By Kenneth Shapiro
June 9, 2011
The class of 2011 Trendsetter Award winners exemplifies an entrepreneurial spirit that bodes well for the future of the industry.
Once again, TravelAge West honors the top travel agents in the West with Trendsetter Awards. While every agent is unique in how they excel, they all display an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that enables them to adapt to new business landscapes — an essential skill in the ever-changing travel industry.
Upward Bound, Rock Star Agent Under 40
Sponsor: Globus Family of Brands
Primarily as a result of his in-depth expertise in small-ship cruising, Andrew Browning of AdventureSmith Explorations in Tahoe City, Calif., has generated more than $1.3 million in new sales.
Browning has taken it upon himself to increase his first-hand knowledge of the cruise industry by inspecting dozens of vessels, from cruise ships to yachts. In addition, he has improved his skills by taking part in a variety of training courses and specialist programs. This mix of first-hand experience and detailed education has helped Browning relate to every generation of traveler, enabling him to grow his client list and connect to travelers of all ages and demographic profiles.
“I like working with clients to find the perfect trip for their dates, activity level and budget,” Browning said. “And I especially like working in the niche market of small-ship cruising because I can be an expert on something that is very special for our clients.”
Browning feels that he’s discovered a winning combination for himself in the travel industry.
“I’m proud that I have been able to continually grow my sales and that I am able to live in an amazing place like Lake Tahoe,” he said. “Working with great clients, vendor partners and coworkers is something that I like very much as well. Working for AdventureSmith has allowed me to travel to the farthest ends of the earth as a profession, and that is also a dream come true.”
Browning’s enthusiasm bodes well for his future in the industry.
“We have been sponsoring the Trendsetter Awards since their inception because we feel that agents deserve the recognition far more than the suppliers,” said Jennifer Halboth of Globus. “And we were particularly interested in this year’s Rock Star Agent Under 40 because it is these up-and-coming agents that are shaping the travel distribution landscape, and Globus wants to be there to support them every step of the way.”