NEWS | INDUSTRY HEADLINES
Co-presidents encourage agents to
develop a ‘greater focus’
BY JANEEN CHRISTOFF
WITH NEARLY 1,000 MEMBERS, suppliers and guests
in the audience at the 2011 Ensemble Travel Group
International Conference, held at The Cosmopolitan of
Las Vegas Oct. 19-23, co-presidents Lindsay Pearlman
and Libbie Rice challenged the sold-out crowd to take
a more focused approach to their business during this
current economic environment.
“We’re in an economic environment where many of
the old rules no longer apply,” said Rice. “At Ensemble, our
focus is on how we do things, why we do things and when
we do things. At the end of the day, it’s more about process
than turning out a litany of products and programs.”
Both Pearlman and Rice agreed that the organiza-
tion’s North American structure is working.
“Our North American focus has allowed Ensemble
Travel Group to reap benefits far beyond our expecta-
tions,” added Pearlman. “Whether that’s technology,
best practices, business development, leveraging sup-
plier relationships or creative thinking — it’s been quite
positive. We’re encouraged by member feedback, as well.
They like our sense of family, transparency, accessibility
and thought leadership … how we go about things.”
During the conference, Ensemble made several
announcements regarding new product offerings.
Among those was the new VIP concierge service,
Ensemble Luxe Life, which gives agents access to pre-
mium seating at events, tickets to sold-out events and
invites to A-list parties. Ensemble also announced that
the finishing touches of the beta version of its Air by
Ensemble booking engine were completed. The inno-
vative B2B tool provides Ensemble’s approximately 850
agencies in the U.S. and Canada with the ability to shop,
Ensemble Travel Group co- presidents Libbie Rice (left) and Lindsay Pearlman
book and earn commission on 70 airlines on a 24/7
basis. The technology is free to all Ensemble agencies and
is accessible through a link on EnsembleAgent.com, the
organization’s member-only information portal.
The group also announced that its next booking tool
will be for the cruise segment. Powered by technology
partner Passport Online, the Tandem platform is free to
all Ensemble agencies in the U.S. and Canada and will be
accessible on EnsembleAgent.com. Once beta testing is
completed this fall, the booking engine will be rolled out to
U. S. members by the end of the year and Ensemble’s Canadian members by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Other announcements included a new weddings and
honeymoons specialist program and the expansion of
the Ensemble Company Store, which will now be named
Ensemble Boutique U.S. and will feature more retailers.
Ensemble will return to Las
Vegas for its 2012 meeting,
which is scheduled for Oct.
24-28, at Planet Hollywood
Resort & Casino. ( www.join
For regional news
Airberlin will fly nonstop from L.A. to Berlin.
AIRBERLIN LAUNCHES NEW
NONSTOP FROM L.A.
VisitBerlin announced the first nonstop
connection between Berlin and its sister city, Los Angeles. Airberlin’s new
service is scheduled to begin on May
11, 2012, offering three weekly flights
with Airbus 330-200 equipment. The
airline already successfully operates
nonstop flights from Miami and New
York (JFK) to Berlin.
“Airberlin’s new service is a very
significant step to secure long-term
success of the gateway Berlin and the
city’s new airport BER,” said Burkhard
Kieker, CEO of VisitBerlin. “Berlin’s
hotels, Airberlin and VisitBerlin will
work closely together to market the
The U.S. is Berlin’s most impor-
tant overseas market. From January
through August 2011, approximately
180,000 Americans visited the German
capital, generating 441,000 overnights.
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