What should travelers do if they know more about cruising than Trip Advisor?
Get into this business, of course.
What Scott Wismont did in 2015 was when he realized he knew more about cruising than the advisor he called to book the trip.
“He had just started working, and I knew more about cruising than he did, and he asked me, ‘Do you want a job?'”
Wismont decided to jump in and get his feet wet, even though he wasn’t sure how legitimate the business was. Like many other advisors, he started selling Disney. But it wasn’t what he was passionate about.
Wismont told TMR, “I was gearing up for the LGBT community early on.” , it felt limiting to stay focused on Disney.”
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and an opportunity to rebrand.
He left the agency he worked with to start Rainbow Getaways (a member of Ensemble), and used the downtime provided by the pandemic to launch a website, get a CTA from the Travel Institute, and share information. started to spread.
SEO Exceeds Recommendations
Rainbow Getaways’ first clients were Wismont’s friends and family, and their friends and family. But it didn’t take long for Google search results to start winning customers.
“It’s a constant headache, because nine out of ten times when you get a new client and ask how they found me, it’s Google,” he said.
Wismont uses his website, specifically the site’s blog for SEO purposes, but when he started it he didn’t know what he was doing.
“I started using my blog to spark travel inspiration and focused primarily on marketing on social media,” he told TMR. After searching for an agency or queer travel agency, I quickly discovered that they found me on Google, and they began paying more attention to keyword rankings, focusing more on SEO than other marketing options. I’ve come to put it down.”
Some of his blog posts are what he calls “fillers,” but most are aimed at specific SEO terms related to gay travel, which he focuses on.
He added that while figuring out how to use the keywords was a journey of trial and error, he also took the time to learn as much as possible.
“I’ve spent years talking to SEO experts and using their tips to fine-tune my keywords, work on building backlinks, and increase my website’s credibility on Google. I’ve also found some SaaS tools that are better than keeping track of things: Google Analytics.
Despite the work in progress over the past two years, some of his early blog posts have actually paid off the most.
His top referring keyword for the past two years has been ‘sandals are gay friendly’. The blog posts that rank for that keyword are “The Amazing Experience of Being Gay in Sandals,” first published in January 2021, and “The Sandals of His Life,” also published in early 2021. How safe is it to be gay in Jamaica in Negril?”
“SEO really works like they say,” he said.
Wismont tries to post a new blog post twice a month. (He tried every week, and found that to be a lot of work.) Content, trip reports, and more.
One of the best things about all the new clients you’ve gotten from Google over the past two years? They’ve already returned to him for their second and third vacations. and introduce him to his friends and family.
With so many new and returning clients in touch, Wismont has already added two independent contractors in the past year and hopes to expand to 10 by 2023. is.
Choose gay-friendly destinations
Despite Rainbow Getaways’ top referring keyword being “Are sandals gay-friendly?”, the company isn’t all-encompassing for Wismont’s customers.
Part of that is because many of the Caribbean islands where Sandals Resorts are located aren’t gay-friendly, he told TMR. But he also found that the language used by Sandals staff was riddled with what he called “microaggressions”. instead of something gender-neutral like “Will your partner join you?”
“Other companies are in destinations where they feel a bit more welcome and sensitivity training is much better. In fact they focus on inclusiveness training and everyone actually feels welcome. I am confirming that
When asked by a client which Caribbean destination he prefers, Mr. Wismont told TMR that he liked St. Martin.
“St. Maarten is now my favorite island because they have some all-inclusive islands…because it is in St. Maarten where Holland and France are.There are laws to protect LGBTQ couples. , LGBTQ couples have more flexibility, and people don’t care.”
Conversely, in places like Jamaica, gay couples would probably be fine if they stayed within the all-inclusive limits, but would have problems if they stayed away.