Ruthanne Terrero with Sharon Symons of Globus
Sharon Symons, director, field sales for the Globus Family of Brands, recently shared some great insight with me: She said that between the Cruise3sixty and Vacation.com conferences, both of which she attended, she saw that the cruise seller is committed more than ever to expand their book of business. “They want to find solutions. They want to thrive, not just survive. It makes for an exciting time to be in our business, there is certainly no grass growing under our feet.”
Symons, who is spearheading sales for the company’s newest brand, Avalon Waterways (that’s in addition to Globus, Monograms and Cosmos), is absolutely right; while I was at the Vacation.com conference in Orlando in late June, I felt a refreshed excitement over being a part of the travel industry. Seminars and general sessions were packed with captivated audiences and many of the sales executives in charge of selling the top travel brands in the country were busy and engaged throughout the conference. Their dedication to the travel agency distribution channel hasn’t ebbed at all over the years and the enthusiastic response from the travel agents at Vacation.com must have been inspiring to them.
Kier Matthews, national accounts manager for Europe Express and Brian Moore International Tours, told me that Vacation.com “was a great chance to connect with our most productive consortia. The agents seemed to have great enthusiasm about economic improvement and growth in their businesses. They were also eager to learn about new products, services, and suppliers.” At his seminar on traveling to Europe, Matthews said, “There was a sense that clients are ready to book Europe, thanks to the recent freefall of the euro and British pound. This is a great time of year for travel agents to get fall bookings for their clients at a reasonable price.”
There were plenty of other exciting things to consider. Several agents at the Vacation.com conference were headed to New York to spend the weekend on NCL’s new blockbuster ship, the Norwegian Epic. Meanwhile, Holland America that same weekend christened its ms Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice at a ceremony our onsite editor Susan Young called, “a brilliantly classy event steeped in tradition, heritage and royalty.”
Is this an exciting time to sell travel? I think so. Is it a time in which you can thrive and not simply drag along to merely survive? With the dedicated sales professionals you have in this industry and plenty of fresh and exciting new travel products available to sell, there’s no way you can fail. All the tools are here for you.