LAS VEGAS -- A year after its launch to consumers and
subsequent beta-testing, Travel Leaders Network is opening its Vacation program
to all of its agents.
Travel Leaders Group's Stephen McGillivray, chief marketing
and communications officer, and Brian Hegarty, vice president of demand center
marketing, made the announcement during the network's annual conference on
Wednesday at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
Vacation is a consumer-facing website that uses content to draw
in prospects, linking them with an agent when they're ready to speak with one.
It repurposes the Vacation.com URL, which for years was dedicated to the
eponymous consortium owned by Travel Leaders Group. The Vacation.com consortium
in 2017 was rolled into a single organization -- Travel Leaders Network -- with
two other Travel Leaders Group brands, Travel Leaders Associates and Results
The consumer-facing version of Vacation, which has the goal
of giving qualified leads to agents, was initially announced at Travel Leaders
Network's conference last year.
While Travel Leaders Group has a successful lead-generation
program in its Agent Profiler tool, which gives agents individual profiles online,
it attracts consumers who are at the bottom of the sales funnel already looking
for an agent.
Conversely, Vacation is designed to bring agents to the
attention of top-of-the-funnel prospects who are earlier in their travel-buying
The content featured on Vacation ranges from blog posts to
videos to more interactive things like quizzes, and is arranged in different
verticals, like honeymoons, adventure travel and food travel. It's designed to
appeal to consumers' emotions, Hegarty said, and attract them to the site.
Supplier-sponsored content opportunities have also recently been featured on
In Vacation's first year live, McGillivray said it attracted
some 500,000 unique visitors. On the average weekday, it attracts about 3,000
daily users. Its social media following has also grown, he said.
According to Hegarty, more than 80% of the prospects that
use Vacation have never used a travel agent, evidence the site is achieving one
of its goals in gaining new customers in that space.
A group of agents has been beta-testing the site since it
launched to consumers. The top agents in that group are closing more than 30%
of the leads they get, McGillivray said, and some of those have resulted in big-ticket
trips like destination weddings or large groups.
Now, Travel Leaders Group is opening the site to its general
population of agents. To qualify, agencies must first approve a participation
agreement. Then, agents or independent contractors affiliated with that agency
can apply to the program.
Travel Leaders Group keeps a percentage of the commission on
leads that result in bookings, McGillivray said, but noted there is no fee to
participate. The number of leads an agent gets from Vacation is related to the
number of sales they close.