|Trish Shepherd, new senior vice president and general anager Ensemble Australia/New Zealand, and Ensemble Co-Presidents Lindsay Pearlman and Libbie Rice|
Ensemble Travel Group reports its global expansion into Australia and New Zealand. Ensemble said its plan is to assemble top agency groups and independent owners in Australia and New Zealand looking for 'real value' for their investment.
"For travel agency owners, that means transparency, business development consultancy, and marketing know-how and support, with a focus on the individual agency’s brand," Ensemble said.
Ensemble will provide members access to its international network and buying power, plus offering business and marketing know-how and an array of product beginning with air, hotel, and On Location tools.
Trish Shepherd, a 30-year travel industry veteran, was named senior vice president and general manager, heading up the Ensemble expansion. The move is part of a three-year business plan for the member-owned cooperative.
The announcement came at the opening of Ensemble's International Conference in Palm Springs's Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Spa attended by 900 members, suppliers and guests.
Ensemble itself is an enabler, helping members and suppliers run their business better and more efficiently, co-presidents Lindsay Pearlman and Libbie Rice said at the conference opening.
“For us, an enabler makes things possible. We equip, prepare, and even make things easier. At Ensemble, we do this in three ways: through partnerships, people, and programs,” said Rice.
The executives highlighted some of the new partners who have joined the organization in 2014, including Lindblad Expeditions, Club Med in the US, Amtrak Vacations-Yankee Holidays, Australis Cruises, more than 100 hotel partners, and 10 On Location partners.
Ensemble said the greatest concentration of members have been with the cooperative for five years or less, but 60 agencies have belonged to Ensemble from the beginning in 1968 or since the very early days.
Commissions, overrides, and profit sharing are the major reasons why agencies join Ensemble.
New programs and products introduced during the conference included Ensemble E-zine and Vacation Therapy, the DestinationVows Specialist Program and the Extranet. Ensemble also launched a rebuilt consumer-facing website – ensembletravel.com, ensembletravel.ca and the French version, reseauensemble.ca.