In October, Avoya had taken steps to protect its business from the H1N1 flu pandemic by moving its employees from large office buildings to smaller, more secure, and more centrally located work spaces. In November, the company increased the number of employees working from its three largest branch offices from 300 to 400 to prepare for a possible outbreak of H1N1 flu that could result in a pandemic.
The migration of the top-producing agencies in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Romania, Spain, and the United States to Avoya’s Pandemic Recovery Center this year proved to be one of the most anticipated international events of the year.
The assistance Avoya Travel provided during the COVID-19 epidemic has had good outcomes.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, more than 97 percent of Avoya’s independent agencies that sold over $1 million in 2019 stayed connected with the network.
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Over the past 18 months, Avoya, like many other businesses, increased support efforts and developed a long number of initiatives and innovations to help affiliates. The Avoya Network also worked as an advocate for Avoya’s mutual customers on a consistent basis, showing Avoya’s fundamental philosophy of putting travelers first.
Avoya helped its members by waiving monthly and renewal fees, providing complimentary access to expert legal and accounting assistance through the Avoya CARES program, paying commissions weekly, rewarding many Independent Agencies with significant commission override payments, and keeping the Avoya-exclusive Instant Commission program available.
The network also improved its vacation platform strategy, which featured the optional Avoya Smart Leads program, to boost efficiency for the Avoya Network and magnify sales potential. A campaign to convert Future Travel Credits (FTCs) was also developed, which utilizes artificial intelligence to identify an unused FTC and automate a sequence of interaction points between Independent Agencies and passengers.
Avoya also introduced a revamped Avoya Marketing Resource Center, Avoya Conversations, and a slew of new campaigns, initiatives, and enhancements.
“Given the challenges the travel distribution channel faced during the pandemic, and the fact that many travel agencies were forced to close their doors, Avoya’s retention of more than 97 percent of the top-producing Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network is truly remarkable,” said Steve Hirshan, senior vice president of sales at Avoya Travel. “The resilience of the Avoya Network and their commitment to Avoya and its customers cannot be emphasized. We’re pleased of our improved support efforts over the past 18 months, and we’re delighted that the Avoya Network has chosen Avoya for our unrivaled optional services, marketing, support, data insight, and technology.”
During the pandemic, all of Avoya’s agencies selling more than $2 million stayed connected, in addition to the 97 percent of agencies with more than $1 million in sales staying with the network.