TORONTO — Travel Edge has invested $50 million in a new limited-time signing bonus program for luxury travel advisors, with an eye to supporting Independent Contractors (ICs) during the COVID-19 crisis.
Travel Edge says it is looking for luxury travel advisors who want to join “a secure, stable, luxury travel company that believes in the future of travel.”
The company felt that the investment of $50 million would be an important lifeline for the travel community.
The move follows up on its initial March 24 announcement about the signing bonus program, along with the hiring of Shannon Whitebread as Travel Edge’s new Director of Business Development.
“The expertise of travel advisors is at the heart of our travel offering. The future of luxury travel lives with the ICs,” says Michael Johnson, EVP Travel Edge. “We felt it was important to support the bedrock of our industry with an appropriate and much needed investment when it needs it most. We are paying a limited time signing bonus of up to $250,000 in support of ICs joining the Travel Edge family.”
Travel Edge calls itself North America’s premier luxury travel company and says it is focused on three pillars to ensure a best-in-class travel home for ICs: Preferred Access, Premium Technology and Passionate Community. These pillars empower luxury advisors with the platform they need to take their business to the next level, says the company.
“We have the best high-margin contracts, which comes from being one of the largest buyers of luxury cruise, hotel and air in North America,” says Travel Edge CEO Jeff Willner. “We’ve invested over $50 million in our ADX (Agent Digital Experience) platform with the sole focus of enabling our advisors to easily improve their commission yield and sales efficiency.”
Willner says that as part of Travel Edge agents have access to the highest yields and splits in the industry, rewarding agents for doing what they love – selling travel. He notes that Travel Edge also has a dedicated team negotiating for ICs to have the best contracts, relationships and exclusive amenities in the industry.
Roger Kershaw is Travel Edge’s top performer and a self-described passionate advocate for ADX. Kershaw says ADX made the transition from running his business from office to home seamless. “I have peace of mind using ADX; it’s easy, intuitive, and simplifies the way I operate my day to day business,” says Kershaw. “Invoicing is easy and automated. Insurance is fantastic: automatic populating of amounts, names, dates and no need to re-create a quote when accepted.” Kershaw was named Virtuoso’s Most Admired Advisor – Canada last year.
Travel Edge EVP Johnson says the company “celebrates the craft of the luxury travel advisors in a unique way – creating a passionate community is part of that world class support.”
Johnson adds: “We match the best commissions in the industry with world class technology, and we emphasize that luxury travel is about the human connection. The Travel Edge community is part of our differentiator. 1000+ hours of tailored regional supplier training and development, extensive recognition and rewards programs provide Travel Edge advisors exclusive experiences found nowhere else; and the launch of our new Luxury Advisor Conference – Limitless.”
The travel industry is facing never-before-seen challenges, and that brings hurdles and hardship. But there is strength in numbers. “Of course, everyone in our industry is facing enormous challenges. But we remain a community that depends on each other with the focus and desire to serve our clients,” says Johnson.
“We want advisors who are affected by the events of COVID-19 to feel they not only have a safe place to land, but that they are joining an agency that is looking towards the future. In an unstable time for our industry, Travel Edge is positioned for growth. The Travel Edge bonus is an added income opportunity for those who have been greatly affected by all recent events – with 50% immediate payout upon signing.”
He adds: “As we define our course into the future, we want to have the best ICs with us. Arming them with the unprecedented access, powerful technology and most importantly adding the fabric of our community. Travel Edge is proud to invest in their advisors and is dedicated to the continual investment in being North America’s premiere luxury agency.” The company’s website is traveledge.com/join.