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Travel Leaders Attracts New Agencies, Reports $205 Million Sales GainAugust 9, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Since the beginning of 2011, Travel Leaders Franchise Group reports it has attracted nine additional travel agencies with over $205 million in annual sales volume to its Associate (franchise) Program.
That gain is in addition to the more than $2.35 billion Travel Leaders Associates reported last year, the company says.
Travel Leaders Franchise Group President Roger E. Block attributed the renewed growth to a “complete reinvigoration” of the entire value proposition Travel Leaders provides. This value includes award-winning, proprietary programs spanning both business and leisure travel, Travel Leaders says.
“Though our name remains relatively new, our brand has risen dramatically in stature and credibility since we first unveiled it nearly three years ago,” said Block. “Not only have we intensified our leisure focus – most recently through our game-changing SCORE Program that provides qualified leads to our participating members – but we continue to be a pioneer in business travel through our Envision platform built specifically for franchised agencies. Coupled with Travel Leaders Group’s incredible growth, now a $16.62 billion-plus enterprise, it’s no wonder that we’ve become a major travel force in our own right, winning major industry awards as well as the hearts of travel agents wishing to grow.”
A new member commented, “CTP/Rennert spent six months looking for an affiliation that we felt matched up with our desire to continue growing our business – most importantly someone that really had a great corporate program in place since that is 93 percent of our business,” said Christy Prescott, CEO/Owner of Corporate Travel Planners (CTP)/Rennert Travel in San Antonio, Texas. “Travel Leaders by far has the best program in place to help us with our aggressive sales goals. Plus their vacation offering is more than competitive.”
Since January 1, 2011, the Travel Leaders Associate Program has welcomed the following agencies from coast to coast:
· Accent Travel International – Bloomington, MN
· Colwick Travel – Dallas, TX
· Concord Travel – McLean, VA
· CTP/Rennert Travel – San Antonio, TX
· Seaside Travel – Long Beach, CA
· Tour Associates Inc. – Newton Centre, MA
· Travel Connections – Jacksonville, FL
· Travel Etc. Inc. – St. Louis, MO
· Travel Solutions Inc. – Westborough, MA
“We now enjoy expanded commissions from additional carriers in our international air business, plus improved ones from the existing agreements we had,” noted Arnt Pederson, CEO of Travel Leaders/Accent Travel International. “We have added Concur, which we consider the best online product in the marketplace, now at an affordable price. We are also counting on the assistance of Travel Leaders specialists for corporate presentations of this new capability. We also find a very high level of professionalism throughout the organization, starting with communication, and on to follow-up on issues and queries we have.”
“After our early 2008 exit from another travel industry giant, there were a few naysayers who questioned our very viability in the marketplace,” Block acknowledged. “We certainly lost some agencies who didn’t want to wait to see what our new brand and value proposition would offer. It didn’t help that the economy went south shortly after or that we essentially ‘cleaned house’ of underperforming agencies. But we’ve been gratified to replace them with larger agencies that are truly serious about the business of travel. Their addition makes our entire network much, much stronger."
“We also appreciate the hundreds of agencies who chose to stick with us, and we’re proud that they’re reaping the tremendously increased and unrestricted benefits that we’re now able to provide to them,” Block said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that we’re solidly back in ‘growth mode’ by attracting so many additional agencies to Travel Leaders, including those we’re quite proud to welcome back to our fold.”
Block pointed to one key factor for Travel Leaders’ underlying success, calling its support the “backbone of our organization,” and “a key differentiator that begins from the moment an agency first joins Travel Leaders.”
“The support that is available is second to none,” Prescott noted. “Our team did training last week and I've had nothing but positive feedback and excitement about the change. We recently celebrated our 20th anniversary and Travel Leaders was instrumental in helping us get this message out to the San Antonio media. The entire team at Travel Leaders is extremely forward-thinking and very positive. Honestly, I feel like this is the best decision we have made in 20 years.”