Luxury Travel Expo Kicks Into Full Gear

John McMahon, vice president and group publisher of The Travel + Hospitality Group, addresses the crowd at Luxury Travel Expo.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The 12th annual Luxury Travel Expo at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino got its feet wet yesterday with the successful, inaugural Young Leaders Conference, which attracted more than 100 agents under the age of 40.

But the show really got into gear on Wednesday, starting with an educational and very entertaining opening session hosted by John McMahon, vice president and group publisher of The Travel + Hospitality Group.

The session kicked off with a presentation by Art Jiminez, director of leisure sales for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, who taught agents how they can make money by selling Las Vegas in 2011. He introduced to the crowd a new booking incentive, “Charged up Vegas.” The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority will be giving away $10,000 in gift cards at the end of the promotion.

Next up was Greg Hybl, president of travel and entertainment merchant services for American Express. Hybl presented a new agent incentive for 2011. Building on its success from the 2010 “Win with American Express” campaign, American Express is rolling out an enhanced version of this program with even bigger incentives and earnings for agents in 2011. Visit www.americanexpress.com.

The keynote address was conducted by Nancy Friedman, founder and president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Travel

The keynote address was conducted by the very vibrant and very funny Nancy Friedman, founder and president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Travel. In between checking herself out on the big screen and flirting with attendees, Friedman told the audience a few phrases to never say to clients. For example, Friedman urged to crowd to never say, “I don’t know.”

“I don’t know? Never say that,” Friedman says. “It says ‘I don’t care.’ It is a direct rejection. Why not start out with a positive alternative if you don’t know the answer. Instead, say ‘Gee, that is a very good question, Mr. Customer. Let me check and find out.’ By the way, Tommy, when did you need that information? By the way, Mr. Jones, when do you need that information.”

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com and www.luxuryta.com for more updates from our ongoing coverage of Luxury Travel Expo.

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