Travel Leaders Network is celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week by spotlighting the many ways travel advisors can “save the day” when it comes to dealing with common travel woes like last-minute bookings, flight disruptions and more.
Here are some of the stories the organization has shared on how advisors have helped their clients before, during and after their trips:
Travel Advisors Deliver Personalized Service to Each Unique Traveler.
Travel advisor Debbie Sebastian of Travel Leaders in Danville, Kentucky, exuded patience and dedication to a first-time client needing special accommodations.
“I received an email on December 27 from a woman looking to immediately book a trip to Israel for her family. She found me through an Internet search and said she thought she would not hear back during the holiday season, but she was thrilled I responded,” said Sebastian. “I answered all her questions and found ways to accommodate her needs. I arranged for a private car service and a flip phone that she wanted her son to have. I also arranged a special tour for her family. She was so grateful that I was able to respond to her needs so quickly during the holiday season.”
Travel Advisors Are Real People, Accessible in Real Life.
Public relations professional Catherine Clark, who is also the daughter of former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark, sent a tweet that caused the name of travel advisor Scott McCord of McCord Travel Management in Ottawa, Ontario, to go viral. Apparently, Clark and her 12-year-old daughter needed to travel to Canada that day after they missed their flight back from Dublin. She woke McCord up “in the middle of the night” and he booked his clients on a new flight “within 40 minutes.” Clark tweeted, in part: “Today, I am particularly grateful to a man named Scott McCord – our travel guru – who worked his #McCordMagic and tilted our world back on to its axis …” McCord, who is a member of Travel Leaders Network, said “Yes, I got up at 4 a.m. to answer her and yes, I bailed out a passenger, but I did not do anything different than I normally do – I didn’t feel it was worthy of any special attention. I am just doing my job.”
Travel Advisors Provide Peace of Mind.
“I had a group booked on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line who were needing to purchase their air tickets but found it difficult due to them not receiving a salary while they were on work furlough for the U.S. government,” said Sue Rice, a Miami, Florida-based member of Travel Leaders Network. “They were concerned they would have to cancel their entire trip. I told them not to worry, that I would take care of it.”
Rice covered the cost of the airline tickets and told the travelers they could pay her when they received their next check. She saw this as a part of her service to her loyal clients. “It is a bit harder for the national travel companies to vet guests than it is for a travel advisor, but they don’t want a cancellation bump any more than the rest of us,” added Rice, who also worked with her network to get travel suppliers to offer extensions or extended payment plans to government workers who were affected by the shutdown earlier this year.
Travel Advisors Are Passionate Travelers Who Are Globally Connected.
Within 48 hours after Mike Salvadore, from 58 Stars, a Travel Leaders agency in Kenmore, Washington, returned from a tour of Jordan, including seeing Petra, Amman, Jerash and the Wadi Rum desert, his enthusiasm that the country is a must-see destination convinced some travelers to go. “After my long journey home and back to the office, some clients came in wide open about where they should book their next trip, but they were looking for something off the beaten path that would also appeal to their sensibilities as history buffs. I couldn’t help but speak effusively about Jordan as a bucket list item and highlight why I loved it. As a result, the client decided Jordan was a perfect fit.”
National Travel & Tourism Week runs May 5 – 11 and is the latest May event celebrating the value travel advisors bring to their clients and the travel industry as a whole. The month kicked off with Travel Advisor Appreciation Day, sponsored by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), and all month suppliers have been running special incentives to say “thank you” to their travel advisor partners.
All month we’ll be sharing reasons why it pays to use a travel advisor to re-share with your clients on our Instagram account – follow us @travelagentcentral to check it out - just click "follow" on the post below: