TravelQuest — To infinity and beyond… | Travel Research Online


TravelQuest — To infinity and beyond…

As the snow falls outside and temperatures drop, Minnesotans are winding down into hibernation mode.  The year is coming to a close and soon we’ll all start looking back on the year and coming up with New Year’s resolutions to make 2011 our best year yet.  With all that in mind, it seems a fitting time to wrap up the travel agent diaries series.

Last year, I had written that I wanted to grow our agent numbers from 200 to 400.  Hovering at around 300 agents, we didn’t quite meet that.  But remember that saying about shooting for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars?  I shot for the moon and I guess if you wanted to get all gushy, you could say I landed among the stars.  Cute in theory, but last I heard the only thing between Earth and the moon is space junk and satellites—not stars.

So, I’m here to give a report to those of us that fall short of our far-flung goals—it’s not so bad among the space junk and satellites.  In fact, there are plenty of positives!

Relaxing in the Earth’s orbit you can easily learn from the mistakes of others by simply looking at the space debris surrounding you.  The big mistakes that caused a satellite collision in 2009 won’t be repeated by you with shrapnel souvenirs of the incident zooming by daily.

When floating in limbo, you’re grounded enough that you can keep a pulse on things on Earth while, at the same time, you see a completely unobstructed view of the stars when you look out.  No light pollution, no clouds, just limitless possibilities for the taking.  And if you ever get a little too star-struck, just turn back around and get your wits about you.

While I was aiming for 400 agents, for now, I’m happy hanging out with the space junk.  There is something to be said about steady, planned, sustained growth.  Often times, I see host agencies placing undue emphasis on the number of agents.  I don’t put as much weight in our numbers as I had last year.  Realistically speaking, if you’re looking for a host that can help you succeed, shouldn’t the real qualifier be ‘revenue per agent’?  Case in point, YTB.  Big numbers, small revenue per agent = not very impressive.

We’ve had excellent growth in revenue and our agency has robust programs for agents of every experience level that we’ll continue to build upon.  I can hardly say it’s been a bad year for us!

After thinking this through, I think they should change the saying to “Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land among the space junk.”

Stephanie Lee works in Operations at Travel Quest, a host agency out of MN with over 200+ home-based travel agents.  She graduated from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University with a degree in Environmental Studies/Liberal Studies.  She was awarded ASTA Young Professional of the Year in 2008 and was named one of Travel Agent’s “30 under 30” in 2009.  She can be reached at, via Google+, or 800.392.6484.  For more information on Travel Quest visit or

Comments to this article are welcomed and encouraged, please utilize the comment form below so we can all learn and interact with each other!

Share your thoughts on “TravelQuest — To infinity and beyond…”

You must be logged in to post a comment.