Avoya Travel — ‘Guiding Light’ for Travel Advisors

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This past week Avoya Travel’s travel advisors (IAs) and its C-suite gathered on board the Discovery Princess for the organization’s buzzy 2023 Avoya Travel Conference. As we sailed along the Alaska coastline, stopping at various ports along the way, the group learned how the host agency is pushing its technology-first approach to create new tools for its IAs and to become, as co-CEO Jeff Anderson said, “the guiding light for agents.

“Ultimately, we want to build the host agency of the future,” he added.

What does that look like? Well, one way they are taking a huge step forward is by announcing that they will now offer 100 percent commission on preferred vendors and service fees, and 80 percent on non-preferred vendors and air.

“This is very novel for us,” noted Anderson, “as we haven’t changed our compensation plan for 15 years. There was a misconception that if you went to Avoya you were going there because of leads. The reality is that if that’s what we’re about, we’ve missed the opportunity to serve the core of the industry. We’re as much of a host as everyone else is.

“So, the commission splits we offered weren’t super intriguing, and we’ve pursued as what ends up in your bank account as the most important thing.”

This new commission split, labeled Elite 100, is only for top producers—that said, hundreds of IAs already qualify. The criteria is $50,000 in departed commission in the last 12 months. Anyone who hits that criteria will receive an invitation to join.

“This program is for those who are fully committed to making this industry better, and that’s not to take away from anybody who’s doing this part time, because we value and cherish them, too, but for those who are all in, we as an industry need to treat them better than someone who’s only doing a few bookings a year,” said Anderson. “You have to stay productive in order to have compensation that’s that high.”

Confidential pricing for current IAs—there is a fee to be part of the Elite 100 program—was announced during the conference, with pricing for new IAs to be announced in Q4.

Avoya Travel’s Elite 100 Program is ‘Disruptive Proposal’

The plan that Avoya Travel has offered its agents is an 80/20 split, so if you bring the customer, you get, as the IA, 80 percent of the commission while Avoya gets 20 percent of the commission. Now, what’s unique about Avoya, according to Anderson, and why they are more than a host agency is that they also have Avoya customers. “We spend incredible amounts of marketing dollars, technology building and human capital to generate [Avoya customers]—finding the customer is extremely expensive. That said, I still think there’s a ton of money that’s made there [for IAs], so the commission split there is 30 percent to the IA and 70 percent to Avoya,” says Anderson.

“We’ve always wanted to be creative in changing what those look like,” he adds. “Every company kind of gets into its routines and every company goes through its growth spurts and downward cycles, but for too many years we were in the market, but we weren’t the innovators that we had been for the decade prior.”

This new program is a “pretty disruptive proposal because we’re going to offer more for less than anybody else that’s even remotely close to doing what we do. We’re going to spend a lot of money to make sure this program is successful. We’re pumped and really excited about Elite 100.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out more news from the 2023 Avoya Travel Conference, so stay tuned, including a profile on Avoya Travel’s new CSO Phil Cappelli.

For now, if you want tips on becoming a top travel advisor, we’ve got the 411 from Avoya Travel’s sr. v.p. of sales right here.

For more information on what Avoya Travel offers, visit avoyanetwork.com.