At its Annual Sales Conference in Las Vegas, Signature Travel Network unveiled its new “Circles” specialist program to advisors in attendance. Launching officially in January 2024, Circles will at first include 10 specialties—including Positive Impact, LGBTQ+, Exploration, Wellness Travel and so on—but will likely expand to include other travel specialties and even sub-sections of each Circle.
Luxury Travel Advisor spoke with Karryn Christopher, Signature’s executive vice president, marketing and preferred partnerships, to get the details.
A survey to gauge interest in specific Circles will be sent out Monday, November 13, to all Signature advisors, who will be asked to rank their top three interests. Advisors who already consider themselves specialists in the given form of travel will be able to join, as well as those who are looking to grow their business in that niche. Participating advisors, says Christopher, will be privy to webinars, virtual trainings, email campaigns, newsletters and even articles with relevant information and promotions.
Suppliers will have the opportunity to volunteer to participate in relevant Circles but while there will be no vetting or capping for advisors, only select suppliers will be allowed to participate. Suppliers “who have the relevant experience and relevant product will be able to be part of the communities,” Christopher tells us. “Obviously, we can’t have everybody who raises their hand and says yes to Exploration because that would be, with hotels included, 100-plus [partners], but those who have the support, who have the expertise programs [will be accepted], so that if advisors really wanted to focus on a specific partner, they have a path to follow.”
Beyond Signature- and supplier-led trainings, Circles are expected to be collaborative. Those advisors who already specialize in travel style will be encouraged to share their insights and best practices, teaching those who want to become specialists how they can do so.
Good to know: Beyond the general travel styles that make up the Circles, the program will also include “smaller Circles,” as Christopher put it, that are centered around a destination—Australia, for example.
While the Circles currently stand at 10 style of travel, Christopher says that others will likely join if not on their own then definitely as one of those smaller sub-Circles. Indigenous travel, for example, could be incorporated on its own or as a component of Positive Impact Travel or Exploration Travel. “It’s all about segmentation and being able to focus on the details of what’s of interest to the advisor, to the traveler and to the partner,” she says.
The full list of debut Circles includes Accessible Travel, Exploration – Active, Expedition & Nature, Family, Food & Wine, Golf, LGBTQ+, Positive Impact, Rail, Solo and Wellness Travel.