Travel Leaders augments website services

By Nadine Godwin

Travel Leaders has rolled out the most extensive expansion to its website program for members since the organization launched its Web presence in the 1990s, according to Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group.

The central purpose of the expansion is to connect leisure and corporate customers with the right travel agents, Jose Ferreira, vice president of technology and marketing for the franchise group, said during Travel Leaders’ conference in Dallas.

The program, called Travel Leaders Online, has several elements, as follows:

• Agent Profiler, a space at where individual travel agents appear along with relevant details such as their locations and specialties. Consumers can spell out their criteria for a travel agent and be led to a Travel Leaders candidate.

Agent Profiler was launched a month ago and attracted about 300 agent participants during the soft launch with another 1,000 in the pipeline, Ferreira said.

Effectively immediately, when consumers conduct their searches, Agent Profiler will dynamically match participating agents’ profiles with the organization’s featured travel promotions so consumers see both.

In addition, Agent Profiler will launch a live-chat capability so “agents can get to the consumers at the point of interest,” Ferreira said.

•, a new national website for franchisees who focus on corporate travel. Ferreira said, “The business channel was separated out because there is limited time to get messages out.”

He said the interactive business travel site is “specifically targeted at potential clients’ procurement and finance officers looking to get the most out of their travel programs.”

The site will explain why prospects should choose a Travel Leaders agency and what customizable solutions are available, the press statement said.

• Local customization for member websites. Travel Leaders said that close to 140 of its 330 associates are participants in the franchisor’s website program.

Effective in January, each of these agencies, whether leisure or corporate, will be moved to the Travel Leaders Online platform. This will give them websites with a new look plus the tools to make them “completely customizable to each agency’s unique offering,” Ferreira said.

For example, he said, members can include the Agent Profiler feature in their own websites, highlighting their own staffers’ specialties. Visitors to these member sites would also see the match between travel interest, agent specialty and relevant promotional offers, and they could seek a live chat, as well.

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