Elaine and Andy Pesky bring a new meaning to the term “dynamic duo,” offering 75-plus years of combined experience in agency management, luxury travel marketing and innovation. The Peskys, married for 46 years, also bring real expertise to New York City-based Protravel International, a world-class competitor in corporate and leisure travel sales.
Andy Pesky, with 45 years in the travel business, serves as Protravel International’s senior vice president marketing and sales, while Elaine is a senior account executive and a front-line agent in the delivery of client services. Both are unabashed advocates of the value of professional travel agents to the traveling public. “Developing trust and expertise is essential to agents either on the luxury or corporate side,” Elaine says.
Andy joined Protravel International—founded by Priscilla Alexander in 1984—after building Zenith Travel in New York into a major agency. After the sale of Zenith and joining Protravel, he now oversees Protravel International’s leisure sales and marketing.
This includes negotiations with cruise, tour and hotel suppliers.
Projected sales for Protravel this year are $650 million. The company has close to 700 employees and is the largest producer for Virtuoso. Protravel is also ranked among the top 15 privately owned travel agencies in the U.S. and recently made headlines with its acquisition of Rich Worldwide, a major Westchester, N.Y., agency. Protravel also recently acquired Nelson Custom Travel and Sue Brown Travel.
Elaine and Andy represent two vital elements: the importance of outstanding client services and experienced agency management. “Effective client services are the bedrock on which agencies and agents can build profitability,” Elaine says, noting the importance of expertise to the luxury market client. “It helps to be a good listener and to be able to guide clients through the maze of information now available online. Trust is another essential.”
Andy’s view as senior manager takes a broader view. He believes that quality management is essential for agency growth as is the ability to blend quality people and technology tools with sound supplier relationships and superior client services. He is a strong advocate of the value and future of independent agents and argues persuasively that hotel commissions should be higher as an incentive to increase sales.
Both Peskys are optimistic about the future of luxury travel and the travel agency industry seeing real opportunities ahead and steady growth in 2010. One mission of both Elaine and Andy is the need to attract new, young talent to the travel industry and to communicate the opportunities ahead despite the downturn. In Elaine and Andy Pesky, the travel agency industry has two outstanding leaders and advocates who have maintained a successful partnership that continues to contribute to a dynamic industry they love.