Depending on whom you ask, Will Jennings of Valerie Wilson Travel has either been a travel advisor for 11 years or his whole life. Raised in Greenwich, CT, Jennings grew up traveling with his grandmother and he says by the time he was 12, he was planning most of their trips. He also told us that ever since he was a little boy, he’s been obsessed with airplane seating configurations and aircraft.
Jennings says he continues to travel extensively. Most recently he traveled to South Africa for his stepfather’s 70th birthday and made a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. It’s this continual interest in seeing the world that he believes sets him apart from the competition. “I understand the way they like to travel and by seeing places for myself first, I can anticipate my clients’ needs before they arise,” explains Jennings.
Aside from a few internships in advertising and the art world, Jennings has always worked as a travel advisor for Valerie Wilson Travel. Jennings appreciates the size of the company, saying that it is small enough that he can know mostly everyone who works there, while being large enough to maintain hotel and air contracts like the larger agencies. “I have a wonderful position from which to work and best service my clients,” says Jennings. He described the company’s employees even more glowingly: “I have tremendous respect for Valerie, Jennifer, Kimberly and all of the front- and back-office employees at the agency,” he says.
His 11 years with the company has gained him a widespread mix of corporate and leisure clients. He says he often tends to sell what he loves, which, due to his passion for flights, interior décor and unique properties, ends up being “lots of first- and business-class flights to luxury properties around the globe.”
Though a large percentage of his customers come from the East Coast, he also serves clients from the Midwest and West Coast, as well as several in Switzerland, the U.K., Italy, Taiwan and Australia. This wide mix of clientele has consistently made him one of his agency’s top producers, bringing in $10 million to $12 million in sales annually.
This year, Jennings has taken steps to grow his business further, adding two new assistants and switching to the Axus itinerary builder. The new software is faster than the company’s old method, allowing for more time to focus on leads and existing clients.
Jennings believes his agency chose him as a Trendsetter because of his base and his profits, and because he’s unafraid to push his clients out of their comfort zone. “I believe the best travel experiences happen when we try something new,” he tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “That’s been my personal experience, and it’s helped me discover some incredible destinations that I’ve passed on to my clients.”