It’s been a strong Wave Season for sales at Andavo Travel, and the launch of a new meetings and events division and expanded social media offerings are positioning the company for further growth, Andavo CEO Mike Cameron tells Travel Agent.
Andavo Travel, a member of Virtuoso, is the host agency division of Christopherson Andavo Travel and is a major player in the industry, with $614 million in revenue in 2017.
It has over 130 hosted or employee advisors, either home-based or in one of its four offices in Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; and Birmingham, Alabama.
With such strong numbers, any gains in business are notable. For example, Cameron says that sales were up 23 percent this Wave Season across both cruises and tours. That’s off an already strong year in 2017 for the company, when sales were up 15 percent over 2016. Year to date, overall sales have jumped 21 percent again over 2017.
One major piece of the company’s growth is last year’s launch of a new meetings and events division, called Christopherson Meetings & Events. The new division brought together five pre-existing groups within the company that touched on meetings and events under a single roof.
“We had all those businesses, but by bringing them together they can share resources and collaborate,” Cameron said.
Andavo’s meetings and events sales were up 25 percent in January and February of this year over the same period last year, Cameron said. The company is also continuing to add more independent contractors (ICs), with ICs increasing by 10 percent last year, for a 15 percent increase in IC sales. Andavo is also continuing to increase its senior leadership team, and is in the process of hiring a full-time recruiter to handle all the new additions.
Looking ahead, the company’s Compass social media program is coming up on its one-year anniversary, and an internal survey indicates high satisfaction with the program. 100 percent of surveyed agents would recommend the program to a peer, with 50 percent saying that they would recommend it because all travel advisors will benefit from it.