About: Derek Schemonitz: a Luxury Travel Advisor
Hello to everyone, to my clients, potential clients & website guests alike.
Welcome to my professional page and thank you for taking the time to look over the site today.
I have been working as a Travel Advisor in the travel industry as my profession for my entire adult life (since I was 20).
It all started in '99 when I went for an interview at Ponzio International Travel. A family owned and operated Italian Travel Agency in Pittsburgh's suburb of Mt. Lebanon. Mr. Richard Ponzio who to this day is a very close & personal friend of mine, gave me a chance as a rookie and very inexperienced a position as a travel agent for his agency. I continued working for Ponzio International Travel for 12 years under his guidance, until 2012. During my tenure with Ponzio, I became extremely well traveled and an expert in Italy (Certified by the official Italian Tourism Office) and Europe (many other official certifications earned by tourism boards), among other international destinations. 6 years into my career with Ponzio in 2006, I was made the Agency Manager and ran the day to day operations, accounting, back office, and well as still being a full time front office Travel Agent. This continued for an additional 6 years until 2012. In late 2012 Ponzio International Travel merged. At that time full time staff were offered a position with the merged agency to stay on or leave the agency.
I was the only agent who agreed on terms to go with the merger.
From 2012 to the end of 2018, I worked as the lead International Tourism Consultant & Specialist at the merged agency. Throughout those 6 years I became even more well traveled and picked up additional expert certifications and specializations in the field. At the very end of 2018, I was headhunted by an industry firm who looks for agents ready to step into the luxury market. This firm informed me that a Virtuoso Agency in the Pittsburgh market was very interested in me, and was I possibily interested in making a big career move? At first I was hesitant and uncertain. Happy where I was and the compensation I was making on average. But this was an enticing opportunity to advance in this industry.
I accepted the interview and within a week I was offered a full time position as a Luxury Travel Advisor for the Pittsburgh branch of Avenue Two Travel (known as Gulliver's Travels). I accepted this offer and started within 2 weeks in January of 2019.
While my position as a Luxury Travel Advisor may make some of my loyal repeat clientele think I would no longer be interested in handling 4 star travel arrangements, nothing could be any further from the truth. I tailor 4 & 5 star travel of all types. While my specialty over the years has become more in the customization and designing of planning of travel,
I handle all travel arrangements.
Throughout my career I have made connections with excellent local contacts worldwide for private guides, drivers, and exclusive service arrangements. I keep these contacts close to my vest, they are dear to me and have helped me get where I'm today. I've meet my wife because of my love for travel and together we enjoy traveling worldwide.
I love traveling and I love selling you your travel dreams. I'm just as excited as you are when I'm planning your amazing travel itineraries and vacations! It makes me happy to know you are happy with me and my services. I want nothing more than to make you a very satisfied client who will come back to me for their future travels and refer me to others.
My focus is you.
I arrange all sorts of world wide travel.
Destination Wedding Groups
My clients mainly consist of those living in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area. Though I have clientele elsewhere in US as well. This year by moving into the luxury market I've secured what I believe are my first millionaire clientele in the Manhattan & Pittsburgh markets. My clients are everyone from CEO's, Dr's, Lawyers, Family & Small Business Owners, Executives, Families, Couples, Friends, Retirees, Gen X, Baby Boomers, Honeymoons, Bride & Grooms & Millennial's.
From moderate $3,000 one week all inclusive vacations for 2, to $100,000+ international travel groups, I do it all for you.
Thank you for your interest, and please reach out to me to inquire about your travel arrangements and ideas.
Luxury Travel Advisor