At the 11th annual Avoya Travel Conference, plans for Avoya’s future, which will be broken down into five phases through 2025, were announced. This new vision is expected to strengthen growth with independent agencies, preferred suppliers, and travelers to create better vacation planning experiences.
During a press conference Jeff Anderson, executive v.p. for Avoya Travel, explained how the Avoya 2025 initiative came about. “We thought, ‘was anything broken with what we were doing? And after days of meetings we all agreed there was nothing wrong with what we were doing.’ No big overhaul because things weren’t broken.” Adding that, “We want to build a deep collaboration with partners, we want to do it radically different from the way business is being done today.”
Plans for Avoya 2025 will put Avoya on the path to becoming the number one vacation platform with the goal of reimagining and creating the future of vacation planning, according to Jeff Anderson. The mission will focus on building deep collaboration with partners; inspiring more people to explore with Avoya; creating powerful, life-improving, and giving technologies; and providing distinct customer experiences.
Anderson explains, “Life-giving technologies—as culture moves faster and faster we start losing perspective. Adding that, “One, it’s about time. We need to do everything we can to maximize everyone’s time—employees, suppliers, agents. We have to do a better job to help people reduce the amount of time it requires to plan a great trip. Two, provide distinct experiences for Avoya travelers. Matching a traveler with an expert who is knowledgeable. What are those distinct experiences that we provide? And, number three, product expansion. [Currently] cruise makes up 70 percent of our business. It [product expansion] will also increase the scope of the type of traveler we are pursuing.”
Each phase of the plan will be 18 months long, starting with Phase One, which kicks off this month and will run through November 2019. The goal of Phase One is to connect more travelers with Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network, increase communication and business intelligence sharing between suppliers, Avoya, and the Network, and streamline efficiencies so Network members can spend more time booking travel and earning income.
We want to be humble promoters of cross cultural experiences; help promote diversity.
—Jeff Anderson, Executive Vice President. for Avoya Travel
Phase One is broken down into three initiatives:
- Independent Agencies: Help Independent Agencies make more money and save time through enhancements in education, sales intelligence and technology. Avoya is increasing agency support through enhanced education with its new CLIA partnerships and expanded Mastermind program, new Agent Power technology enhancements that improve workflow and save time, and access to intuitive sales intelligence so Network members can better service customers and grow sales.
- Supplier Partners: Increase communication, collaboration, and business intelligence between Avoya, suppliers, and Independent Agencies through the Avoya platform. Avoya is expanding supplier partnerships to generate new markets of customers growing its portfolio in the all-inclusive resort space, providing more visibility on performance analysis for increasing overall profitability, and strengthening collaboration and access to the Avoya Network using new two-way technology.
- Travelers: Make an incredible first impression of the Avoya brand and the Network, and connect more travel intent consumers with Independent Agencies than ever before. Avoya is creating more modern and interactive ways for Independent Agencies to connect with customers, delivering better costumer contact preferences, adding personalized content and experiences for consumers online, and driving stronger customer value and retention through a new loyalty-focused initiative.
Anderson says that, “We want to inspire everyone to explore more, from a travelers standpoint, trying to increase the cultural understanding we have with each other. We want to be humble promoters of cross cultural experiences; help promote diversity.”
Sam McCully, v.p. of marketing for Avoya Travel added, “By creating faster service and response time, I want to find travel intent consumers and get them in touch with Independent Agencies faster.”
McCully explained the enhancements to the membership program, saying that “The membership component is to create a system we can lean into. It was built last year, but we want to add feature sets.” Adding that “They [travelers] can meet the IA via the system, save their preferences, share it with family and friends. We want to have technology that’s personal to them. We want to give them more preferences such as text and chat.”
As part of Phase One, in addition to better communicating with the traveler, and streamlining work for Independent Agencies, Avoya is also expanding their portfolio.
“We’ve done a soft beta launch of a resort page. We’ve partnered with Mark Travel to expand our product portfolio. There’s now a resort selection on the website,” says Ashley Hunter, v.p. of business development for Avoya Travel.
“This gives us an opportunity to introduce our product portfolio to a new customer,” says McCully.
Jeff Anderson adds that, “The product portfolio for the next seven years is going to radically resemble what the consumer is booking.”
In addition, Avoya celebrated milestone achievements during the conference with double-digit sales increases for 2017 and triple-digit network growth.
“May is on fire. Way above what we anticipated. We are very pleased with our travel partners that we’ve carefully selected. Our independent network—they continue to amaze me. They truly run their own business,” says Brad Anderson, co-president and co-founder of Avoya Travel, during a press conference.