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Carl Howard-Oklahoma City,OK

An independent agent with Travel Leaders, a Travel Leaders Network Affiliate Agency

Destination Wedding, Honeymoon & Group Specialist

With over 20 years of airline and agency experience I am known for creativity, product  knowledge and technical travel skills- and a bit of "crazy" - but fun too! 

I am also passionate about travel and very selective of the products that I represent. The travel industry has changed a lot and so have I. When I began in this business agencies were focused on selling everything to anyone who called or came in the office to visit. Just make the sale. As changes began to occur- especially commission cuts by the airlines, agents were advised to "focus" their product lines. You can't sell everything- pick a few products and become an expert.  I decided to heed that advice and learn as much as I could about the wedding industry and groups. At the same time Tourism Australia had decided something very similar- find & train motivated travel agents in the various regions of the USA and provide consumer leads so we (agents) would send clients to "OZ". 

Thus began my two niche specialties-  groups & destination weddings and Australia/New Zealand.  With Tourism Australia I have been fortunate to visit "down under" over 13 times. I have extensively visited (and tested) Australia Wines in the major wine producing regions,  visited cities and the outback regions, met (and toured with) Aboriginal people- including a tribal chief, visited rain forests, beaches, and the outback  (including in a private 6 seat aircraft), zoos, aquariums and so much more. 

With romance related travel- destination weddings and honeymoons plus group travel- I was introduced to a company that 11 years was starting a new training program. At the time they had 6 hotels in their collection. A completely new hotel concept with a focus on accommodation, personalized service and gourmet food.  Impossible it seemed... yet I am still happily working with them. Their collection of properties continues to grow and has added 3 new brands-- all with the same core values: beaches, luxury, and gourmet. They also win industry awards year after year- including "Best Hotel Restaurant in Mexico" and "Top 100 best hotels in the world". I am pleased to say that they have over 11 new hotels under development. 

I love this hotel company and their amazing staff so much that I created an awards program for them. At our annual sales convention their marketing company provides me a very generous fund to award best waiter, housekeeper, bartender and more positions in each of the brands of their company . Best part is that the winners are selected and voted on by my fellow agent/specialists and hotel management. It is a very emotional and satisfying presentation. 

I am also currently working on an "experience" (not a tour) for hotel guests to meet and interact with locals on a very personal level. More info: www.breakingbreadpdc.wordpress.com

 

Exclusive Wedding & Group Concierge Service

Two years ago I moved to the Riviera Maya, Mexico to work with and be close to the hotels with whom I specialize. 

While I have worked with the hotels for a long time and now live in the area, that is not true for so many visitors.  Weddings & groups need extra "hand holding" and attention. I am able to arrange personalized visits to the hotels under consideration for events. I am able to make introductions to the staff and management, personal insight and tips, even event planning, decor and menu selection ideas! During the actual events I am "on property" to provide extra service as as well as translate for those "Huh, what did they say?" moments.

Destination Expert:

  • Australia
  • Mexico

Travel Specialist:

  • Couples & Romance
  • Food & Wine
  • LGBT Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
  • Groups

Top Travel Partners:

  • Vacation Express
  • AmaWaterways
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Sandos Hotels & Resorts

Certifications/Awards:

  • Mexico Travel Specialist
  • KARISMA GIVC Consultant & Wedding Specialist
  • Jamaica Travel Specialist
  • Aruba Travel Specialist

Languages I Speak:

  • English
  • Spanish

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