NASSAU, BAHAMAS—Travel Agent attended the recent Results! Travel "Come 'Sale' Away" National Networking Event onboard Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, traveling from Miami to the Bahamas October 12-15, featuring a panel discussion with preferred suppliers, and presentations by Kevin Weiser, general manager of Primero Systems; John Risner, general manager of Results! Travel; and Roger Block, executive vice president of Carlson Travel Franchise Group and a member of ASTA's corporate executive advisory committee. The event attracted more than 200 attendees—travel agency owners who have become franchisees of Results! Travel (www.resultstravel.com, 888-523-2200), one of four franchise brands in Carlson Wagonlit Travel's leisure group, with more than 900 locations in the U.S.
Block addressed online competition. "Customers are getting fed up with Travelocity and Expedia and they are coming back to us in droves," he said, noting Expedia's flat sales growth. He urged the crowd to focus on selling airline bookings, given the growth in that industry and the opportunity to increase earnings through overrides and service fees.
He also encouraged agents to grow their businesses. "Acquiring other agencies will...increase your market share and profitability," Block said, citing Carlson, which, after buying Navigant for more than $500 million, is "the largest travel agency in the world."
Risner, in an interview with Travel Agent, noted that Results! franchisees can keep their identities, while getting support with marketing, preferred supplier relations and training, as well as airline overrides. In a recent survey of franchisees, 97.6 percent said they would recommend Results! to another agency.