Have you ever thought of the suppliers in the travel business who make your life as a travel agent easier? They have virtually invested their entire careers in working with you as a group because they recognize that the agent distribution channel is the one that has the most value to their businesses.
There are many suppliers out there who are absolutely dedicated to the travel agency community. While I obviously can't name them all, I can at least bring to light the names of those who have recently moved to other companies where they will carry with them the skills, the knowledge and the relationships they've acquired from working with travel agents over the years.
Juan Tamarit has moved from Travel Bound to Homeric Tours
and Pascale Gherardi has left Island Destinations for her own company, Voyage
by Pascale, which works only with travel agents. That move calls to mind Laurie
Palumbo's transition from GoGo Worldwide Vacations to Island Destinations. On
the hotel side, Ellen Gerchick is moving from Park Hyatt to Rosewood Hotels
& Resorts, Tony Cortizas has moved from Sandals to Sol Melia and Mike
Norton transitioned from Air
Dedicated to You
Many of these suppliers are true road warriors who are constantly striving to develop enhanced products that will wow your clients. In some instances they are tirelessly devising methods to make your selling process more simple by providing more effective and easier-to-use technology. If they are tour packagers, much of their time is spent vetting new hotels and on-the-ground suppliers to make your clients' vacations seamless and memorable experiences. In other cases, they are constantly getting on an airplanes to visit with their travel agent partners personally in their offices or at trade shows throughout the world. (And we all know how tough it is to travel these days, so I suggest that the next time you see them you at least buy them a drink for their efforts!)
It Is a Small World, After All
If you think about it, the supplier side of the business has
actually made the world a lot smaller for us—and in a good way, because they've
made its far reaches much more accessible. Who would have thought years ago
On a more less far-flung level, it's now easier than ever to
spend a long weekend in
Selling the Dream
In a similar fashion, you as travel agents are making the world a smaller, more accessible place for your clients, and it's not just because in many cases you are the conduit to their purchasing these travel services. When you sit in front of customers and tell them of the marvels of what it's like to tour the Vatican for the first time, or to stroll along the Champs-Élysées at night just as the city's cafés start setting up their sidewalk tables for dinner, you are opening the world to them and putting them in a moment they would never be able to capture for themselves by simply studying a photograph.
It's a remarkable industry we're all in, isn't it? Aside from the obvious glories of travel that come along with it, it's the relationship between agents and suppliers that are in my mind, not only vital, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of the travel business.
Ruthanne Terrero, CTC EDITORIAL DIRECTOR email@example.com