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New Agency Sees Growing Value in Independent AgentsAugust 25, 2011 By: George Dooley Home-Based Travel Agent
Independent home based travel agents are crucial to today’s travel marketing and distribution system and invaluable to industry suppliers, Gene Brezenoff, director of agent recruitment and retention for newly formed host agency Leading Travel Authority (LTA) believes.
Brezenoff is a cruise industry veteran who sees LTA bringing high commission levels, strong back office support and state of the art technology to independent agents who want to grow their businesses. “There is still room for an innovative host agency to reach and serve the independent market,” he says.
The new host is the result of advance planning and careful study of competitive host agency models, Brezenoff says. “This includes lead generation, a personalized website and consumer booking engine and a solid list of preferred suppliers. Another plus is LTA’s membership in Vacation.com.”
LTA will offer an extensive four-tiered program for independent agents ranging from 100 percent commission for experienced agents as well as online and personal training for qualified novice agents. “We want to attract the best quality agent and tailor our programs according to their needs.”
Amadeus and Sabre are the principal technology providers, Brezenoff says, with emphasis on easy online booking tools and real time pricing and inventory. A key goal: offer compelling travel content and deals. “We have a strong cruise portfolio but give our agents the ability to sell and market a full range of travel services, such as tours, car rentals and more.”
“We are pleased to announce this new opportunity for travel agents. LTA invites agents to join and take advantage of the technology, systems and programs needed to build a successful career in today’s competitive travel marketplace,” said Steven Heydt, CEO of The Fairweather Group, parent company of LTA, in the announcement. “From those just entering the field to experienced professionals, LTA has a program that specifically matches each individual’s goals and needs.”
LTA has a management team has an average of more that 25 years of experience that will be headed by MaryAnn Leahy, general manager, Brezenoff and Carol Ascari, manager of operations & client services. The agency is headquartered in South Florida. A member only intranet is being developed.
“Whether selling cruises, private or group adventures or looking to assist a client with a hotel room, LTA has the systems, resources and expertise to help agents grow and expand their travel business,” said Leahy, a 20-year industry veteran and Virtuoso travel agent. “Our ongoing training and coaching combined with marketing and business development tools allow us to help agents provide a high level of expertise and exceptional service while offering clients the best deals at the best prices.”
Brezenoff stressed the opportunities ahead for dedicated professional agents who want to build strong, viable businesses. “Despite the economy, real opportunities exist for independent agents – especially in leisure and luxury travel sales. We can backup our agents with strong data based marketing and lead generation as well as the indispensible back office accounting and reservations systems basic to success.”
Brezenoff invites agents to explore the new program at www.joinltatravel.com or call toll-free number (1-866-237-1521).