Suani Bayon is the “go-to” advisor when dealing with difficult clients at Courtyard Travel, a branch of Tzell Travel Group. She has spent 18 of her 23 years in the travel industry with Courtyard, and in that time she has built a reputation for customer-focused, white-glove service that makes her very easy for clients to do business with, all while not skimping on detail and organization. This approach has paid off: Bayon regularly clears $1 million in annual revenue, out of $12 million in overall annual revenue for the entire agency, which is based in Great Neck, NY.
“I have a close relationship with my clients, which has enabled me to have an immediate understanding of their needs while traveling,” Bayon says. “They know I am dependable and able to handle a myriad of situations, including unforeseen circumstances.”
Bayon sells a mix of corporate and high-end leisure travel, although corporate is her primary focus. Key to her approach is cultivating a respect for her clients’ most precious commodity: time.
“One of my attributes is the dedication of time to my clients, whether it be through listening to them or establishing a rapport with them,” she says. “It adds a level of humanity to travel, which is something that a travel website cannot provide.” Bayon also takes the time to check different sources in order to make sure that her clients are getting the best value for their money.
Bayon developed her respect for time early in her career, when she was a full-time student working on a business degree. She heard of a travel agency looking to hire someone part-time and, as she had previous experience with the airline industry and the position at the agency fit her schedule, she signed on. “I ended up loving the travel industry and stayed with it,” she says.
During her time with Courtyard, Bayon has developed an appreciation for the generosity of her colleagues, both with their time and otherwise. “The agency has created long-lasting relationships within the travel field, which are available to everyone,” she says. “Our co-workers have years of knowledge and experience and are ready to share when needed.”
Today Bayon spends time using her connection to the world of travel to enrich the lives of her family, particularly her children.
“I feel it is essential to have my children be global citizens, to familiarize them with the world as a whole rather than solely with their immediate environment,” Bayon says. “Traveling is a means by which I culture my children, familiarizing them with the unfamiliarity of lands unknown.”
At the same time, there is plenty of exploration to be done close to home, too. “The desire for travel is an ever-present one and as such I incorporate it into all aspects of my life, including discovering places near my locale, such as museums, historical landmarks and nature preserves,” Bayon says. “I feel sometimes people hold so much desire to travel to foreign places in order to discover what they can explore, that they often forget about the mystique held in one’s vicinity.”
There are still plenty of new places for Bayon and her family on the horizon, too, though. She recently returned from a trip to Brussels and Amsterdam, where they stayed at the Hotel Amigo and De L’Europe, respectively. Next up: It’s off to Thailand.