Travel Agent is currently attending the 2016 Travel Leaders National Meeting. The meeting is 750 associates this year and is celebrating with the theme “Get Jazzed” at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, LA.
This year one aim of the event is to prepare the associates for Travel Leaders’ changing business model. As previously announced in August of this year, Travel Leaders Group is combining three of its agency brands to comprise a new entity called Travel Leaders Network. Under the new organization, Vacation.com, Travel Leaders Associates and Results! Travel, as of January 1, 2017, will function as one, under the single name, Travel Leaders Network.
“Over the next few days our goal is to show you how this joining of forces creates more opportunity, more solutions and ultimately more profits for your business,” says Stephen Mcgillivray, chief marketing officer of Travel Leaders Group.
With this new business model comes new marketing initiatives.
Agents will have access to a range of new print publications in 2017, “Inspired” and “Bucket List Vacations.” Both of these publications will urge clients to travel. “Bucket List Vacations” will highlight more involved trips like African safaris, while “Inspired” will focus on themes like winter travel. There will also be a redesigned version of the Postcards consumer magazine, which will play up the human interactions people encounter while traveling.
The new marketing items are less about controlling the conversation surrounding travel and more about participating in the conversation, says Mcgillivray.
Moving forward, Agent Profiler from Travel Leaders and Agent Snapshot from Vacation.com, the lead-generation programs that connect agents with clients, will be combined together to create one program.
“Our opportunity is not competition among the agents in this room. It’s expanding our presence for all the customers out there who don’t currently consider an agent,” says Brian Hegarty, vice president, marketing and destinations for Travel Leaders. “There’s plenty of business to go around we just need to tap into it," he continues.
Agents are also getting more support when it comes to social media. Travel Leaders will now offer agents social media sharing content services. These services will make posting to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram much more simple and will save the agents valuable time.
The social media services are broken into two parts and can be found on Mercavia.
Social Studio provides agents with a way to invigorate their social media efforts with pre-approved images, tips for posting, best practices and suggested language for easy posting. It’s support for agents that want to create their own posts.
Social Share provides agents with social optimized content that will post directly to the agent’s social profiles, taking the work out of posting.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for more coverage and news from this year’s national meeting.