Share the Love Campaign - Year of the Travel Agent
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Share the Love Campaign

“Share the Love” Campaign Invited Travelers to Nominate Their Travel Agent as Part of 2018 Year of the Travel Agent Celebration


Travel Leaders Group picked a “winner” on Valentine’s Day from among the many travelers who wrote reviews and comments on Facebook during a weeklong long social media campaign about why they love their travel agent. The hashtag #YearofTheTravelAgent was used throughout the campaign, which contributed to an 82 percent increase in engagement on Travel Leaders Group’s @TravelLeaders Facebook page. The campaign was a part of the 2018: Year of the Travel Agent celebration.

“Since so many travelers love the advice they receive from their travel consultants, we thought that Valentine’s Day would be a perfect opportunity to recognize the special relationship and bond that travelers have with agents,” said Brian Hegarty, Vice President of Marketing for Travel Leaders Network, a division of Travel Leaders Group. “The campaign reached over 4,000 people. It’s clear from their posts that travelers really do love and appreciate their travel agent.”

Participants were clients of many different travel agencies and were not required to limit their nominations to a Travel Leaders Group agent. Consumers were asked to post about why they love their agent, as well as write a review. The winner was chosen based on the content of their posts, their enthusiasm for their travel agent and their overall engagement.

Winner Chris Thell won a $100 Visa gift card for himself and another for his travel agent, Cindy Sanborn, who is a specialist with the Travel Leaders location in Maple Grove, Minn.

“I nominate travel agent Cindy Lea Sanborn! She went above and beyond to plan the honeymoon of a lifetime for my wife and I at the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives,” wrote Thell. He continued in a subsequent post: “I’ve used Travel Leaders in the past for a couple of trips, so when it came to planning a dream honeymoon to the Maldives that involved multiple layovers and sea plane transportation to and from the hotel, I knew travel agent Cindy Lea Sanborn would take care of everything so my wife and I could enjoy every second.  I strongly recommend Travel Leaders and Cindy Lea Sanborn for those planning simple and complex trips!”

Sanborn has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry and says that she is “constantly learning and experiencing new destinations.”

“More and more travelers recognize that travel agents bring an array of expertise that adds tremendous value before, during and after their journey,” said Travel Leaders Network President, Roger E. Block, CTC. “Through the ‘2018: Year of the Travel Agent’ initiative, we will provide opportunities throughout the year for consumers and industry professionals to express their appreciation for travel agents and their contributions to the growth and development of the travel and tourism industry.”

A sampling of some of the many other posts from clients expressing appreciation for their travel agent:

  • Amie Sittner always goes above and beyond for her clients. She takes all the planning away so families can enjoy their time and vacation. We will continue to book through Amie for all our travel plans.” – Faith Williams Bauder
  • “I’m nominating Jan Stanczak, Travel Leaders/Jans Travel & Cruise. She always goes above & beyond for our family & friends when booking vacations & trips! She booked my daughter’s destination wedding in Mexico & it was perfect! I’m also fortunate enough to have traveled many destinations with her as her companion making wonderful memories along the way.” – Darla Kennedy
  • “Nominating Sonya Sangster. She helped us tremendously setting up our first cruise for our 25th anniversary and helped solve airline seats when we had an issue. She is now helping us plan another cruise to take our son and daughter in law along. She’s always there when we have questions. Thanks to Sonya.” – Alta Brimicombe Owen
  • “I am nominating Don Cooper, Travel Agent, he is always a professional, always watching for the best deals for our group. Takes all of our requests and turns them into dreams come true. Makes sure we know where we are going, any alerts for the area, any concerns we have are answered very quick. I love our welcome home notes. This man is a true gem in a very competitive business.” – Lori McLeod
  • “I nominate Claudia Korenic. She is the most amazing travel agent I’ve ever dealt with. Not only is she professional, she exudes customer service!! She is always available to help us plan our vacations, search airfare and look for the best deals possible!! She provides recommendations and makes sure every last detail is covered from hotels, transfers and excursions. My husband is very detailed oriented and has many questions about our travel. Claudia patiently takes the time to answer every question to his satisfaction. She goes above and beyond every time!!! Don’t know what I would do without her!!!!!!” – Cheri Bronner Tash
  • “Our choice is Ole Nordhavn, a friend and travel consultant for many years now. Always available for those thousand stupid questions we come up with and always with humor and understanding he has the answers. He’s always gone above and beyond (almost too often) to satisfy his customers. I tried to do it on my own once, never again as long as he’s in business. He even provides books or pamphlets ahead of time so we can make educated guesses on how best to enjoy the cruises. He’s a winner in our book!!” – Carol Spann Newsom
  • To easily identify a travel agent by specialty, location and destination expertise, consumers can use the Agent Profiler feature on