What’s next for Nexion Canada?
Host agency Nexion Canada is looking for significant membership expansion, including a possible move into Quebec, over the next couple of years and is banking on its brand-new technology platform to pique the interest of home-based retailers.
The platform, dubbed myNexion, was unveiled at the recent CoNexion gathering of North American member agents in New Orleans, where project leader Kevin Kimes promised “less technology that does more.”
Kimes explained, “As a host agency, it’s difficult to ensure members are using common standards, there-fore the industry as a whole is disparate, but we’re on the cusp of launching a cohesive solution.”
The initial myNexion offering was rolled out in July and included the hotel booking interface of mammoth parent company Travel Leaders Group (TLG).
All Canadian members will shortly have myNexion’s CRM program which will be fully integrated into TLG’s suite of marketing solutions, including a new consumer website an a lead generation tool, as well as integrated email and direct mail marketing campaigns.
The final phase – myNexion accounting – will be available early next year for all customer invoicing and accounting needs, including vendor receipts and payments, billing, corporate account management, GDS integration, “and much more,” promised myNexion Canada president Mike Foster.
“This year, CoNexion focused on ‘Thinking Big in New Orleans” and there’s nothing bigger in 2017 than our new tech roll-out,” declared London, Ont.-based Foster, who added, “What our members can expect is a sophisticated level of technology that is truly personalized to the individual agency.”
Foster told CTP that he wants members in Canada to focus on selling, while Nexion makes it easier for them to do so. That’s why he relayed that he gives them the message that “you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself.”
In an exclusive inter-view in Nerw Orleans, the Nexion Canada chief revealed that the current membership roll stands at about 250 and that he would like to grow that number to some 400 over the next two years.
Ontario boasts the largest member base, but Nexion Canada is growing in Alberta and British Columbia. Foster noted that the host agency has no Quebec presence, partly because “we wanted to get the rest of the country organized first.”
But he stated, “I would love to see us in Quebec, but we have to address the language issue and we have to do it right.”
Initial cost of Nexion Canada membership stands at $595 with a choice of paying $49 per month to retain 70% of earned commission or $99 to keep 80%.
Foster pointed out, “Membership gives access to Travel Leaders’ great commission programs, so it’s not just a question of percentage, but a question of percentage of what.”
And the long-time retailer wrapped up with, “The agency member owns the client and we serve the member. It’s the perfect business model. If I look after members, they won’t leave and they’ll continue to serve their clients.”
Nexion was founded in 1995 by Sabre Holdings. The company was acquired in 2010 by New York-based Tzell, an agency powerhouse with sales then of $1.5 billion. Tzell is part of Minnesota-based Travel Leaders Group, which ranks among North America’s top five traditional agency enterprises with annual sales volume in excess of $21 billion. In January 2013, Nexion announced that it had acquired a majority share of Mike Foster’s London, Ont. Uniglobe Instant Travel outlet, which started operating in 1982. Foster ceased his 31-year franchise affiliation with Uniglobe and began operating under the Nexion brand, which he represents as president of Nexion Canada.