The BVI’s New Program for Travel Agents

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A screenshot of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board's new BVI Secrets Revealed Travel Agent Specialist Program website. 
A screenshot of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board’s new BVI Secrets Revealed Travel Agent Specialist Program website.

Is the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) taking over the Internet? You decide. In late June it launched a new mobile app and website (bvitourism.com) that’s exceptionally user-friendly and interactive. And now BVITB has rolled out a new, state-of-the-art BVI Secrets Revealed Travel Agent Specialist Program, replete with a mobile app and website (bvisecretsrevealed.com).

The specialist program has three main areas of content—Destination Discovery, a Product Showcase and Supplier Directory, and a Sales Toolbox—and what makes it unique is that so much of the material is conveyed through images, videos, top-10 lists, and maps. Various filters help travel advisors find just the right properties for their clients, and the website and app “talk” to each other so well that an agent can switch back and forth from a laptop to a mobile device, picking right up where the agent left off.

Lookin’ Good
“The new course enables agents to easily send photos and videos to their clients, and the clients will see it as coming from the travel agents’ e-mail,” said North America general manager Perla George during an exclusive interview. “Travel advisors work hard; we want them to look good!”

They certainly look good to tourism director Sharon Flax-Brutus. “We have an advisory board composed of travel advisors, and while we were developing the specialist program, we showed it to them,” she explained. “We’ve gotten such great feedback from them—on the relaunch of our general website, too—on how to engage the consumer. And it was these agents who suggested the e-mailing feature.”

The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board's director of tourism Sharon Flax-Mars.
The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board’s director of tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus.

Perks for Travel Advisors
After completing the specialist program exam, agents can participate in onsite training and one-on-one webinars with business development managers. They’ll also be qualified to win a comped trip to the BVI in 2017, when the rewards program will launch. Meanwhile, they’ll also earn continuing education credits from The Travel Institute, marketing collateral templates, sales support, concierge support for clients, and access to special rates.

“Travel advisors won’t book something they’re not comfortable with, because that could ruin their relationship with the client,” added Flax-Brutus. “The experience of visiting the BVI is like checking into a luxury hotel, so with the agents, too, we’re going with this more personal approach.”

For more information, visit bvitourism.com.