Whether you’re a travel industry veteran or newbie, the profession’s future continues to shine brightly. According to an August 2016 Travel Market Report article, a whitepaper issued by marketing research firm, MMGY, says consumer use of travel agents is at a six-year high. In a show of support, Amadeus and Hilton – two longstanding proponents of the professional travel community – recently launched separate initiatives to recognize and reward agents for the vital role they play in making the travel world go around.
Amadeus offers more choices & more rewards
Midway last year, Amadeus launched More Choices, More Rewards, an agency incentive program that benefits travel companies booking cars and hotels in the Amadeus system. The complimentary Amadeus Peak Performance agent promotion enables travel consultants to earn individual points toward great prizes (i.e. hotel and car vouchers, gift cards and vacation getaways) when they adopt and book Amadeus car and hotel solutions through the GDS.
Glenda Hunter, a 30-year travel industry veteran, is branch manager of Maupin Travel in Durham, NC, an Amadeus client for nearly a decade. Encouraged by the promotion’s fun, mountain climbing game format, Hunter noted that she and her travel agency colleagues “don’t see these kinds of opportunities much anymore, especially incentives that reward the individual agent.”
“Through their productivity, agents have the opportunity to earn prizes for themselves and dollar incentives for the agency,” says Hunter. “Tools like the Amadeus Hotels Plus graphical interface enable us to do hotel research directly in Amadeus, making booking easier than ever. We think it’s great!”
Hilton honors WowMaker travel pros
Last October, Hilton launched its own program, WowMakers, to recognize travel, meetings and events professionals for the amazing experiences they provide their clients on a daily basis. According to Andrew Flack, Vice President, Marketing & eCommerce Americas at Hilton, the hotel giant was looking for new ways to engage with travel planners whom Hilton calls “heroes who don’t always get the credit they deserve.”
“As a result of our dialogue with 400 professionals across the travel agency community, we uncovered an unmet need to recognize these amazing professionals and showcase their personal stories – and WowMakers was born.”
To celebrate travel counselors’ essential role in travel and tourism, the WowMakers launch featured a Twitter contest for travel agents, and showcased top performers’ stories in a “Museum of Wow” at IMEX. Hilton also expanded its meeting website with helpful planning tips, and offers programs like “Meet with Purpose,” which helps business travelers eat healthier food and take activity breaks during corporate meetings. This year, Hilton will continue to extend WowMakers as they roll out additional tools and offerings for travel, meeting and event professionals to better serve their clients and attendees.
Attach hotels and cars to boost business
Both Hilton and Amadeus are committed to helping travel professionals make more money by increasing their WowMaker status. A key way to do this is to look beyond flights – and find new opportunities to attach hotels and cars to air bookings. To illustrate the impact, Hilton’s infographic shows the implications of identifying additional touchpoints during the travel life cycle.
In summary, savvy, wow-making Amadeus and Hilton travel consultants understand the importance of attaching hotels, cars and other products to the reservation, a key move that leads to increased loyalty, better bookings, more choices and more rewards.
What else can you do to elevate your WowMaker status?