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WHY IT RATES: Avoya Travel attributes a string of recent accomplishments to its successfully first quarter. -Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Avoya Travel just announced the successful conclusion of the first quarter of 2021, which included the completion of several key initiatives and a significant increase in sales volume compared to previous months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoya's list of accomplishments in the quarter span a range of categories including Avoya Network support, marketing and technology enhancements, and corporate developments, all of which Avoya attributes to its strong first-quarter results.
Supporting the Avoya Network
Avoya developed several new initiatives throughout the pandemic to support the Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network and carried that focus forward into 2021. Important highlights of Avoya's continued dedication to supporting the Avoya Network in 2021 include:
-Rewarded many Independent Agencies with significant commission override payments who wouldn't have originally qualified for Avoya's 2020 commission growth incentive.
-Extended the limited-time promotion that waives the normal $495 affiliation fee for qualifying new agencies in an effort to recognize the hard work put in by the travel agency community over the last year and to assist those that were displaced by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
-Maintained weekly payment of commissions to Avoya Network members, including offering continued access to Avoya's Instant Commission™ program.
-Substantial increase in Avoya Conversations™ beta test users including significant growth in user interaction, extremely positive feedback from users, and increased efficiencies in the selling process resulting from the technology.
-Support survey Net Promoter Scores (NPS) from Independent Agencies remain at an all-time high for Avoya staff despite the challenges faced by the company and the Avoya Network during the pandemic.
Marketing and Technology Advancements
Avoya continues to scale its platform by developing new marketing capability and deploying innovative marketing campaigns aimed at connecting travelers with the Independent Agency best matched to their specific travel needs and streamlining the selling process for the Avoya Network. Major initiatives that were launched or completed in the first quarter include:
-Expansion of Avoya's Marketing Resource Center including the addition of digital magazine assets, planning for future search functionality and user enhancements, and continued focus on loading powerful new marketing and campaign assets for optional use to help the Avoya Network generate incremental bookings and income; over 5,100 assets have been downloaded and deployed by the Avoya Network since September 2020.
-Successful execution of Avoya Virtual Travel Nights featuring exclusive promotions from preferred supplier partners offered to a targeted attendee list, resulting in incremental sales and market share.
-Activation of the "Vacations to Take Now" marketing campaign featuring targeted one-to-one email marketing and social media, all-new Marketing Resource Center assets, and exclusive promotions highlighting the great value travelers can find through Avoya on destinations that are currently open for vacations; immediate results include increased website traffic, significant customer engagement, and elevated sales growth.
-Continued strides in personalizing the traveler planning and booking journey through advancements in one-to-one marketing technology.
-Developed new innovations for Avoya's proprietary Live Leads program including the expansion of the Avoya Smart Leads program, further evolution of the patented lead distribution system algorithms, and enhanced integration of leads processing system.
Avoya also focused heavily on continuing to increase the company's position of strength heading into 2021 by executing corporate initiatives, developing automated processes, and applying data and business intelligence to identify trends, increase sales, and plan for the recovery of the travel industry, among other enhancements:
-Substantial lift in sales volume throughout the first quarter including sales patterns that exceed 2019 levels by several different metrics.
-Using data intelligence to pinpoint trends of where the travel industry is seeing signs of recovery and implementing measures to enhance marketing efforts to capitalize on the trends and increase sales; significant trends identified include North American travel booking closer in and 2022-2023 travel seeing higher spend per booking that's double historical norms, longer vacations when compared year-over-year, and record-breaking world cruise sales.
-Automated labor-intensive internal processes using new artificial intelligence technology within Avoya's patented Agent Power system to save hours of Avoya support employee work, opening them up to assist the Avoya Network in other areas of their businesses.
-Extremely successful Avoya Mastermind Virtual Academies that took place February 8-12 and March 15-18 featuring interactive workshops and networking opportunities aimed at improving essential sales and communication skills and preparing for the recovery of leisure travel, as well as planning for upcoming Virtual Mastermind Academy April 14-15, all of which sold out the same day they were announced to the Avoya Network.
-Preparation for the highly-anticipated second annual Mastermind Virtual Land Forum May 4-7 including securing participation by nearly 40 of Avoya's preferred land partners and offering optional attendance free of charge to hundreds of Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network.
"Avoya is extremely proud of the accomplishments we've achieved over the past year and we continued to ramp up our efforts in the first quarter of 2021, further solidifying our position of strength in the industry at a time when travel is beginning to recover in earnest," said Jeff Anderson, co-president of Avoya Travel. "As leisure travel continues to surge, Avoya is capitalizing on each new opportunity to support travelers, the Avoya Network, and our supplier partners through initiatives, campaigns, and enhancements to our services as we move closer to our goal of being the number one vacation platform."
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