Nexion Travel Group is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020 with a firm belief in the future and the value of travel advisors.
Coming from a small tech company to a travel industry powerhouse, Nexion Travel Group has seen the ups and downs of the world of travel, and its story mirrors the last quarter-century in this industry.
The group began its life in Silicon Valley 25 years ago as a technology solutions company, before becoming a part of Sabre in 2003. The company started developing its eventual expertise in serving home-based travel advisors at a pivotal time. In the mid-90s, airlines stopped their long-time practice of paying commissions to travel advisors, upending many business models. This sea change led to many advisors changing their businesses to be nimbler and less tied to a brick and mortar presence. The age of the home-based travel advisor and Nexion Travel Group are deeply intertwined.
Jackie Friedman, CTC, CTIE, president of Nexion Travel Group, observed that: “Nexion’s beginnings have a lot in common with 2020. In 1995, the industry was reeling, and with the advent of the internet, there were many predictions that travel advisors’ time had passed. Sitting here 25 years later, I am happy to say that was not the case. The industry adapted not only then, but again and again. That grit and mettle have come in handy as we face the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic changes it has caused. As this company’s 25 years have shown, there is always a way for growth and moving forward.”
The group is also celebrating a 10th anniversary this year, marking a decade since they became part of Travel Leaders Group (now Internova Travel Group). Coming from a travel technology company to a brand-new travel agency company allowed Nexion Travel Group to home in on its niche as a host agency supporting entrepreneurs.
Said Friedman: “2020 has been a year where our mission has become more important than ever,” said Friedman. “Our members are trying to find their way through this maze, and it is our privilege to be there to guide them.”
Over the course of the year, Nexion Travel Group has pivoted to virtual events and support, as well as changing its programs to reflect its members’ new needs.
- Nexion Travel Group developed several virtual series for members to sharpen their skills, including the Back to Basics and Chaos to Control series. Back to Basics series involved quick-learn topics on topics like marketing, Nexion Travel Group tools, sales training, client retention and destination knowledge. Chaos to Control series helped advisors navigate through these challenging times and focus on business recovery.
- As part of Internova Travel Group, Nexion Travel Group has provided its financial assistance webinars to members, covering expert information on new legislation and programs like the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and unemployment insurance, and the resulting financial aid programs available to small businesses.
- COVID-19 Updates on Nexion’s member portal, myNexion, is a “one-stop shop” for Nexion Travel Group members wanting information on travel and the coronavirus. Here advisors can find pandemic information from trusted health sources and regularly updated information from suppliers about cancellation policies relating to COVID-19. Advisors can easily access pandemic information to serve their clients.
- The popular Escape marketing omni-channel campaign continues, this time with the addition of Virtual Escapes, which provides a platform for suppliers to virtually show off their products via ship, hotel, resort and destination tours. Nexion Travel Group advisors can use these for their own education and share with their clients to help them dream of their next travel adventure. The Virtual Escapes toolkit also houses online experiences like culinary, wellness programming and entertainment, and a variety of marketing, business development and safe travel resources to assist the Nexion advisor.
- Nexion Travel Group members also have access to The Armchair Explorer email campaign from Travel Leaders Network. The Armchair Explorer, sent from Nexion Travel Group members to their clients, have included such entries as the best places to whale watch, breathtaking virtual tours of national parks and some of the finest museums in the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the Guggenheim in New York. Clients were also able to explore several wonders of the world, including The Taj Mahal in India, The Colosseum in Rome, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, as well as hike the Great Wall of China and explore the Pyramids of Giza. Consumers can enjoy these destinations and more from the comfort of their home in anticipation of traveling there in the future.
Friedman concludes: “This has certainly been a year to remember. Yet even as we gather virtually for CoNexion, our resilience and pride in our wonderful industry stands firm. CoNexion At Home may be the culmination of a very strange year, but better times are sure to come. We saw that 25 years ago at our creation, and I am sure we will see it again in the not-too-distant future.”