2014 will see MAST Travel Network working closely with MAST's 200 member agencies to help them improve their profit performance and become more successful through better use of MAST's programs and services, John Werner, president and COO reports.
"Member productivity and the importance of competitive performance are key to profitably in today's market. Many members are currently benefitting from the programs and services offered by MAST, but there are many more that could do so as well. Consumer demand is surprisingly resilient but agents continue to be challenged - from both online and offline competitors."
Werner says a key element in the program is agency branding. "A person can buy a trip from anyone but only a trusted professional travel advisor can make the planning and the entire experience memorable. This is the personal branding an agent/agency must develop. MAST has spent a lot of energy this year on helping members do this - and will do more in 2014."
One on one contact with agent members along with benchmarking agency performance will be important elements in the program, Werner says. "MAST has a well-developed sales program complete with establishing sales goals for each member agency, sales reporting and benchmarking, override tracking, sales trends and pacing reports, and a rewards system for achievement. This can prove invaluable to agency managements.".
MAST's direct mail program will be another vital part of the program, Werner says. "Members report their customers respond very favorably to direct mail even at a time in which email and other forms of digital marketing are popular. I think direct mail is less intrusive in some ways because a person can look at it when they are ready to look at it and at their leisure."
Werner says supplier sales for 2013 are up with most preferred suppliers and forecasts growth in 2014. "2014 sales are pacing ahead of last year at the same time. From this vantage point, 2014 is poised to be better than 2013. Let's hope nothing derails this outlook." Werner says.
MAST recently recognized twenty-five agencies as top sales producers for MAST preferred supplier sales during the annual All Star trip at Secrets the Vine in Cancun. The four-night trip was hosted by Apple Vacations and AMResorts.
MAST's Werner noted the group continued its tradition of presenting a charitable gift to a deserving organization in the host destination. This year's gift was presented to Save the Children Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo.
During the business meeting, members were introduced to a custom marketing program MAST has launched to create individualized direct mail, e-mail, flyers and full-scale marketing campaigns.
MAST's Board of Directors also met and reviewed its organizational strategy, including the new focus on refining and enhancing current programs with more one-to-one contact.
MAST Travel Network has over 200 agency members in ten states and Canada.