Three travel agents have teamed up to create a “grassroots” service to help travel sellers learn new skills and grow their business through improved personal branding.
Travel Agent Revolution was launched to educate agents and reach out to consumers, said co-founder and principal Mary Clegg.
“Many agents don't have a whole lot of business skills. We looked at how we could complement other organizations out there and not be competitive with them,” Clegg told Travel Market Report.
Clegg, a former vice president of NACTA, has partnered with Cory Andrichuk, president and founder of brandUcoaching Inc., and Cheri Andrichuk, a former cruise franchise owner, in the venture.
Agents pay a monthly fee of $12 to join the group and receive group business coaching, access to industry resources and be included in an emerging consumer marketing campaign.
The consumer campaign “is one of our key solutions,” said Clegg. “We already started this on Facebook and are working with social media in a big way to start a consumer awareness campaign.”
Agents access Travel Agent Revolution’s services through an online portal for educational information along with a members-only forum.
Members also have access to weekly open office hours, when agents can seek personal advice on subjects such as niche marketing.
A paid mentor service is also available that pairs members with knowledgeable and experienced agents.
“Agents should marry their passion with their business,” said Clegg. “They should find that niche they haven't focused on, to make it a more enjoyable experience for them.”
Workshop in Mexico
The organization's first training session is a Weekend Warrior Workshop, set for Club Med Ixtapa from Sept. 22 to 25.
“We will focus on the business and marketing plan, along with setting goals and becoming accountable,” said Clegg. “This is a different animal than what the Travel Institute or CLIA offer. We're really focusing on business development.”
The group is also working to launch a daily-deal site that steers consumers to agents for trip fulfillment.
“This reinforces the need for consumers to use an agent rather than going direct,” said Clegg. “It also gives the suppliers an opportunity to get out in front of consumers and endorse travel agencies as a channel to sell their products.”
Clegg would not share growth goals for Travel Agent Revolution, but said the company reached its one-month membership goal in two weeks’ time.