PHOTO: The top travel agents were honored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, including Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook on the right and Chairman of the Board John Lynch on the left. (Courtesy Jamaica Tourist Board)
Successful agents know their customer and are great at matching them to the right product in the right destination. This was on full display in December, 2016, when I ventured to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.
It was here that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) recognized the top 50 travel sellers from the USA, Canada and the U.K. As part of the One Love Rewards Program, these agents were welcomed to an all expense paid three-night trip to Jamaica, recognizing their commitment to, and success in, selling Jamaica.
I enjoyed speaking to many of the agents in attendance that were clearly enjoying the recognition that came with the rewards of a thriving business. Almost universally, the agents who produced the most were the ones most passionate about the people and experiences that Jamaica offers.
I heard references to “family, feeling at home, coming home” and more. It was clear that the vast majority of those in attendance didn’t get to be a top producer because they turned on some magical marketing machine. Instead, they followed their passion for a place that they simply fell in love with themselves. That passion, coupled with a marketing strategy that has evolved for many over time, has resulted in millions of dollars in bookings and the commissions that go along with them.
One Love Rewards is the program for agents who want to sell Jamaica. It provides the training and the platform to get recognized and rewarded for success. It was clear from the event that the JTB team loves those agents that love to sell Jamaica, and will pull out all the stops for them. It begins with training and support and ends up every December in the White Affair.
For those that made the cut this year, congratulations, and hope you’re there again in 2017. For those who are ready to step up, see what it would mean to your business if you could sell something you love, and get rewarded in many ways in the process.
It reminds me of a quote I saw from Stephen King on his approach to writing. As I read it, I thought of travel agents and how this is their opportunity each and every day:
“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it … I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side—I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.” -- Stephen King