Small Business Tag

The entire Nexion Travel Group Executive Leadership Team, along with members of our staff and many of our travel advisors, congregated in Hollywood, Fla. in late August at the ASTA Global Convention 2019.

President Jackie Friedman, who serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Travel Professionals (ASTA), spoke during the Hosts/Consortia panel workshop on Sharing How Top-producing Members Find Success.

“Independent travel advisors have a lot of choices on how they want to operate their business. It’s important to me to ensure they have the facts when making decisions about their agency,” says Jackie.

Vice President of Sales and Marketing Cris De Souza presented Marketing YOU: Promoting Your Value and discussed how advisors can position themselves in the travel industry, so they don’t compete on price while carving out a unique and legitimate space for themselves. “Effective marketing delivers the right message, at the right time, to the right people,” Cris said.

Heather Kindred, Senior Director of Business Development and Education, presented two roundtable “think tank” workshops on Salesmanship-Overcoming Objections and Opening the Sale. Heather gathered a group of seasoned travel industry professionals in a room with 50 advisors, and together in small groups, they broke down common objections that advisors hear daily, beginning with, “Do travel agents still exist?”

The team also greeted advisors during an independent advisor reception and took part in the Chapter Connections, a gathering of the different ASTA chapter communities. Several Nexion Travel Group advisors are active chapter leaders across the country.

Partnership Power

A highlight of the convention was when Jackie got to share the stage with Becky Powell, President of Protravel International, and Cindy Schlansky, Co-President of Tzell Travel Group, during the Women in Travel History presentation. The three women recognized the long line of strong, brave female businesswomen who have helped steer the travel agency industry to success. “Back in the 1800s, women weren’t even allowed to have passports. Married women had to be listed on their husband’s passports. But that didn’t stop many intrepid adventurers and explorers from making their mark on the world.”

Jackie continued, “To ensure the role of women continues to rise in our industry, we all need to step up our game,” stated Jackie. “Women make up half of this country’s population, but less than 30 percent of our executives are women. Of those women executives, only a tiny percent are Asian, black or Hispanic.”

Of course, the convention would not be complete without plenty of networking, a trade show and an advocacy dinner. And, to top it all off, Nexion Travel Group was awarded ASTA’s Host Agency of the Year for the second year in a row and third time overall!


Here’s a quick video recap of the convention …

Nexion Travel Group looks forward to seeing you next year for the ASTA Global Convention August 25 – 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Nexion Travel Group is a Diamond Level Proud Partner with ASTA, the highest level offered through the partnership program with ASTA. We invest our time and resources to support ASTA’s mission and ensure a healthy and robust travel agency distribution channel. Plus, we understand that travel advisors are an essential tool to your success. We’re dedicated to providing our advisors with the tools they need to be best advocates for travelers across the world.

All travel professionals interested in learning how to succeed as a professional business owner, backed by Nexion Travel Group’s many great benefits, are encouraged to call 800-747-6813 or email


Written by Suzanne Harbison, Nexion Travel Group Marketing and Communications Manager


Summertime is just about here, and just like your clients, it’s a popular time for travel professionals to go on vacation. We know you do the best to take care of your clients’ vacation needs, but have you thought about everything you need to do before YOU go on vacation or are out of the office for an extended period of time? Here are some best practices to ensure your business stays on track when you’re out of the office:

  1. It may seem basic, but it happens … Ensure your clients know your name and have your contact information.
  2. Ensure you have coverage if you’re unavailable and notify your clients with a courtesy call or via email if you’re going on vacation or will be out of the office for an extended period of time.
  3. Buddy up with another agent who can handle emergencies while you’re out. Nexion members are great at helping each other and Nexion also has a Buddy System in place to help members in need find other members who can assist clients or potential clients.
  4. Before you head out on vacation, run a query of customers who may have deadlines coming up for final payment, booking option dates, group finalization deadlines, etc.
  5. Be sure to update outgoing voice mail or recording messages when you’re unavailable. If possible, forward your phone, or leave information on who will be covering for you in your absence, as well as the dates of your absence.
  6. If you’re going to be unable to access and respond to email, be sure to leave an “Out of Office” auto reply, if you use Outlook, or similar message with other email programs. This lets your clients know your whereabouts and who to contact in your absence.

Now that you have your clients’ covered, you can relax and enjoy YOUR well-deserved vacation.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the travel industry, the difference is clear. Joining Nexion – a powerhouse host agency backed by Travel Leaders Group – is the best business decision you can make.

Written by Suzanne A. Harbison, Nexion Marketing Manager, and Traci Cummings, Manager of Member Services