Last updated: 05:08 PM ET, Wed July 08 2015

American Express Celebrates 100 Years by Launching 'Journeymakers'

Host Agency & Consortia | American Express Travel | James Shillinglaw | July 08, 2015

American Express Celebrates 100 Years by Launching 'Journeymakers'

American Express is celebrating 100 years in the travel business by showcasing the people in travel who truly make a difference. The company, which this month marks its centenary in travel, is launching a new marketing campaign celebrating what it calls “Journeymakers” in travel.

On the heels of new research showing high-touch personal service will be critical to the travel experience, American Express is focusing on those travel service professionals who create a human connection and deliver great service for travelers in order to make the experience more memorable.

Laura Fink, vice president of marketing for American Express Travel, said that for the company’s 100th anniversary in travel it wanted to celebrate the people, the “journeymakers,” who help create wonderful travel memories by developing a platform to do just that.

“These people create moments that can’t be bought,” said Fink. “They have the power to change perception of the world. We rarely give them the recognition they deserve, so this is in gratitude for those who take travel further.”

Using a new website that launched on July 7, travelers can do three things: recognize their journeymaker, be inspired by a recognized journeymaker, and take advantage of great travel deals from American Express.

Travelers can share their own memorable travel experiences and send digital personalized notes to thank those people in the travel industry who were instrumental in creating great travel experiences. These can include travel agent professionals, hotel and resort staff, cruise line crewmembers, tour operator staff, and other travel and tourism professionals. Another note will be sent to the managers of these travel employees to recognize their service.

Travelers simply put in the travel professional’s first name, company and location; and write a short note of thanks (with examples on the website). Using map technology powered by Trip Advisor, the notes will automatically be delivered to the travel employee and his or her manager. Travelers also are encouraged to share their “journeymaker” moments with a social postcard that can be posted on their own social media platforms.

American Express also isn’t restricting itself to its own travel agents and suppliers. Travelers can thank anyone in the industry, including other travel agents and suppliers who are not American Express preferred vendors. 

“We want to bring together everyone—our colleagues in the industry, consumers, anyone who is passionate about travel—to celebrate together the people who make great travel experiences possible,” said Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel. “As a travel service provider who has the privilege of celebrating its 100th anniversary, we have always believed that connection is at the heart of travel.”

In addition, American Express is offering over 150 travel offers and special experiences on the new website to select destinations, as well as selected discounts on hotels and other travel products, for travel beginning July 13 through Aug. 31 as part of its anniversary celebration.

Fink said American Express is launching a full marketing plan themed around “journeymakers” to engage travelers, travel partners and American Express employees, particularly its frontline travel counselors. The company will use email, social media, advertising in consumer and trade publications, and even American Express Centurion Lounges, which will feature “journeymaker” cocktails.

“For our global frontline [agents], we are rallying to galvanize them around the idea of above and beyond service,” Fink said. “We want to provide a grand gesture of gratitude.”

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