Carl (Pepe) Howard

Oklahoma City, OK
An independent agent with Travel Leaders Bentley Hedges Travel, a Travel Leaders Network Affiliate Agency
Destination Wedding & Group Travel 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 ...
Learn more about me.

Destination Wedding & Group Travel 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 of this program 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.

My Travel Albums

Colombia
Destination weddings & honeymoons-- Riviera Maya
Xolumado
Memorable Moments
Go to my main profile

Destination Expert:

  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Cartagena

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
  • Aussie Specialist
  • Aruba Travel Specialist
  • Jamaica Travel Specialist

Languages I Speak:

  • English
  • Spanish
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