First I'm very proud of what my host agency Avenue Two Travel has accomplished by becoming the FIRST (and currently only) Forbes endorsed travel agency in the entire world. Of course in the months and years to come Forbes will certainly decide to endorse other luxury agencies. Avenue Two Travel has become a leader in this industry, (sometimes I'm floored, my agency is a part of such an incredible firm) and it is in part because of its advisors and affiliates (like me) who continue to deliver the best of service & professionalism, that Forbes has acknowledged us with this incredible endorsement. This endorsement by Forbes is beneficial for both the agency and its affiliates, & as well my wonderful clientele. I'll explain this, but first here is the press release from Forbes & the CEO of Avenue Two Travel.
Philadelphia, February 22, 2023 – Luxury travel firm, Avenue Two Travel, has been named the first Forbes Travel Guide-endorsed travel agency.
Forbes Travel Guide ("FTG") recognized Avenue Two Travel for its leadership in the industry, dedication to elevating the role of travel advisors, support of hotels that have earned FTG Star Ratings and engagement with FTG as a trusted source for objective, third-party verification of exceptional hospitality experiences. FTG is the only independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises.
"We are thrilled to be the first travel agency to receive this prestigious recognition. It is truly a testament to our team and their professionalism and passion," said Joshua Bush, President and CEO of Avenue Two Travel. "As an FTG-endorsed agency, our advisors benefit from a strong connection to General Managers at FTG Star-Rated hotels. This designation also demonstrates to our clients our service-driven principles and singular focus on delivering the finest travel experiences in the world, which are qualities we share with FTG Star-Rated properties."
The agency’s mission is to design authentic travel experiences that make us better global citizens. Since its founding in 1987, the agency has evolved and innovated to fit the ever-changing needs of the traveler while keeping personalized travel planning and white-glove service at the forefront.
"Forbes Travel Guide understands how important service is in this industry; FTG standards are focused 70% on service and guest experience, with another 30% on the facilities. At Avenue Two Travel, we know that service – from the initial stages of planning a trip to the trip itself – can make or break a travel experience," said Bush. "It is no easy feat to earn an FTG Star Rating, and we know that our clients will have an exceptional stay at those hotels."
FTG announced its 65th annual list of nearly 1,400 rated hotels in 81 countries in mid-February. Its coveted Five-Star, Four-Star, or Recommended awards are earned through objective incognito inspections on FTG’s exacting quality and service standards.
“FTG acknowledges Avenue Two Travel’s commitment to world-class service, which complements FTG’s own principles,” said Richard Lebowitz, Senior Vice President of Travel Industry Outreach for Forbes Travel Guide. “Through its endorsed relationship with FTG, Avenue Two Travel completed a range of dedicated training, communications and engagement across 100% of its advisor network that distinguishes FTG Star Ratings as a trusted source of hotels vetted for service and facility excellence. We are grateful and honored to collaborate with the Avenue Two Travel team.”
About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruise. FTG’s anonymous professional inspectors evaluate based on up to 900 objective standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, to help discerning travelers select the world's best luxury experiences. The only way to get a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through their independent inspection process.
As an affiliate of Avenue Two Travel, my clients stays at Forbes rated hotels are acknowledged directly by the hotel manager and guests are VIP'd as clients from a Forbes Travel Guide endorsed agency. I have access to a portal, where I select the Forbes rated hotel, dates, and my clients name. Then with the click of a button an instant priority communication goes off directly to the hotel manager, notifying him/her of my clients upcoming stay. What the hotel manager does with this acknowledgement is at their discretion in addition to any preferred partner benefits already assigned to the clients reservation. Basically the hotel manager at a Forbes rated hotel sees an upcoming guests VIP reservation from a Forbes endorsed agency, and takes priority note of client.
I had a chance to already utilize this system with Forbes, to see how it works. I recently had a client family head off to Japan for the Sakura festivals. They stayed a Forbes 5star property in Tokyo to begin their vacation. The night before their departure I used the Forbes portal to send off a communication to the hotel in Tokyo. Within just a few hours Forbes responded to the communication notifying me that the hotel manager had acknowledged the upcoming client stay with the hotel. Then a few hours later a personal direct communication from the hotel manager, saying they look forward to the arrival of my clients, and they will see to it that my VIP clients are well taken care of during their stay. Then after my clients departed for their next destinations of Hakone & Kyoto, I recieved another communication from the hotel manager saying 'Arigatou Gozimasu!' for the wonderful stay of my clients, and it was such a pleasure hosting them during their time in Tokyo! then a day later an email from the US Sales Rep of the hotel brand also reaching out, thanking me and telling me how they look forward to welcoming my future clientele and to please reach out directly (now I have their personal contact details) if I ever need anything related to the hotel or even just the brand itself. To not hesitate to contact them if ever a need.
I have to say a very nice touch of class & professionalism.
Ask me how many times in 22 years has a hotel manager & sales rep both directly & personally sent me a note thanking me for my clients stay immediately before & after departure. Answer, this is a first.
We are the only travel firm in the whole world right now, that has access to this exclusive program for our clients. What a privilege is it to have my clients acknowledged by the best hotel properities & their managers in the world.
Derek Schemonitz: Owner/CEO & President of