Ensemble launches Aussie specialist program

Ensemble Travel Group has announced details of its Aussie Specialist Program, an expansion of the organization’s South Pacific Specialist Program launched in 2010. While Australia has always been part of the original destinations that make up the certification program (along with Fiji and Tahiti), Ensemble is further strengthening its partnership with Tourism Australia, Qantas Airways and Qantas Vacations for this single-destination focus by increasing the breadth and depth of tools and services provided for participating agents. Among the new initiatives for Canadian members: a dedicated web site (http://www.aussieexperiences.com) and micro-site, increased social media efforts, and an expanded collection of print and online materials. “You ask people, young and old, and Australia is most likely on their must-see list,”said Ensemble Travel Group’s Suzanne Hall, senior director, marketing and development/land products. “With research showing that more than half the travellers use a travel agent for this long-haul trip and that 47% are repeat customers, it makes good business sense for us to ramp up our focus for members on this incredible destination.”Ensemble’s three partners understand the value and influence that a certified travel expert can bring to the table. “We believe in the travel agent distribution channel, especially when it comes to growing our visitor count each year,”said Tourism Australia’s Daryl Hudson, vice-president, The Americas. “What’s more, the most efficient way to reach the right customer is through an agency network that has invested in the product and destination knowledge for its members. Because of Ensemble Travel Group’s marketing expertise and our similar approaches to identifying and targeting customers, we felt that Ensemble could really deliver the clients.”In addition to ongoing training sessions and course work, agent communications and familiarization trips, the program includes: Dedicated web site http://www.aussieexperiences.com — a content-rich consumer-facing portal is broken down by region and experience, and supported by related travel offers. A discover tab connects visitors to a live events calendar and restaurant guide, both powered by Frommers. A “best of”section showcases the ultimate in popular activities such as beaches, dive sites and outdoor activities. A travel agent locator allows visitors to connect with an Ensemble specialist based on IP address or location. A micro-site version is also located on each specialist’s site and highlights that particular agent’s destination expertise; Print marketing; E-marketing; Social media.