Sunday,  May 19, 2019  6:57 am

Time flies! The Travel Agent Next Door turns 5


Time flies! The Travel Agent Next Door turns 5
PARTY TIME. From left (of TTAND): Penny Martin, VP, travel agent experience; Flemming Friisdahl, founder. Screenshot: TTAND/Vimeo
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) celebrated its fifth anniversary this week (March 19) and Founder Flemming Friisdahl couldn’t be more pleased.

“We are all super excited,” Friisdahl told PAX. “As they say, it is just a number, but for us, it is an amazing milestone.”

In five short years, TTAND has amassed close to 700 business partners and, over the past year, achieved more than $160,000,000 in sales – an accomplishment “we are very proud of,” Friisdahl said.

You've come a long way, baby

The host agency has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 2014.

“We didn’t even know if any agents would join us; I mean, we thought they would, but we could never know for sure,” Friisdahl told PAX in a retrospective interview last year. “We didn’t have a line-up out the door, but as the years went by, people started to see that we were going to be around.”

“I always want to make sure that my agents make a living at what they do,” says Flemming Friisdahl, Founder of The Travel Agent Next Door.

Over the years, TTAND has developed several platforms, support programs and cutting-edge technologies that help travel agents put their best-selling foot forward.

“I always want to make sure that my agents make a living at what they do,” Friisdahl told PAX last year, noting that “our agents are always our partners and our business partners first.”

As Friisdahl has said before, the key to TTAND’s success lies in three pillars: the staff that make up TTAND, the ways in which the agents promote the brand, and the loyalty from the suppliers that have been with the company since day one.

“I want our agents to know that they’re our main focus regarding what we do in our world,” Friisdahl said.

Feeling the love

What Friisdahl is most proud of today are the positive emails he receives from TTAND’s business partners.

In an email to PAX, Friisdahl shared one message he received from a partner last week:

“We have to say that we are so happy we made this move as we are already feeling the positive difference being with TTAND, and when someone always comments that the ‘grass is greener on the other side,’ well, let me tell you, in this case, the grass is a bright vibrant green, and we look forward to mowing that lawn,” the message read.

“It’s an example of ‘why I love what I do,’” Friisdahl told PAX.

Here's to the future 

Looking ahead at the next five years, Friisdahl would love to see TTAND’s agency program for small agency storefronts continue to grow.

“I really want to help these smaller agencies stay viable financially while helping them keep doing what they love to do, [which is] selling travel,” Friisdahl told PAX. “I feel this would be an amazing legacy to keep them very viable and relevant.”

How did TTAND celebrate its fifth birthday? Watch the company's official fifth birthday celebration video below!



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