Andavo Travel is ramping up its team of home-based travel agents, as well as adding new humanitarian travel options for agents to sell, Travel Agent learned during a recent visit by Andavo Travel CEO Mike Cameron to our New York offices.
“It’s the new model,” Cameron said of the company’s independent contractors, most of whom work from home, noting that the company is increasingly finding it necessary to offer options for working from home in order to attract agents to many of its five locations, which are in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Birmingham and Detroit.
“In Colorado it’s the commute,” Cameron says. “To be competitive we have to offer agents at-home options.”
In Alabama, however, the split is closer to 50 – 50 between at-home and in-office agents, Cameron says.
Andavo added 20 independent contractors to its team, bringing its total to approximately 130. That was part of a larger expansion of the company’s team, bringing its total members to 433. The expansion capped a strong period of sales for the company; sales were up 21 percent in the first three months year over year. In total, Andavo grew from $546 to $606 million in annual sales.
CV Humanitarian Travel Acquisition
Last year also saw Andavo’s acquisition of humanitarian travel operator CV Humanitarian Travel, which closed October 1, 2016. Andavo agents can now book humanitarian travel through the company in four major categories:
- Humanitarian travel – Travel for humanitarian groups
- Faith-based travel – Travel for church groups on humanitarian missions
- Medical mission travel – Humanitarian travel for healthcare professionals
- Corporate humanitarian travel – Provides travel for corporate responsibility programs
CV assists with many of the logistics of putting together a humanitarian trip to an impoverished area. Exclusive airline partnerships allow agents to offer discounted pricing, as well as an increased baggage allowance, which is important because many of these trips involve transporting bulky or specialized equipment, Cameron says. CV also offers 24/7 in-house, emergency support and discounted health and evacuation insurance.
Right now CV Humanitarian Travel provides about $6 million in total annual sales, but Cameron says Andavo sees a great deal of growth potential.
“We expect that number to grow,” Cameron says. “We bought it for the unique value proposition it offers, not for the sales.”
Cameron says he sees particular opportunity in the corporate humanitarian travel category, as companies increasingly look to incorporate social responsibility into their teambuilding and incentive programs. “We have such a large corporate clientele, and we’re already starting to cross-sell,” he says.
Cameron expects the product to be popular with Millennial travelers, as well.
“Millennial age people really support the idea,” Cameron says. “[For companies], it can be part of your value proposition when attracting employees. That whole age range really appreciates it.”