An addition to its slew of announcements from this week’s EDGE Conference, taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Travel Leaders Network has also debuted more training courses and certification opportunities, added technology offerings, expanded marketing and lead generation programs, and a myriad of networking options this year. Here’s a look at Travel Leaders Network by the numbers:
“The past year has been marked by expansion in many areas that will improve the competitive position of our members and increase their opportunities to make money,” said Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Network. “We’re raising the bar to help our agencies succeed and ensure they are better equipped to serve their customers and gain new ones.”
The number of Travel Leaders Network agents actively involved in the organization’s six specialist programs has risen to 1,612 and increases each month. The programs range from leisure travel, business travel, group travel, luxury travel, honeymoon and destination weddings, and active and adventure. More than 374 agents have graduated from the programs. Overall, the network offers over 500 training opportunities to its member agents throughout the year.
The two-year specialist programs involve on-demand lessons, webinars and workshops, both virtually and in person.
Within Agent Profiler, which is a free benefit for Travel Leaders Network agents that provides consumers direct access to travel professionals via TravelLeaders.com, nearly 5,500 agents are now displaying online, representing expertise in 135,000 destinations and 53,000 interests. Through the end of May, organic traffic to TravelLeaders.com was up 45 percent year over year and leads flowing through Agent Profiler continue to grow significantly; an estimated 140,000 leads are anticipated for the full year 2018. The average sale on leads generated through Agent Profiler is currently in excess of $5,000.
Agent Profiler 2.0, which was introduced earlier this year, enables agents to very effectively hone and promote their specialties and areas of expertise. It also displays photos, client testimonials and blog posts. Travel professionals using Agent Profiler 2.0 are typically receiving three times more leads than agents using the basic version of the tool. Additionally, agents with at least one certification typically receive two times the leads versus those with no certifications.
Perks at Sea
Travel Leaders Network is offering more than 300 hosted sailings this year across nine premium and luxury suppliers as part of its Distinctive Voyages program. Each of these cruises includes a host, a private cocktail reception and a complimentary shore excursion. Additionally, within Distinctive Voyages is the Car & Driver program, which was first introduced last year and has proven hugely popular. The number of participating cruise lines has doubled to six; luxury cruises include the use of a private car and driver in a port of call.
Also, in 2018, Travel Leaders Network is offering approximately 100 cruises as part of its Culinary Collection, many of which offer all the benefits of Distinctive Voyages along with a special culinary feature, such as a meal in a special venue or a wine package. Beyond these programs, there are an additional 3,500 cruises available through Travel Leaders in 2018 that offer special amenities, such as a shipboard credit, pre-paid gratuities, a specialty restaurant meal or a wine package. There are now 17 different cruise lines partnering on the program.
A new website, selecthotelsresorts.com, recently launched for the Travel Leaders SELECT Hotel program. The hundreds of hotels and resorts in the program provide VIP amenities to clients of Travel Leaders agents, with the new site showcasing each property’s amenities, description, photos and other details. Other highlights include:
- A new filter feature to help review properties with specific qualities, from romantic to family friendly to pre-/post- cruise
- A clear list of the exclusive perks offered to Travel Leaders guests
- A single site with both an agent view (including important agent-only information) and a consumer view
Introduction of Agency Buying/Selling Website
Travel Leaders also recently introduced a new website www.buymytravelagency.com that matches owners who are interested in purchasing other agencies with prospective sellers. Potential agency buyers can purchase a display ad describing their existing business, the types of agencies they’d like to acquire, geographical parameters and other requirements. Selling parties can review the ads and connect via the website with potential purchasers.