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Local Travel Agency Executive Gets Business Advice From
Shark Tank TV Star Robert Herjavec

November 22, 2016 – At one point in his career, “Shark Tank” TV star and successful business owner Robert Herjevec let his travel agent go in favor of his staff booking their own business travel. He recalls it as “one of the worst decisions I ever made,” and soon after reunited with this travel advisor. “She sells something that I can buy online, but she adds value to it,” said the recent Dancing with the Stars contestant and former Dragon’s Den panelist.

Herjavec made his remarks before an audience of nearly 900 travel professionals last month in San Diego, CA, including Michelle Gammond from Go Travel was attending the annual conference of Ensemble Travel® Group, a member-owned organization of approximately 850 top-tier, independent travel agencies in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. 

 “As the conference keynote speaker, Robert Herjavec captivated our audience with a number of life and business lessons that apply to our agency,” said Gammond. “I think a lot of consumers go through what he did in terms of ‘going it alone’ only to find that a travel advisor’s professionalism, connections, and added value just can’t be duplicated, especially when it comes to planning a complex vacation.”

Gammond was joined by other travel executives from around the world at this large industry gathering held this year at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. In addition to Robert Herjavec and a series of business and industry speakers, conference delegates learned of new products and programs developed by Ensemble Travel Group, all designed to significantly enhance their customers’ vacation experiences and improve their agency’s profitability. 

In terms of a business outlook, early indications show 2017 as a banner year across all travel segments, with Europe coming back strong for members of Ensemble Travel Group, based on the results of an Ensemble Insights Survey released at the San Diego conference. For overall bookings in 2017, 62 percent of the respondents expect sales to increase when compared to 2016 activity (29 percent said unchanged; 9 percent said down), with Europe rebounding for 46 percent of the participants in the year ahead, compared to an anticipated decrease expected by 49 percent of respondents for Europe bookings in 2016.

“We’re excited to see Europe back on many of our clients’ travel plans,” said Gammond. “Italy, Greece and Scotland are coming back strong for our agency in 2017.”