Luxury Travel Advisor’s TRENDSETTERS
Welcome to our first “Trendsetters” issue, in which we highlight key players in the most prestigious luxury
travel agencies in North America. We asked the agencies that have graced the cover of Luxury Travel Advisor
over the past 11 years to select their trendsetting advisors. These are their highest producers or their
most innovative sales people. On the following pages, you’ll discover their top tips for becoming a superstar
advisor. Enjoy their stories; as usual, the luxury travel industry is filled with great tales of humanity and joy.
THE BEST SALES PITCH won’t always close a sale on its own: the luxury travel advisor still has to be personable and engage with her customers. Ewa Duranovic says she treats all of her clients like VIPs, going the extra mile to provide the best service for all of them, which has earned her Paul Klein Travel’s trendsetter title.
Paul Klein Travel, a Virtuoso, Chicago-based agency that brought in $19 million in sales last year, is run by owner Tim Krenzien, who is very involved with the business. As one of seven inside advisors, Duranovic’s revenue in 2015 was $2.5 million.
“I always go an extra mile to provide the best service for my clients,” she tells us. “I am very prompt at responding to my clients, and I follow up on every reservation and detail. I consider all my clients as VIPs and they appreciate my efforts. I answer all my phone calls with a smile because I truly care about my clients. My priority is to create memo- rable experiences for all of them.”
Duranovic grew up in the resort region of the Beskids Mountain in Poland and traveled across Europe often. From a young age she had intended to enter the travel industry. She graduated from the School of Hotel Administration and then did a two-year college program in Business and Marketing. After moving to Chicago, Duranovic attended Travel School in Northfield, IL. “After graduating I received a list of agencies which were hiring travel agents,” she says. Paul Klein Travel was the first agency on the list and I called them. I interviewed with the owners and the rest is history. I have been working for Paul Klein Travel for 18 years now. I was extremely lucky because Paul Klein is one of the top agencies in Chicago … Truly, I did not realize how lucky I was to get a position with such a prestigious agency!”
Although Duranovic sells all types of trips, she says her clients are all adventurous, upscale luxury travelers. Many of her clients are traveling to France this fall — Paris, in particular. Duranovic is headed there as well, with plans to stay at The Ritz, Esprit Saint Germain, and “the charming Castille.” All are outstanding properties that I have been selling for years, and I am very excited to visit them all.”
New Zealand is another destination she’s passionate about. “The people are so wonderful and friendly and the Kiwis stole my heart. The scenery is breathtaking, the wine and food so delicious.” She notes that the country offers many great activities for adventure lovers and people who like to enjoy scenery, with a glass of fine wine. On her recent trip to New Zealand, she stayed at the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, which included Eagle Nest in Bay of Islands, Treetops near Rotorua, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, Annandale on Banks Peninsula, Otahuna Lodge just outside of Christchurch, Blanket Bay near Queenstown, and Matakauri Lodge. She toured with Southern Crossings, with whom Paul Klein has worked for many years. Duravonic says that Paul Klein Travel gives its advisors every chance to succeed.
To reciprocate, she works very hard to show her apprecia- tion. “Paul Klein Travel has been extremely supportive of me from the beginning. They helped me achieve the American Dream.”
Page 64 LUXURY TRAVEL ADVISOR | DECEMBER 2016