations.
     
  6. Kay

    Kay
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    Hi Christopher, welcome aboard. :)

    Are you in the States? Because I believe most states have an official tourism website that offers bundles of brochures/leaflets with a single "tick this box here" type registration where you only fill your name in once and they send whatever brochures you ticked that you'd like. Usually you'll find within them more places listed to source additional brochures from.

    Just as an example, here's what the Arkansas tourism site offers:

    http://arkansas.com/helpful-info/free-vacation-kit/

    I don't think you'll have much option but to register for the various brochure mailing lists/newsletters of local attractions. Once you get them in, contact whoever's listed as the point of contact on them direct and enquire about bulk deliveries. You might be lucky and find a number of them have email addresses.

    I'd suggest you get whoever goes to town to check in with the nearest travel agent/tour bus /car hire company and see how they get theirs (they usually have some) or try a real estate agent that covers your area. Think about where you'd look if you wanted to get something like that in town. The library's probably a good bet. Most librarians have good local knowledge and are excellent researchers as well I've found. They might be able to suggest ways to make the task easier. Hope that helps! :)
     
  7. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    "Have you considered emailing all the tourist attractions and asking them to post on their information and promotional materials to you?"

    Yes, and wrote a great letter. But was trying to avoid approaching the two hundred or so sites individually. Apparently, "full service" vendors don't exist, eh? Thanks, Fergel.
     
  8. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    Nazreen: "It's too bad that you're living in a very remote location. I think it would be better if you moved to or near where you intend to do business."

    So ... adopt me and get me outta here ! It gets up to 130 degrees during the summer out here.
     
  9. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    Fergel: The purpose is that stated in my first paragraph. We get heavy, heavy tourist traffic here, incoming from other states, and tons from Europe. So this is a tourist thing, not a local thing.
     
  10. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    Kay:

    "Are you in the States?"

    Yes: S. California.

    "Because I believe most states have an official tourism website that offers bundles of brochures/leaflets..."

    We are trying to get "state sancioned" but it is a big hasstle, and I am having no trouble at all finding site information.

    "I don't think you'll have much option but to register for the various brochure mailing lists/newsletters of local attractions. Once you get them in, contact whoever's listed as the point of contact on them direct and enquire about bulk deliveries."

    Yes, that is what I guess I am going to have to do.

    "...check in with the nearest travel agent/tour bus /car hire company and see how they get theirs (they usually have some) or try a real estate agent that covers your area."

    Now there is a great idea. Hadn't thought of asking any of those. Great idea. Thanks !
     
  11. Nazreen

    Nazreen
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    Hahaha, well if you plan on relocating to our part of the globe, I might consider adopting you. :)

    Another suggestion is that usually the lobbies of airports and shopping malls and bus interchanges and train stations already have these brochures, right? Why not ask them directly? Or better yet, you can go to all of these places and go collect all these brochures. They should already have listed their phone numbers here and you can call them up to inquire.

    By the way, why is it a big hassle to get you business state sanctioned?
     
  12. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Thanks for the updates Christopher, please reply back to let us know what you actually do and how it works out for you.

    Good luck with it!
     
  13. Christopher A. Steele

    Christopher A. Steele
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    Ah HA!

    OK, folks. For those of you who might have need of what I was looking for (ta da!) ... http://www.certifiedfolder.com:80/racks/service.php

    (Hope that link works; first time I've done it.)

    Thanks Fergel.

    Nazreen. Singapore ! It rains there. You have brick buildings! And trees ! Will drive the 50 miles into town tomorrow and start the paperwork.

    So ... what is the problem in getting state sanctioned? This is
    California ! ... Not...exactly...business...friendly. Which is really stupid because this business complex is a prime, prime, prime location for such an entity.

    And what's with this "junior member" stuff. I was well out of the Army and college and was using a computer to access Prodigy when it was the big deal ... so how can I be "junior" anything? :rolleyes:

    Hey, folks. Thanks for your help and the time you invested in helping me.

    My next post will have something to do with ... kiosks.

    Christopher
     
  14. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Thanks for the update Christopher. Judging by that link it looks like you found exactly what you are looking for and it won't cost you anything.

    Don't worry, once you have made a few more posts, you will no longer be a "Junior Member" :)
     
  15. sofiajennie07

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    You have really shared very nice information for travelers. One can get benefit from your information and i really great full to your information.

    Thanks for sharing
     
  16. jack123456

    jack123456
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    Have you considered delivering all the neat locations to see and asking them to post on their information and deals to you? It wouldn't take you comprehensive to get hold of them in this way. Plus the neat locations to see will be energized to produce you on information and information, if they experience it will help attract visitors to their locations.
     
  17. Addaneye123

    Addaneye123
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    The objective is that mentioned in my first sentence. We get hefty, hefty traveler visitors here, inbound from other declares, and plenty from European countries. So this is a traveler element, not a regional element.
     

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