Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group will jointly offer NEXT, a new initiative geared toward recruiting, re-educating and retaining young professionals.
The agency groups plan to recruit and train the next generation of luxury travel specialists. Participants will receive customized training, a dedicated mentor and placement within one of the two companies. Training sessions will start this fall.
“There are few professions that can offer the level of prestige, excitement and glamor to young professionals quite like the travel industry can. Within the travel agency segment, our message to Millennials is simple: ‘The world can be yours,’” explained Barry Liben, CEO for both Protravel and Tzell.
As the travel industry constantly evolves and grows, so do opportunities for tomorrow’s travel agents, he said: "Our NEXT program builds on the rock solid foundation and offers aspiring agents with the crucial next step to enter the exciting world of travel.”
Protravel International, headquartered in New York City, has annual sales of more than $870 million. It's grown into a network of 18 branch locations throughout U.S. as well as in London. It also has a network of U.S. hosted agents.
Directing the NEXT program will be Marisa Costa, a luxury travel specialist who is a Millenial. “Marisa Costa is an outstanding leader who can speak authoritatively with her peers and attract them to our industry,” Liben noted.
Costa is known for her involvement with Young Travel Professionals (YTP), where she serves as business development manager.
“Millennials are on their way to becoming the top consumer over the next few years, and the industry must evolve to change its perception among this new generation," Costa said. She said the industry gains credibility with Millennials when the client can relate well to their travel advisor.
According to Liben, NEXT complements the Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s training modules offered by Travel Leaders Group, parent company of Protravel and Tzell. “This new initiative is specifically designed for anyone who wants to turn their passion for travel and high-end luxury into a rewarding profession,” Liben added.
NEXT candidates will be trained for placement in either Protravel or Tzell, whichever is most appropriate for the advisor, says Costa. The program will focus on three components -- recruit, retain and re-educate.
Costa stressed that retaining good talent is just as important as finding new advisors. So NEXT will help young agents develop peer networking within the two agency groups as well as throughout the industry.