By Ruthanne Terrero, David Moseder, C. Elliott Mest, Meagan Drillinger, Joe Pike, Jena Tesse Fox, Adam Leposa
November 12, 2012
Once again Travel Agent magazine finds it necessary to supersize its annual 30 Under 30 feature to 35 Under 30, owing to the number of deserving nominees who made a strong case for themselves. Over the past few years this feature has created a buzz in the industry and also helped to fuel a community of young professionals who all enjoy being a part of a special growing niche in the travel industry.
This year’s list of young agents in 2012, all of whom were under 30 when the year began, is a testament to our combined success. We trust that by being named to this list, the selected young agents will be encouraged to stay in an industry that so clearly embraces new talent. We are also inviting them to participate, along with past “Under 30” alumni, in our third annual Young Leaders Conference during Luxury Travel Exchange International in Las Vegas.
We’re not the only ones seeking to encourage new blood to come into the industry. Agency consortia have been doing the same, as has ASTA. We think it’s safe to say that the travel agency industry is an attractive and viable one for those looking to start a career. There is still more work to be done, but we’re on our way.
Now, read on for the 35 freshest and most innovative young travel agents in the business.
Andrew Browning, 30
Tahoe City, CA
Since starting in the travel industry five years ago, Andrew Browning has developed as a travel agent to a point where he has posted a sales volume of nearly $2 million so far in 2012.
Browning brings to the travel industry degrees in International Business and Spanish, as well as a passion for travel he developed studying abroad in Costa Rica and traveling in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and Canada. He has represented his company at several trade shows and is also responsible for developing business relationships with outside vendors.
Browning’s biggest challenge is dealing with errors that can affect clients. “In dealing with a large volume of clients and vendors, there are bound to be some mistakes,” he says. “Fixing these to our and our clients’ satisfaction is the biggest challenge I faced last year.”
He also notes that, “We’ve had some of our partner operators cancel entire travel seasons. This is a difficult part of the job because it is a lot of work with no increase in revenue for the time you spend working these situations out.”
“In addition to his spectacular sales success, Andrew has become an integral part of our company operations,” says Todd Smith, owner and founder of AdventureSmith Explorations. “He has created new sales reports, consulted on program development, and had significant contributions to our marketing efforts.”