to offer three-tier membership

By Kate Rice is introducing three types of membership: general, Inner Circle and President’s Circle.

Many consortia and franchises have top-performer groups, but membership of the Inner Circle and President’s Circle will be driven by preferred-supplier sales and sales volume, as well as agency participation in programs, use of technology and participation in events.

Members of Inner Circle and President’s Circle will have their own portal for Agent Universe,’s technology platform. About 10 preferred suppliers will offer these members benefits beyond those offered to the general membership.

Inner Circle and President’s Circle agencies also will have access to special training programs and their own hotel program, Select Hotels and Resorts, which lists 300 to 350 luxury resorts with customer benefits such as free WiFi and free breakfasts.

Members’ clients will receive Ultratravel, a quarterly magazine for luxury travel.

Inner Circle and President’s Circle agencies will get first refusal to be hosts for Vacation Vignettes,’s hosted cruise program. Competition to host these groups is stiff.

Although there is an upscale component to it, the top-performer groups are not targeted only at agencies selling upscale travel, said John Lovell, president of

The new membership levels gives suppliers a way to work with agencies that are more productive than the general membership, he said. It gives suppliers a more cost-effective way to maximize their return on selling through, Lovell said.

Lovell stressed that the program is open to all agencies. is releasing complete details about the new program on Friday.

Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.
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