01 May “Vacation” Set to Launch as Online Hub for Consumers to Initiate Their Travel Research, Then Be Matched with Agent Specialists
Perpetual Demand Generation initiative designed to engage travelers with quality, personalized content long before travel is booked; then to match consumers with agent specialist at appropriate time
Orlando, FL (May 1, 2017) – Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) today is formally unveiling to Travel Leaders Network Members and valued supplier partners a new consumer travel site with the deceptively simple name, “Vacation.” Using the completely repurposed Vacation.com URL, Vacation is poised to revolutionize the traveler experience – and the travel agency community – as the travel industry’s very first Perpetual Demand Generation (PDG) vehicle.
Initially focusing on the burgeoning Honeymoon and Destination Wedding specializations, Vacation will soon be launched as a state-of-the art, interactive consumer-focused lifestyle brand where prospective travelers can research and access valuable information that is credible, objective and insightful – along with various options about specific types of travel – at their own pace. When they are ready to receive personalized advice, they will be matched with the most appropriate participating Travel Leaders Group travel agent. For the upcoming consumer launch, Members from Travel Leaders Network (including TL Network Canada) will be the first Travel Leaders Group agents invited to participate. Eventually, Vacation will expand to other lifestyle specializations, and other Travel Leaders Group agents will be invited to qualify.
“When we brought our three agency groups together earlier this year, we did so with the realization that the dormant Vacation.com URL was far too valuable to simply allow it to go away. We have transformed Vacation.com into a consumer brand purveyor of quality counsel and expert information,” stated John Lovell, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network, Leisure Group and Hotel Division. “Our Travel Leaders Network Members have already enjoyed overwhelming success by participating in our very own Agent Profiler program, which continues to be enhanced, but the new Vacation provides a radically innovative approach for qualified participants to have skin in the game for beginning new conversations with qualified prospects who may never have considered using a travel agent before.”
The new Vacation brand represents a significant investment by Travel Leaders Group to reshape the way demand generation is fulfilled in the travel space. Vacation will be launched using Travel Leaders Group’s proprietary, science and data-based PDG solution focused on acquiring and nurturing highly qualified prospects.
“Fundamentally, Perpetual Demand Generation is about always being ‘on’ throughout each traveler’s 24/7 quest for solid, unimpeachable information,” explained Ninan Chacko, CTC, who has personally advocated and advanced the innovative concept of PDG since taking the helm of Travel Leaders Group as its Chief Executive Officer. “By powering Vacation with PDG, we will empower travelers to consume informative content from a variety of channels. At each stage of their online journeys, we will provide a level of personalized engagement specifically targeted to them, as opposed to a mass market approach. Our goal is for each consumer’s Vacation journey to conclude with counsel from one of our agent experts.”
“Because we can track each consumer on their paths throughout Vacation from the moment they first visit our site right through to each closed sale, we are fundamentally changing the dynamics for how agents can sell travel. While Travel Leaders Group is actively engaging and nurturing prospective clients visiting Vacation on their quest for information, we are providing agents with a revolutionary solution for increasing their incremental sales,” noted Brian Hegarty, Vice President of Marketing for Travel Leaders Group. “To better equip them for success and enable them to close more sales, we will provide Vacation’s agents with detailed intelligence on the leads they receive including where and when prospective customers want to travel, a history of content they consumed along with their answers to Vacation’s online quizzes, and what type of planning style they prefer.”
Hegarty indicated that qualifying agents will be provided with tools designed to help them close sales, including best practice training, consumer call and voicemail scripts, email templates and follow-up collateral pieces. They will also be able to take advantage of a virtual sales assistant that Travel Leaders Group has developed to schedule follow-up contact.
“With nearly all travel planning beginning online – including both the simple and complex itineraries ultimately booked by our amazing travel agents – we recognized the dearth of highly engaging and trustworthy information necessary to capture and build essential trust and confidence among potential travelers, well in advance of booking their vacations,” noted Lovell. “By whetting each traveler’s appetite through this groundbreaking consumer portal, we will not only gain their faith, but appropriately mediate a human-powered discussion between the traveler and the right agent.”
The new Vacation brand will focus on the emotional reasons why people travel. “People travel for a purpose, and they tend to value life moments much more than tangible objects,” added Hegarty. “They travel to celebrate milestones, to bond with family and friends, and to simply unwind from the daily grind. They travel to explore new cultures, to savor food and wine, and to enjoy iconic locations. Vacation is set to help guide travelers on their journeys and travel experiences.”
Since nearly 1,900 Travel Leaders Network agents specialize in Honeymoon travel, and another 1,250 specialize in Destination Weddings – making the two categories among the most popular currently listed on TravelLeaders.com – they are being invited to qualify for participation in the initial focus of the new Vacation site. Vacation will engage travelers specifically researching Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, offering them rich and original content in engaging formats to learn more about their options, along with the ability at any time to be matched with the most appropriate agent.
Travel Leaders Network Member agencies will find registration information on Agent Universe. For travel agencies interested in learning more about the diverse award-winning programs Travel Leaders Network offers agencies in leisure and luxury travel, business travel, destination weddings and honeymoon travel – as well as active and adventure travel – visit TravelLeadersNetwork.com. Led by the flagship Travel Leaders-branded Associates, the nearly 7,000 travel agencies of Travel Leaders Network combined enjoy more than $17 billion in annual sales volume.
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About Travel Leaders Group
Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers, Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands, including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel. With annual sales approaching $21 billion through over 7,000 locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest traditional travel agency companies.