With the Internet providing a wealth of information on any subject, travelers have changed the way they plan for their vacations. Online travel agencies (OTA) like Expedia and Priceline are popular, yet travel agencies can still thrive if they offer an area of expertise.
“We’ve found that travelers were tired of the poor customer service from OTAs and were overwhelmed by the glut of travel content on the Web, so we created a new kind of travel agency,” said Steve Jermanok, owner of ActiveTravels, a member-based travel agency based in Newton, Massachusetts.
Jermanok has visited more than 90 countries over the last 25 years as a prolific travel writer who penned more than 1,500 stories and nine books while working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, author of Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England, and writer of more than 400 stories for The Boston Globe.
“Today’s travel advisors have more than likely been to the country that entices you,” Jermanok adds. Collaborating with his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Jermanok launched ActiveTravels in 2012. ActiveTravels is a member-based travel agency where clients pay an annual fee of $60 and join an exclusive travel club. Clients fill out a questionnaire describing their travel personalities, likes and dislikes, and wish list of destinations. In return, they receive monthly newsletters chockful of topical travel information, expert advice whenever needed, free hotel giveaways, and most important, customer service before, during, and after their trip. Since ActiveTravels opened their doors in May 2012, more than 200 members have signed up and the agency has booked more than 1,000 trips to all corners of the globe.
The travel industry is taking note of this modern-style travel agency. Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor, used ActiveTravels to book his honeymoon in Turkey. When Mark Snider, the owner of the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel, wanted to bring his son to the Brazilian Pantanal, he contacted ActiveTravels. Media has also covered the duo, including stories on the company in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today, and Forbes. Condé Nast Traveler also chose ActiveTravels to design a two-week trip around New England for families.
For more information visit Steve and Lisa at Activetravels.com We highly recommend them at Literary Traveler, especially if you are planning an important trip or a once in a lifetime excursion.