Travel Leaders’ annual national meeting kicked off yesterday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Touting the theme, “The Formula for Success,” this year’s conference is using the Twitter hash tag #tlnm11, for those who want to follow it live.
Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders, gave an upbeat welcome to agents in attendance. “Travel Leaders is no longer keeping pace with the industry, we’re setting the pace. This is a year when everything is in motion,” he said.
Specifically, Block reported that Travel Leaders’ revenue numbers for 2011 are on par with 2008 and that 2012’s are forecast to be even better. “We are 53 percent higher overall looking at our volume compared with 2010. Things are getting better and better and business travel is also encouraging.”
Of note is that Travel Leaders this year has added 15l new agencies in 20 locations, which generate $350 million in combined annual sales.
“It’s been a lot of years since we added 15 agencies with that much in annual revenue,” Block told the audience.
The start of the meeting also yielded a host of awards and announcements from the company. At a special ceremony, Travel Leaders honored 24 agencies with this year’s Agency of Excellence awards. Three employees- Cindy Facklam, Fran Klein and Ellen Roberts- were also awarded Employee of Excellence awards. Finally, Travel Leaders announced the details of their Stream Hotel program, which offers 12 percent guaranteed commissions to all agencies and agents affiliated with Travel Leaders.
One of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders is the product of a 2008 deal in which the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined forces. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the Carlson franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.