Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
ORLANDO — Ensemble Travel Group is forming an ‘Ensemble Affiliate Division’, a new membership level for travel agencies that are small, niche or mid-size travel organizations.
The Ensemble Affiliate Division provides a non-shareholder option for travel agencies with access to all of the organization’s technology, marketing and training programs. Cost is $199 annually and agencies have the ability to become shareholders as their business grows.
“We expect this new membership option to appeal to agencies currently not affiliated with a consortium to ‘test the waters’ or for those doing their ongoing due diligence of what’s available in the marketplace that might better suit their needs. It’s a total win, win, win … for members, Ensemble preferred partners and our organization,” said Don Kennedy, vice president, business development, who oversees a business development team fully staffed with some of the most experienced veterans in the industry.
Earlier this summer, Jane Hershey and Ron Bentley came on board as business development directors, joining staff members Julia Block, Cheryl Babulal, Tricia Kentel, Arleen Rios, Danielle Dahdan and Desirée Rolle in rounding out the team in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the Ensemble Affiliate Division, conference delegates learned of two new entry-level marketing plans for the U.S. and Canada that would appeal to and support the needs of this new membership level as well as other current members.
The ‘Starter Turnkey Plan’ for U.S. members bundles Ensemble publications, direct mail pieces, e-mail marketing and ClientSites; and the ‘Print Trial Package’ for members in Canada bundles the magazine, brochures and direct mail pieces.
“Both options offer a little bit of everything from our extensive marketing portfolio,” said Ensemble’s Georganne Shirk, vice president of marketing. “It’s a perfect sampler, especially for a small agency or one just starting out with Ensemble to ‘test drive’ some of our key collateral.”
Ensemble also officially welcomed 37 new member agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia/New Zealand during the opening session of the organization’s annual conference taking place Oct. 25-28 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.
“We’re delighted to expand our Ensemble family with these dynamic new members,” said Kennedy. “While these agencies represent a variety of models and agency specializations, all are successful businesses with strong client followings.”