CATM

Managua Travel Blog

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Honduras display at CATM

The next morning, the bus shuttling us to the conference center left at 7:45.  The show didn’t open until 9, and it was just a 15 minute drive, so there was some waiting, but I met some nice buyers that I chatted with.  There was a few opening speeches, the ribbon was cut, and the show started.  There were 120 displays, and most buyers had set up meetings in advance with any places they were interested in.  That made my job a little tricky, as I didn’t have a stand for people to approach, and most of the buyers were busy with their appointments.  Small set-backs!  I loitered near the end of the Honduras displays, ready to pounce on anyone who looked like they were wandering without specific purpose.

CATM dinner out
  Flyer and business card in hand, I’d open the conversation with seeing if they were interested in travel to Roatan, and if I could hook them for a few minutes of time, I’d tell them a bit more about our resort, with our book of photos, and slide show on my laptop.  The second day, this method was much more successful, as most of the buyers had scheduled the majority of their meetings for the first day.  I also approached some local tour operators/travel agents, based in Honduras and surrounding countries.  These were easier, as they had their own displays.  These operators, contrary to what you might have thought, do not get most of their business from their own country.  Instead, they kind of act as the specialist for that country, and travel agents from abroad use them to make all the arrangements for their clients.
funky hats at the CATM party
  So a person might go into a travel agency in the states, and say they want to travel to Roatan.  That travel agent doesn’t have the time to keep up with all the different resorts and changes in each country, so instead they deal with a Honduran tour operator, who then connects with the hotels and resorts.  Of course, each one wants their piece of the pie!  Currently, almost all our bookings are direct with our guests, with no travel agents, but since we’ve added on additional accommodations, this is harder to do, so we’ve started trying to work out some arrangements.

After the show, went back to catch up on some emails, and then get showered and changed for our night out.  There was an event for everyone at the conference, and we were getting bussed to Granada, about a 1 hour drive away.  There was food, live music, and they gave some fun freebies like big straw hats and maracas (I brought mine home for the boys).    It was a really fun night.  I sat with a few of the Roatan girls, as well as a travel agent from England.  We all got transported back to our hotels around midnight.

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Honduras display at CATM
Honduras display at CATM
CATM dinner out
CATM dinner out
funky hats at the CATM party
funky hats at the CATM party
Managua
photo by: swhayden