09 Jan Travel Leaders Network Celebrates Milestones on Its First Anniversary as One Unified Brand
Enhanced lead generation, expanded global connections and exclusive unparalleled programs mark the first-year achievements of this best-in-class travel agency organization
New York, NY (January 9, 2018) – Since combining three industry leaders (Vacation.com, Travel Leaders and Results! Travel) into one powerful travel agency brand last January, Travel Leaders Network expanded its global and supplier partnerships, enhanced its education offerings, significantly expanded its marketing programs and grew its lead generation capabilities to deliver new customers to its nearly 40,000 agent members – fulfilling the commitment the organization made a year ago to grow agency business.
“Joining together under the Travel Leaders Network banner benefitted our members in a number of ways, providing them opportunities to grow their business, earn more and offer unique travel benefits to their customers,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. “This is evidenced, in part, by the more than 27 percent year-over-year increase in qualified leads delivered to our members utilizing our award-winning Agent Profiler-powered website, TravelLeaders.com, which uses a multi-faceted approach to lead generation.”
“The merging of our operations certainly made us more efficient as a business and enabled us, as a best-in-class organization, to provide improved opportunities to our agency members and supplier partners,” said John Lovell, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group. “We delivered upon our operating goals while meeting their expectations, and even exceeding them in some key areas.”
Additional milestones accomplished in Travel Leaders Network’s first year:
- Agent Profiler. The number of Travel Leaders Network agents showcasing profiles on the consumer-focused website com increased more than 315% in 2017 to approximately 4,700 travel advisors with expertise in 135,000 destinations and 53,000 areas of interest. “Equally important, travelers are in the driver’s seat selecting the most-qualified travel agent for their needs based on a full-range of travel specialties and destinations, such as ‘Adventure Vacations,’ ‘the Caribbean,’ ‘European Culture,’ and ‘Honeymoons.’ The interaction is a win-win,” Block said.
- Digital Marketing. Travel Leaders Network launched its iTravelBetter blog in 2017 to increase lead conversion from content pages. It published 156 unique articles shared on social media.
- Education & Training. Over 40,000 agents participated in at least one of Travel Leaders Network On-Demand online lessons and 11,489 Travel Leaders Network employees and IC’s used the Learning Management System for the first time in 2017. Travel Leaders Network’s award-winning Specialist Programs had 430 new enrollees this year, with leisure travel and luxury travel showing the biggest growth.
- Engagement Marketing. In 2017, Travel Leaders Network’s Engagement program provided additional opportunities for members to connect with their clients. “The opportunity to opt-in to 143 direct mail and 275 consumer email campaigns allowed agents to offer an array of tempting travel options through our direct mail, email and social marketing programs,” said Block. Direct mail promotions in 2017 resulted in 14 million pieces of supplier-funded direct mail sent to clients and 183 million consumer email promotions.
- International Conference. Travel Leaders Network’s 2017 inaugural conference welcomed more than 2,100 attendees and featured 230 educational seminars, an Experience Room showcasing its technology and marketing products, and a trade show featuring 170 supplier partners. “This was our largest conference in terms of attendance, seminars and the number of vendors, especially technology vendors — far surpassing what our brands ever accomplished separately,” said Block. “Our pooled resources allowed us to greatly expand and enhance the conference, attracting keynote speaker Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.”
- Print and Digital Publications. “In 2017, we were able to grow our focus on content, adding more editorial and inspirational content and by consolidating publications, resulting in larger, improved digital and print magazines,” said Block. Postcards magazine, published quarterly, expanded 32% to a 68-page perfect-bound magazine that targets affluent travelers and has a record circulation of 1.8 million households. Destination Bliss, which is distributed to 1.4 million households, showcases members as honeymoon and destination wedding authorities. There are also two new annual publications, Inspired magazine and Bucket List Vacations.
- Strategic Partnerships. Through marketing partnerships, education and value-added programs, Travel Leaders Network heightened its partnerships with suppliers and destinations, including exclusive offers and special amenity programs for cruise and hotel. This resulted in continued enhancements to the Distinctive Voyages cruise program and Select Hotels & Resorts program.
“Our power as one network enhances our relationship with our suppliers in both the leisure and corporate travel areas,” said Block. “New developments to the Business Travel Center of Excellence included an expanded global presence with Travel Leaders Group acquisition of Corporate Travel Services of Mexico and a partnership with Lufthansa City Center (LCC) of Frankfurt, a global agency franchise group with locations in more than 90 countries.”
- Websites and technology. Last year, Travel Leaders Network focused on leading-edge innovations and technology with the introduction of Leaders Edge, which is a web site solution for Associates. Travel Leaders also rolled out Travel Leaders 24, its after-hours service. Also introduced were enhancements to existing tools, such as hotel booking engine pinSIGHT, CruisePro, AgentMate and other agent productivity and booking platforms.
“Taking a look back, we are proud of our accomplishments in our first year as one unified network,” Block added. “For 2018, we are focused on increasing our members’ profitability and helping our members grow their business further.”
Travel Leaders Network is comprised of nearly 6,800 locations in both the United States and Canada, offering both innovative franchise (Associate) and consortium (Member) solutions depending on each individual agency’s objectives and needs.
For travel agencies interested in learning more about the award-winning programs and diverse offerings that Travel Leaders Network offers agencies in leisure and luxury travel, business travel, honeymoon and destination weddings – as well as active and adventure travel – visit TravelLeadersNetwork.com
Travel Leaders Network assists millions of leisure and business travelers, annually, and is one of the largest sellers of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry. Led by flagship Travel Leaders-branded travel agencies (www.travelleaders.com), the network includes 6,800 Associates and Member travel agencies locations in the United States and Canada. Travel Leaders Network’s award-winning Agent Profiler agent-locator, marketing, technology, supplier partnerships and educational programs are designed around our travel agents’ commitment to our vacation and business travel clients in providing a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Network is a Travel Leaders Group, LLC company.