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Nancy Knight

Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent

Protravel Beverly Hills: A Collegial Place to Work

Our office is proud of having some of the best and most experienced travel agents in the business. In fact, this travel agency—and I-- have been in this location since 2000 and our biggest source of business has always been client referrals. We do not have a storefront, but we do get referrals from local luxury hotels who have come to trust our work. We currently have more than 100 travel agents, including 90-plus independent contractors.

About ten years ago, this agency joined Protravel International. We were primarily a high-end leisure and cruise agency, but working with Mickey Weill, the vice president of sales development for the western region, we have been able to diversify our business model and add a lot of entertainment and corporate accounts.

One of the biggest ways the Beverly Hills branch is expanding is by bringing in people from other industries. Our office offers training for those new to the industry. We have found that many of our newest travel agents bring strong social media skills and it has been exciting to see them learn from and teach the more seasoned travel agents in the office.

This office has always had a strong culture of sharing and we try to encourage through social and learning events. Often these are relaxed vendor-sponsored wine and appetizer programs that provide a great way for work-at-home travel advisors to learn about and meet top-notch suppliers and mix with each other. We also recently redesigned the office and created a co-working style “Pro Works” area that does double duty as a social event space after hours.

Protravel also provides excellent technology tools for both leisure and corporate travel agent. A new marketing program makes it easy to send out twice-monthly newsletters with special offers that keep you front of mind with leisure clients. The newsletters are short and visually appealing and agents are getting a great response. Often clients do not jump on a particular offer but book a trip because the email reminds that their advisor is there for them.

In addition to all the corporate Protravel support, we have an in-house team. It started as a way to cover for agents when they travel, but it has grown into much more. For example, when a travel agent needs a quick answer for a client, our team can push to expedite the request. They also assist in bulk ticketing for groups and other negotiations.

On the corporate side, Protravel provides support on sales calls, if desired, as well as account management and customized online booking tools and reporting. Some of our travel agents are asked to bid on corporate accounts from their work on leisure trips and we can help them grow into that role.

One of the best things is that we often work as a team to make sure each trip is the best it can be. For example, if you are going to Bali and your travel agent has not been there, she will tap into the experiences of one of her trusted colleagues who goes there regularly.

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