Tuning into Avoya's video series

Jamie Biesiada

What makes a great travel advisor?

While skill sets can vary greatly from advisor to advisor, the best tend to have three things in common, according to Avoya Travel co-CEO Jeff Anderson: reliability, product knowledge and understanding people.

Anderson spoke to the topic on the 100th episode of “On Deck With Avoya: Your Weekly Travel Update,” which was released last month.

On reliability, Anderson said advisors need to be available and responsive to clients. They also need to have product knowledge greater than what the consumer can find out on their own; he recommended specialization, especially for new advisors. Finally, he said, great advisors are often those who would describe themselves as a “people person,” who are easy to work with and have hospitality at their core.

Avoya’s video series, which streams live on Facebook Live and Zoom each week, started in October 2020, Avoya said in a release. Initially, it was designed as a way to keep agents updated amid shifting supplier policies and current events. It has evolved into a weekly Q&A segment, along with interviews with Avoya staffers, members and industry personalities.

The show is hosted by Chris Greene, Avoya’s director of network expansion. According to Avoya, “On Deck With Avoya” has accrued nearly 150,000 impressions, more than 7,000 views and more than 100 subscribers on YouTube, where episodes are archived.

“We’re thrilled to see the tremendous growth of our once-small, pandemic-born weekly Web series in only two and a half years,” Greene said in a release.

On the 100th episode, Anderson also addressed the current landscape for travel advisors.

2022 ended well, he said, especially considering most Covid restrictions on cruise ships were lifted. Despite global challenges, like fuel prices, the war in Ukraine and inflation, consumers kept traveling. Avoya expected this year’s Wave season to be a good one.

Now, months into 2023, “We’re, like, blown away at how good things have been,” Anderson said.

He said the agency is struggling to keep up with the level of consumer demand it’s seeing. As such, Avoya is working on building things internally to handle the additional consumer demand. 

Quoting his brother and co-CEO Michael Anderson, Jeff Anderson said, “Constraint drives innovation.”

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