Pam Hirsch is Manager of the Host Agency / Independent Contractor Program division for Travel Leaders Franchise Group, part of the Travel Leaders Group, which generates combined sales of over $20 Billion annually. Pam provides business solutions and support to franchised travel agencies across the United States.
In her current position, Pam is responsible for offering benefits and tools that will support the existing 3,800+ Independent Contractors affiliated with Travel Leaders Franchise Group. Her overall goal is to help agency Owners and Independent Contractors increase their business through preferred leisure and corporate sales. In addition to existing business development, a strong focus of her role is to increase the number of new Independent Contractors who are aligning themselves with a Travel Leaders Franchise Group agency. Brand awareness, educational opportunities, and preferred supplier relationships are integral to her day-to-day responsibilities.
Pam started her travel industry career 25 years ago with Carlson Marketing Group, executing incentive travel programs worldwide to Fortune 500 companies. This provided a foundation and led her to pursue her goal of owning and operating a franchise travel agency for 9 years. In addition to incentive travel and agency operations, her travel career includes a 6-year tenure in franchise travel sales for Results Travel and Travel Leaders Franchise Group across the U.S. She has a proven record of sales and leadership in various roles and, of course, a vast knowledge of the travel industry.
Pam is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH), previously a past Board of Directors member for the Uniglobe Owners Association NC Region, Chamber of Commerce, Rotarian and Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA).
She is an alumnus of Arizona State University where she majored in Business Communication. Pam lives in the Midwest and is an avid golfer, boater, and skier.
Travel Research Online (TRO): What motivated you to pursue a career in the travel industry?
Pam Hirsch (PH): My parents were both educators and loved to travel with us while growing up. Early on I was fortunate enough to experience interesting and exciting places. A few of the top ones I remember especially enjoying included Maracaibo, Venezuela, Washington, DC, and the islands of Hawaii. As I graduated from college, I realized that if I could combine my appetite for travel with my desire to help and educate people, it would be a win-win career.
TRO: Tell us about your day-to-day role at Travel Leaders.
PH: Busy, never boring, rewarding, and challenging are words I use to describe my days. I interact with a talented, professional team of colleagues each day. In addition, I am grateful to have multiple audiences to support that include: Owners, Managers, Agents, and existing Independent Contractors (ICs) who are affiliated with Travel Leaders Franchise Group. They are all unique in the way that they focus on in their business- some are leisure, some are corporate, some are groups, and they range from newbies to industry veterans! Perhaps the most exciting audience for me to talk with include those ICs contacting us to learn about all the benefits that Travel Leaders Franchise Group offers and how they can affiliate with one of our host agencies.
TRO: How is Travel Leaders different from other host agencies? What unique insights do they bring to the industry?
PH: Our value proposition is distinctive from other host agencies in the fact that we are comprised of over 200 agencies across the country, all with unique and tailored programs to fit the ICs specific business model. Our trademark of National Strength, Local Presence is very special because of the strong vendor relationships we have developed, as well as the local brick and mortar support that individual Owners offer ICs every day.
TRO: How has Travel Leaders evolved their programs to keep their agents at the top of their field?
PH: We have been developing and enhancing our programs year after year. Many of our programs have won the Travel Industry Awards of Excellence and are recognized as industry leading and best-of-class! The emphasis of these programs are to assist ICs with their individual businesses which allows them more time to focus on selling and growing professionally. This is accomplished through our Agent Profile system, award winning marketing platform, exclusive Certification classes, exceptional on-site training opportunities (FAMS) and select amenities, along with special pricing to offer their clients.
TRO: How would an agent or agency owner get started with Travel Leaders?
PH: The best way for an Independent Contractor to learn more about how Travel Leaders would benefit their business would be to visit www.TravelLeadersHosts.com. An IC can view profiles of many Host Agencies to see which one would be a perfect fit for them. In addition, stop by our tradeshow booth at the multiple travel industry events we participate in throughout the year.
The best way for an Agency Owner to learn more about Travel Leaders would be to visit www.JoinTravelLeaders.com and connect with us.
TRO: What is your favorite travel destination to date?
PH: I am grateful that I had the chance to visit Egypt in 1991. I was working on a multi-wave incentive program that included 3 weeks on the Nile River. The experience began in Cairo to view the Pyramids of Giza, then down the river to the 4,000 year old Karnak Temple and over to the Temple of Luxor. I visited The Valley of Kings and Tutankhamun’s tomb, and ended the journey down river at Aswan with a boat trip over to the island of Philae Temple near the Aswan Dam. The best part of this adventure is that I experienced the exact same itinerary 3 times in a row for 3 weeks as we had a “multi-wave” incentive program! What amazing history to learn about!
TRO: What is on the horizon for Travel Leaders?
PH: We never sit still at Travel Leaders; we are always forming new ideas and developing more efficient ways of supporting our Travel Agency community! We have think tanks and committees where we all collaborate on ways to strategically enhance the future of travel. We look at technology advancements, agent specializations, and evaluate our relationships, which continue to help make Travel Leaders “The undisputed leader in travel!”