Schreiber said Latico’s weekenders and carry-on bags are its two strongest categories. “[Using these items], we are able to differentiate ourselves via a combination of visual appeal, functionality, quality materials and workmanship, and high-perceived value,” he said.
When asked how distributors can sell travel, hotel and resort items more effectively, Siegel said the category offers many unique opportunities for those that are forward-thinking. “While [the items] make desirable pillow or lobby gifts at a hotel, I have also seen these products distributed with gift cards inviting recipients to an event,” he said. “Robe, towel, slipper and spa accessory gift sets are used as ‘thank you’ gifts for referrals, holiday gifts or recognition. It’s great that distributors think outside the box and recognize hotel and travel items have appeal on the home front as well as at a resort.”
Since there is no shortage of destinations to visit and airliners to take travelers there, it is inevitable the sales of promotional travel and hospitality items would increase. So lucrative has this category been, Siegel suggested distributors can “write a minimum order for 36 pieces and earn $500 to $1,000 in commission,” in some cases. He said one of the reasons for this success is that suppliers such as Towel Specialties are no longer just providing products but are focused on
providing a complete promotional package. “Our Cabana Bay line has gift baskets, gift cards and ribbons that elevate the overall gift-giving experience for all parties involved,” he said. “We feel we’ve gone beyond the ‘here’s your robe’ or ‘here’s your towel’ experience to ‘here’s your gift’.”
Although the travel industry has taken a hit in recent years, it remains steadfast. “The word I would choose to characterize the travel and tourism industry is resilience,” noted Gene Sperling, former White House Economic Advisor, speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council 2006 Summit in Washington, D.C. “There are now reasons for optimism, but even when things have gone wrong, what we have seen in travel and tourism is resilience above what one would have expected. Travel and tourism recovers from disasters with remarkable speed, even exceeding previous levels.”