A new directory from the Travel Advisor Resource Center (TARC) promises to direct agents to the proper contacts at travel suppliers, as well as list agent rewards, educational opportunities and events.
The Travel Supplier Directory and TARC both come from Steven Gould, CEO of Goulds Travel in Clearwater, Fla.
In 2020, Gould founded TARC to help connect travel advisors with tools for success, including classes, workflow templates, email template checklists and more. Some of its resources are free, and others are available for sale.
But Gould, who has owned his agency for 12 years, wanted to solve another common pain point for advisors.
“One of the biggest problems that we’ve always had is we talk to our suppliers and they’re like, ‘Hey, register your bookings,’ or they’re like, ‘Hey, make sure you reach out to this person instead of this person,’ or ‘Contact the groups phone number instead of the individual line,'” Gould said.
Evidence of the confusion this can create abounds on travel advisor Facebook groups, where agents are frequently asking for the proper contacts at suppliers, he said.
“About six months ago, I sat down and I was just like, we need an actual directory,” Gould said.
Under the banner of TARC, he got to work creating a simple directory where suppliers could input the proper contact information for travel advisors to use, and agents could sign up to see it. But over the course of developing the Travel Supplier Directory, he identified a few more common needs the directory could meet. Today, it houses not only supplier contact information but also a directory of rewards, education and events.
Directory access is free for agents and suppliers
The Travel Supplier Directory has been in development for about six months and just launched in early May.
Neither agents nor suppliers need to pay to access the directory. Suppliers can sign up and create listings for free, and agents can sign up to access those listings for free. Suppliers can purchase optional advertising space on the directory.
Eventually, Gould said, he plans to create some kind of paid membership program that will offer more than just the directory (for instance, further customization).
In the meantime, any advisor that registers on the Travel Supplier Directory by May 31 will be eligible to win a two-night stay at The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, Fla., good for one year (blackout dates apply). The winner will be announced on June 10.
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