22 | Avoya Holdings

T0627AVOYA_C_350 [Credit: Avoya Holdings]
2021 sales: $379 million
Previous ranking: 29
Employees: 100

401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 1400
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (305) 677-2308


CO-CEO: Jeff Anderson
CO-CEO: Michael Anderson
SVP, SALES: Steve Hirshan

Company facts

* Through its vacation-platform model, utilizes marketing technology and data intelligence, alongside its patented Live Leads program, to connect travelers with independent travel advisors.

* Works with 1,200 independent advisors.

* Primary shareholders are the Anderson family and private equity firm Certares.

2021 developments

* In November, Avoya closed on an investment from funds managed by Certares Management in a new partnership aimed at accelerating expansion.

* Restarted a campaign to encourage new-to-travel advisors to affiliate their businesses with Avoya. The result was a 30% gross addition of new agencies compared with the end of 2020.

* Retained 97% of agencies that sold over $1 million in 2019 and 100% of agencies selling $2 million.

* Won a 2021 Travel Weekly Gold Magellan Award for crisis communications due to its response to Covid-19.

* Expanded its resorts portfolio with the delayed return to service by cruise lines and redesigned its resorts section of AvoyaTravel.com. Sales with preferred resort partners were up nearly 50% from 2019.

* Launched the "Vacations to Take Now" marketing campaign, highlighting destinations that were open for leisure travel. The efforts earned a 2021 Travel Weekly Gold Magellan Award for advertising/marketing campaign.

* Automated labor-intensive internal processes for support staff using artificial intelligence technology within its patented Agent Power system.

* Negotiated commission incentives for travel advisors that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in nonrecallable bonus commissions for the Avoya network that were paid out after the booking was made instead of the traditional commission payment timeline closer to departure.

* Launched a new Live Leads category that uses proprietary algorithms to identify and proactively alert an agency about which of their past clients is the most likely to book a vacation next. 

Looking ahead

* The Certares investment will enable Avoya to grow its network and diversify its product portfolio, with an emphasis in 2022 on increasing hotel partnerships, resort offerings and airfare opportunities.

* Cruise sales are at an all-time high. When compared with 2019 levels, cruise departures are up in the second half of 2022 and up even more significantly going into 2023.

* Expects the booking curve to move closer to departure as more travelers begin to utilize their future cruise credits.

* Although past trends indicated that travelers were not only spending more than historical levels but traveling for longer, Avoya is beginning to see customers booking multiple smaller vacations, too.



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