Travel agents first, always and exclusively. You get the message right from the get-go when you’re speaking with Randy Alleyne, president of GOGO Vacations, about, of course, the company’s new Travel Agents First campaign for 2015. You also learn that the first of its many components is a new commission structure designed to enable agents to increase their commission by up to 25 percent—more than what they were earning previously.
“Actually,” says Alleyne, “Travel Agents First is more than a campaign name, it’s a movement designed for our one-and-only clients: travel agents, for whom our singular goal is to provide top service and product. We consider bolstering the travel agent commission a good place to begin, the first leg of our expanding ‘service contract’ with our clients.” Specifically:
- Booking agents with annual sales up to $99,999 will see up to a 2 percent increase in commission.
- Partner agents with annual sales from $100,000-$999,999 will see the biggest jump with up to a 3 percent increase in commission.
- Premier agents with annual sales of $1,000,000+ will receive up to a 2 percent increase in commission.
With its 3-tier commission structure now positioned as phase one of Travel Agents First, Alleyne says that GOGO will be investing in increased educational sessions, operational tools, and marketing fulfillment services. Each commission level will have additional benefits, which will be unveiled during 2015. Coming up soon, for instance, be prepared for Ready, Set, Go! monthly promotions offering additional commission bonuses of up to 5 percent.
Feeding into its agent-commitment model, Alleyne points out, are the local branches across the U.S. that service GOGO’s travel agent accounts, rather than one large call center. “This service—embracing more than 40 offices in 26 states nationwide—gives travel agents the chance to not only build their business with GOGO, but to build a relationship with a dedicated consultant who understands that business.”
Alleyne points with pride to in-depth product knowledge, an expansive product line and comprehensive marketing programs, which he feels provide tremendous value to the 8,000+ travel professionals in the GOGO family. “We keep our hands on the pulse of the agency community, and I think we are on to where 95 percent of their clients want to go, what leisure lifestyles and experiences they want. While our product is global, our roots are in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, and recently in this hemisphere we added Central American destinations—Costa Rica, Belize and Panama, with destination training for our interested agents.
“Most recently we have been expanding and fine-tuning our products and services for multigenerational travel groups—a sector that has boomed, expanding 10-fold in the last 15 months.” He defines multigenerational nowadays as family, extended family, and friends of family all wanting to come together in a single destination, all having different expectations of the experience. “We continue to position our destinations with new products and services so our agents have all the tools to satisfy all the members,” Alleyne adds.
The Travel Agents First agenda also calls for a focus on in-depth destination information through expansion of its “Paradise Found” video series that was a bronze winner at the 35th Annual Telly Awards; they serve as an educational tool, even for places travel consultants have never been. “With these very professional videos, you learn about a resort and explore a destination without leaving your desk,” Alleyne explains, “and while these videos are extremely valuable for agents, they also prove highly effective for their clients as well—designed to put them in the ‘I am there’ state of mind.”
This year, too, GOGO will increase FAM trips, as well as domestic and international learning conferences. First out of the 2015 gate was the February Learning Conference in Jamaica, which debuted another phase of the campaign: With appropriate pomp and circumstance—complete with police-escorted motorcade and red-carpet entrance to dinner at The Sugar Mill at Half Moon—GOGO Vacations installed its new “President’s Club.” According to Alleyne, this hand-picked group of seven-figure-plus sellers was invited to serve a 2-year term as part of his advisory board, meeting every quarter to cover industry topics with GOGO Vacations executives.
GOGO Vacations: (888) 667-0600; gogowwwv.com