The headline above makes no sense, but keep reading and it will. When building a business, always look to the future. The present will only get you so far. Ruthanne Terrero, our editorial director, and I saw this years ago when we created Luxury Travel Advisor. Luxury travel always existed; all we did was put a fence around it, and a gate to only let the selected into our club. We then educated and told the story of luxury travel advisors worldwide and made them better sellers to serve affluent travelers. Now another segment is developing, connecting and sharing experiences. This is the youth of our industry. Several years ago, we launched Travel Agent magazine’s 30Under30 and our Young Leaders Conference. Both have grown significantly in popularity over the years and spurred numerous groups to connect the youth of our industry. So for 2014, we announced the Young Travel Leaders Alliance, another fenced-in media outlet for the young-at-heart travel advisors. Unfortunately, my years of travel have weathered me a bit, so our youthful staff will be covering this segment. I did get invited to a Millennials in Travel reception at Signature’s annual conference. Pictured here are a few of their members with me, the old man in the back. For all those negative realities of getting older, it does make me feel good that once again we can educate, connect and mentor the youth of our industry into prosperity. Here is an insider tip on this market: They are not coming into the industry to take care of your existing client base, which skews a bit older in age. They are developing their own book of business of millennials that you are not reaching. You need to have several of these young guns on your staff to foster this business. So don’t wait, and if you are young at heart, go to www.youngtravelleaders.com and register to connect and get in the know on all things youthful in our industry.
Here’s to a youthful 2014.