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Travel Leaders Unveils New Destination Weddings ProgramNovember 18, 2013 By: Joe Pike
ATLANTA, Georgia -- Capitalizing on the enormous expertise of the 300+ Travel Leaders associate members who already specialize in honeymoon and/or destination wedding travel, Travel Leaders Franchise Group recently unveiled a dramatic new program designed to provide critical, centralized support to its specialists at its recently-concluded 2013 Travel Leaders National Meeting.
Further leveraging existing supplier relationships, as well as using Travel Leaders' In-Country Partners for more exotic honeymoons and destination weddings globally, the initiative will include structured marketing efforts and refined education and training.
"One of the things the team had noticed in talking to agents is the growth of destination weddings and in working with our destinations, we determined there is a natural need to put together a defined program that will help agencies expand in this marketplace," Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, told Travel Agent during a media briefing on the subject.
Marketing for the new initiative will encompass everything from online micro-sites to direct mail, supplier partnerships designed to offer lead generation to specialists, and consumer events designed to showcase Travel Leaders’ honeymoon and destination wedding specialists. These efforts will be augmented by comprehensive training ranging from specialist “boot camps” and FAM opportunities to a proprietary certification program for both honeymoon and destination wedding specializations.
"We know this is something that is very important to the client," Brian Hegarty, vice president of destinations for Travel Leaders Group, told Travel Agent, noting that 98.7 percent of the agents that Travel Leaders' polled said destination weddings and honeymoons were either moderately or very important to their leisure strategy.
Overall, 64 percent of surveyed agents have indicated that a minimum of 10 percent of their leisure sales is derived specifically from serving the honeymoon and destination wedding markets, says Block. Additionally, Travel Leaders’ research has shown a dramatic increase in the number of Travel Leaders agents reporting an increase in leisure business among travelers under the age of 35.
The comprehensive initiative will benefit Travel Leaders agencies that already have a significant foothold in the honeymoon and destination weddings marketplace.
However, Block also pointed to two other groups within Travel Leaders who stand to become beneficiaries: agencies wishing to develop more business in serving these markets and independent contractors (IC) who are seeking to specialize in these niches.
Recognizing the nuances of the specific clientele, Travel Leaders’ honeymoon and destination wedding initiative will offer its Travel Leaders specialists with structured marketing programs that take separate content paths for each specialization – one for honeymoons and one for destination weddings. The initiative will provide specialists with microsites for each that will be seamlessly integrated into Travelleaders.com and Travel Leaders agency sites. Specialists will also be provided opportunities to further engage clients through in-store point-of-sale pieces and marketing collateral, direct mail, email and social media assets.