Over the last six months, Leah Holt overhauled her business. She enrolled in Sandra McLemore’s Travel Marketing Revolution, created a new website and developed a marketing funnel to actively gain new clients. Holt is ready for the next chapter!
Leah goes above and beyond for her clients and has done a wonderful job keeping them engaged during the pandemic through social media (around the world cooking experiences!) her travel talks and now with her wonderful new blog (maybe it’s not new, but it’s new to me!). She is always positive and enthusiastic, and has been proactively promoting domestic travel to her clients since last summer. So many agents have done an amazing job and stayed so, so positive given the circumstances. Leah is definitely one of them and one of the best! Thanks for all you do Leah.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been in the industry?
I am a mom of three, two boys and a girl, ages 20, 17, and 14. I am happily married to my husband Byron for 23 years and he’s a chiropractor. I have quite the resume in that I have been an elementary school teacher, a caterer, a fitness instructor, a coffee bar owner and I taught cooking classes such as how to make sushi or spanakopita. For the past six years, I have been in the travel industry, selling travel full time. I have discovered this is where my passion lies. I live and breathe travel.
Why and how did you decide to become a travel advisor?
I had just sold my coffee bar six months previously when I was scrolling Facebook and an ad popped up to join a host agency. That piqued my interest and so I contacted a friend of mine who I knew was a travel agent. After peppering her with questions, I discovered she was in the midst of starting up a host agency with another TA. It wasn’t long and I took the leap.
What’s your favourite part of being a travel agent?
What I love about being a travel agent is creating a travel experience for my clients that is unique to them and matches what they have in mind. It’s a personal challenge for me. I enjoy the research aspect of it. I also find fulfillment in discovering the world with my clients by hosting group trips.
What’s a key thing you learned during the pandemic?
The down time has been a blessing. I was so crazy busy before the pandemic I had no time to revisit my business plan or reorganize my business methods.
What will be your first post-pandemic trip and why?
I am going to go with my family to a hot destination as soon as travel opens up again. I don’t have a specific spot in mind. I’d love for it to be Antigua but I’ll take anywhere south of the US border. I also have a river cruise booked for next January on the Mekong.
Do you believe more people will use travel advisors after COVID-19?
Yes, many people who have felt comfortable booking their own travel in the past are not feeling so comfortable about it now. It’s difficult enough for us as travel agents to keep up on regulations and requirements to each destination, let alone the public. Having a travel expert on your side can instil much confidence.
How have you adjusted your business strategy over the past year?
I know that being present during this last year is going to keep me present in people’s minds when travel springs back. Going LIVE on Facebook every Sunday evening to talk about travel, posting on social media every single day, as well as a weekly email content is part of my strategy to stay present.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for travel advisors right now?
Don’t slack off. Be present. See this time as a blessing to really revamp some of your business strategies and implement ones that will help you when travel picks up. If you are struggling and don’t know where to start, reach out.