RETAIL ROUND-UP: Travel agencies in the news
Ensemble has launched a new familiarization program for members and Flight Centre is “fizzing with inspo” in a cheeky, new promotional series on YouTube this week’s retail round-up. Also, well-earned acknowledgements for Trevello and The Travel Agent Next Door.
Ensemble has announced a new familiarization (FAM) program for members. ‘Further Your World; Exclusive Educational Trips,’ is designed to provide members with firsthand in-destination experiences to build greater knowledge of and relationships with the consortium’s partners.
Through the program, advisors will gain direct access to in-demand destinations, emerging themes, and new products, along with the opportunity to engage in networking, and participate in educational programs to elevate their performance and help grow sales.
For members, specific goals and benefits include advancing the ability to:
• Effectively market and promote destinations and experiences to current and potential customers.
• Develop and enhance relationships with Ensemble’s partners including hotel staff, DMC’s, cruise lines, shuttle drivers, tour guides, restaurant owners, airlines, etc. that inspire trust and loyalty.
• Attend educational learning sessions and gain access to concrete sales and marketing tools that highlight the unique features of each destination.
For partners, benefits include being able to:
• Showcase their products and offerings while equipping agents with the tools, information, and resources to better sell them as a result of firsthand in-destination experience and personal testimonials.
• Grow their social media exposure and content creation for destination/experience
The FAM program debuts with five trips in the remainder of 2023 with partners including:
• Silversea (July) – A cruise aboard the Silver Moon to Reykjavik
• AMA Waterways (Sept.) – This trip features a cruise along the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam
• Egypt & Beyond (Sept.) – The group will get an immersive experience to learn about ancient Egypt
• G Adventures (Oct.) – An exploration of the culture, nature, and people of Ecuador
• Intrepid (Dec.) – An Antarctica Adventure
“We are excited to add yet another new resource to the complement of programs we’ve launched in the past several months,” said Michael Johnson, President of Ensemble. “FAM programs are key to helping members have the firsthand experience they need to guide their clients about new products and emerging destinations. That knowledge and expertise then leads to more bookings and ultimately increased revenues for members and partners alike.”
Partying with the Hiltons in Las Vegas, marvelling at Mongolian traders aboard the Trans-Siberian, meeting your future spouse in a supermarket in Ghana… Flight Centre that, as travellers, its people have a lot of stories to tell. And now they’re being shared in a series of one-minute videos in a series that can be seen on YouTube.
Dubbed ‘This One Time,’ the video series “straddles decades and continents, laughs and woah-moments, joys and outright face-palms to offer you the ultimate aperitif to travel,” says Flight Centre Global Head of Marketing Clinton Hearne.
“Everyone has travel stories they share with those they know, so we wanted to give this instantly identifiable form of storytelling a platform that we hope will resonate,” he adds. “The result is a series of punchy videos that are fizzing with inspo.”
“People are getting excited about travel again, and we want to catch some of that excitement by sharing our very own experiences. We’re dropping these videos as little reminder notes that now is as good a time as any to plan that next trip, whether you’re eyeing up a summer escape to Europe, cultural immersion in Asia or a raucous tour of the USA.”
Hearne said Flight Centre’s YouTube channel had been experiencing something of a golden patch off the back of the popularity of its Kids Talk travel series.
“YouTube has become an indispensable channel for people sourcing inspiration and information to shape their travel plans,” Hearne says. “With a bit of customary Flight Centre cheek, where we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we hope our ‘This One Time’ series will spark many more travel stories.”
The Travel Agent Next Door
The Travel Agent Next Door has won the Celebrity Ambassador award for the second year in a row.
“This award represents the heart of what Celebrity Cruises is all about,” said Brenda Yeomans, Key Account Manager, Canada. “It is about putting people first. Doing this through your communities, sharing, caring, partnership and mentorship.”
She added: “The Travel Agent Next Door‘s people, put all of these into action each and every day. You are all Celebrity ambassadors who truly care about the success of each other. You are all great supporters in your local communities and charities – but also overseas with the Pencils for Kids Charity. We are very honoured and proud to help you in your amazing fundraising efforts. Your hearts are huge! Congratulations.”
Antje Splettstoesser, TTAND’s marketing director, said a supportive community takes place every single day and the award “means a lot to us and our agents since we jointly believe in giving and making this world a better place. Every year our agents go above and beyond to support our charity of choice Pencils for Kids. Through the charity, we were able to build four new kindergartens in Niger, West Africa.”
Trevello Travel Group has been included by Windstar Club 180, an exclusive group of travel agencies that have demonstrated exceptional knowledge of the Windstar product and outstanding sales performance. Club members receive special benefits, such as access to the cruise line’s most sought-after itineraries, dedicated support from Windstar’s sales team, and opportunities to participate in Windstar educational programs.
Andrea Mendelson, Windstar Regional Sales Manager in Canada, praised Trevello’s commitment to promoting the Windstar brand and delivering exceptional service to their clients, stating, “Trevello’s advisors and head office teams are engaged, and their business is thriving. We are excited to welcome Trevello to the Windstar Club 180 and eager to continued growth of our mutual sales.”
Caroline Hay, GM of the Cruise Division at Trevello, added, “We are thrilled to be named to the Windstar Club 180. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our advisors, who believe in the Windstar brand and are confident that Windstar consistently provides their clients with extraordinary experiences on board. We are grateful for the incredible support we receive from Windstar to support our significant sales growth.”
First published at Travel Industry Today