Associations are some of the most common membership-based organizations in existence. From trade groups to professional societies to service clubs, associations are groups of people with shared interests and common goals. And while those goals may be business-oriented — like growing a professional network or promoting the prosperity of an industry — associations typically don’t have the transactional nature of other membership organizations like loyalty programs, for example. Yet they often share the same mandates.
To fulfill their missions, associations must offer value to their members, incentivize new membership and ensure the organization’s financial viability through revenue streams like dues or donations.
Exclusive travel benefits through an association-branded travel club can deliver value to members, boost retention, and attract new members. However, associations often start from a blank slate; most have yet to learn how to build a travel club, much less one optimized to help them achieve their operational goals.
There are some entities that exist solely as travel clubs, which have travel packages and discounts at the core of their mission and are well-equipped to source and fulfill travel products and services. Most organizations, like trade groups and professional associations, aren’t in this position and need help on two levels: introducing the concept of a travel club as a delivery vehicle for travel benefits and implementing such a solution.
What is a Travel Club?
A travel club is a sustained initiative that offers recognizable value to members, provides suitable options, and delivers new revenue streams. It’s a dedicated travel booking component of an organization’s website, similar to what a consumer would expect from an online travel agency (OTA), except that it’s fully branded and seamlessly integrated with the association’s site and brand experience. A travel club allows association members to browse and book deals and travel experiences.
Many associations already offer members some perks beyond networking, educational benefits, and other “core” features. Those perks could be as simple as providing a promotional code for a partner’s service or a voucher for airport lounge access. While these kinds of initiatives are great ways to thank association members for their support, they’re often one-offs and not part of a broader business, recruitment, or retention strategy to keep the organization or association top of mind among members and deliver new revenue streams.
A travel club, on the other hand, is a sustained initiative that does both. On a practical level, it’s a dedicated travel booking component of an organization’s website, similar to what a consumer would expect from an OTA, except that it’s fully branded and seamlessly integrated with the association’s site and brand experience.
A highly effective travel club will go beyond traditional offerings with exclusive and flexible travel benefits members can’t find anywhere else—think the ability to package a cruise of their choosing with an add-on stay at a luxury villa or destination activities along with the purchase of a flight through the travel club.
If an association’s travel club can effectively meet members’ travel needs, it can also keep members engaging with that association instead of shopping elsewhere for travel. That creates an additional touchpoint for member-association interaction and deepens a member’s relationship with the organization. Over time, this translates to sustained dues-paying and membership activity, which leads to financially healthier associations.
How Can Associations Afford to Offer a Travel Club?
Exclusive pricing and substantial travel discounts from suppliers are the built-in advantages of membership organizations. Companies like cruise lines and resorts can extend special rates, fares, and packages exclusively to membership groups without undercutting their broader public pricing strategy.
With the right partner to help implement a travel club, associations can share in the margin differential, generating a new revenue stream for the organization. Associations can choose to retain a greater percentage of that margin as revenue or pass on more value to members, depending on their needs.
Leveraging Your Association’s Member Base
Partnering with a travel loyalty company that can manage exclusive pricing and fulfillment of travel inventory is essential for launching a branded travel club.
Arrivia’s travel privileges platform lets associations launch a travel club under their brand with minimal implementation and setup time, removing the technology barriers that prevent organizations from innovating and providing greater value to their members.
With a branded travel club, associations can offer tangible reasons for their members to stay involved and continue paying dues and fees. Attracting new members is how clubs and associations grow, and a travel club can deliver value to members, boost retention, and attract new members.
Partnering with Arrivia for Your Association’s Travel Club
A travel club can effectively deepen a member’s relationship with the organization, creating an additional touchpoint for member-association interaction. Over time, this translates to sustained dues-paying and membership activity, leading to financially healthier associations.
Now that you know what a travel club is and how it can benefit your organization, it’s time to take action.
Partner with arrivia and experience the power of our white label travel solutions. With our help, you can offer your members more value, increase engagement, and generate more revenue for your association.
Don’t wait, contact us today and let’s start building a stronger, more profitable future for your organization.