Online 'trip journal' is geared to social media

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IZento, an online travel-planning and itinerary-building service based in San Francisco, is marketing a product for agents who want to use Facebook as a means to showcase their "trip journals" to existing and potential clients.

Through its portal at www.izento.com/travelpro, agents input all necessary trip information. iZento organizes it and creates a personalized trip plan that can be edited by the retailer, viewed online for collaboration with clients, posted on Facebook or purchased as a print journal. No actual bookings are made through the portal.

"Taking advantage of social media is especially important in attracting and building new business in today's competitive and online driven marketplace," said Tony Del Favero, co-founder of iZento. "Many travel professionals have expressed interest in promoting their services through social media outlets, but tell us that they are unsure of where to begin. That's precisely why we've created this iZento Facebook feature: to offer an effortless way for travel agents to grow their client base through social media.

"This tool offers travel specialists a competitive edge to attract new customers as well as to improve their communication and retention rates with existing customers."

The idea is that clients would share their trip journals with friends or groups across the social network community. Each journal is branded with the agency's name and contact information.

Bob Duglin, an agency owner and business development manager of the National Association of Career Travel Agents, said the iZento product "offers exciting new opportunities to embrace social media for business."

IZento charges $15 per month for access to the tool but is offering a free, one-month trial to agents who visit www.izento.com/travelpro.

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