Travel agents should capitalize on the current pro-travel agent consumer media exposure agents now enjoy, John Werner, president and COO said during MAST Travel Network's Awards Night attended by more than 260 members and suppliers. One hundred and fifteen awards were presented in five categories to more than 50 member agencies and preferred suppliers.
Werner said travel professionals across the country are enjoying the recent positive attention in the consumer news media. "The most-recognized names in consumer media are recommending the use of a professional travel agent for their trusted advice, expert guidance, and a friend to rely on when things go wrong."
"The media is telling travelers, your time, your money, your stress-relief, your vacation memories are too valuable to ruin - go see a professional," Werner said. MAST wants members to leverage upbeat news stories and will provide assistance with posting these news articles and clips for agency web sites, Facebook pages and other social media activity.
MAST’s highest sales award, the All Star Award, was presented to 25 agencies for their 2011 preferred supplier sales. The top agency was Cary Travel Express in Cary, Illinois. In addition to the award, these 25 top agencies will also attend the MAST All Star trip this fall hosted by Apple Vacations.
Eleven agents were honored with the Million Dollar Agent Sales Award for their achievements in individual sales of MAST’s preferred suppliers. An additional twenty-two agents received the Outstanding Agent Sales Award for their leisure travel sales on MAST’s preferred suppliers.
In the Business Development Awards category, MK All Around Travel in Oak Lawn, Illinois won for Best Group Promotion for their friends and family come-along group to Punta Cana. Elm Grove Travel of Elm Grove, Wisconsin and Travel Discoveries of Watseka, Illinois tied for the Best Travel Show Award. Both offered customer appreciation events in conjunction with their business anniversary celebrations.
An Honorable Mention Award was presented to Destinations Travel Services in Sterling, Illinois, for their community service event which generated a great deal of media exposure for the agency.
MAST also recognized the service provided by its preferred suppliers. Recipients honored were Royal Caribbean International for Best Sales Managers; Apple Vacations for Best Inside Sales Support, Best Marketing Support, and Best Support of Travel Agents in Consumer Marketing; Travel Guard for Best Customer Service; Disney Destinations for Best Reservations Department; Globus Family of Brands for Best Group Department and Best Training Program; Holland America for Best MAST Sales Sensation Exhibit and Travel Impressions for Best Client Documents.
MAST’s President’s Award was won by Janet Foster of Wilson Travel and Cruise in St. Charles, Illinois. Werner adds, “Janet is a staunch believer in the power of working together as a group and if one belongs to an organization, you should support what the organization does and utilize its services and programs," Werner said.
MAST Travel Network ranks as a premier travel agency consortium and marketing group in the Midwest with nearly 200 agency members in ten states and Canada.