ARC MarketPlace Agent Spotlight: Meet Liz Oberstein of Travel Leaders
Liz Oberstein has always loved to travel and planning vacations, but becoming a travel agent actually fell into her lap. Oberstein was looking for a new career when she saw the open position—and two weeks later she was on the job learning.
Oberstein has been with Travel Leaders of Winona for over six years. I caught up with her recently to learn more about her story.
Location: Winona, MN
Role: Travel Agent
Agency Type: Full-service Travel Agency
Recent Travel Destination: Dominican Republic
Bucket List Travel Destination(s): Cuba, Italy, Australia and New Zealand
Years Using ARC MarketPlace: 8 years
Do you specialize in any areas of the world or types of travel?
I specialize in leisure travel, mostly planning Caribbean and European vacation packages. I am also the destination wedding specialist in the office. I plan about three to four weddings a year, some of them ranging in up to 100 attendees.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a travel advisor?
My biggest challenge is when a client wants to travel to a destination I’m not familiar with. I typically research the destination to acquaint myself with the area and the tourism they have. Then, I work with the client to figure out the most important things to them for vacation. This is where ARC MarketPlace helps. The website has so many options for tours and activities that I can use to match to their needs.
What are the top technology tools you use throughout the day?
We use Amadeus as our GDS system, including reservations and invoicing, and we just started using ClientBase as our main CRM tool to maintain customer information. I also use various tour operators and booking tools, including ARC MarketPlace, Apple Vacations, and Delta.
Is there a trend you’ve seen in the market that you think will impact future travel?
There has been an increase in demand to Cuba lately, especially now that airlines have opened up flights there. Winter is our busiest season because clients want to travel somewhere warm to escape the Minnesota cold. That’s when we plan a lot of Caribbean vacations. In the summer months, we see more interest in European travel.
How do you use ARC MarketPlace?
I use ARC MarketPlace mainly for booking tours and activities for clients, as well as transfers in Europe. The product offerings give me a wide variety of options to book for clients.
Are there any go-to products that are popular for your clients?
How does ARC MarketPlace make your job easier?
The website makes it really easy to find the right tour and quickly book it for clients. Being able to search with a keyword and send clients a list of options in advance is very helpful. Plus, I can trust my clients are going to get a great tour experience.
Do you have any advice for new travel agents?
There is so much information out there and destination offerings change all the time, so make sure to stay up-to-date and ask a lot of questions. First-hand experience with destinations always helps too! You then know how to maneuver around airports and how pickups work for a tour so you can better direct clients.