My name is Derek Schemonitz and 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 1999 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 inexperienced and no international travel under my belt a position as a Travel Agent for his agency. I continued working for Ponzio International Travel for 12 years, 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 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. Throughout those 6 years I became more well traveled and picked up additional expert certifications and specializations in the field. At the very end of 2018, I was headhunted by a 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 interested in making a 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 weeks 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 Jan of 2019.
While my position as a Luxury Travel Advisor my make some of my loyal repeat clientele think I would not touch 4 star travel arrangements, nothing could be further from the truth. I handle 4 and 5 star travel arrangements of all types. While my specialty over the years has become more in the customization & planning of travel arrangements, I handle all travel arrangements.
Throughout my career I have made excellent local contacts worldwide for private local guides, drivers, and exclusive service arrangements.
Who are my clients?
Well you are. :)
My clients mainly consist of those living in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area market. Though I have clientele elsewhere in US as well. This year moving into the luxury market I've secured several millionaire clientele in Manhattan & Pittsburgh market. My clients are everyone from CEO's, Dr's, Lawyers, Family & Small Business Owners, Executives, Families, Couples, Friends, Retirees, Gen X, Baby Boomers & Millennial's. From a $3,000 one week all inclusive vacation for 2, to a $100,000+ international travel group, I do it all for you.
I'm available on request and if agreed to, for local Travel Nights, Cruise Nights, etc.
Where you organize a local get together with your company employees, local groups, church groups. library groups and I come out discuss a potential trip.
Please reach out to me to initially discuss and organize these travel nights.
I love traveling and I love selling travel to you. At times I'm just as excited as you are when I'm planning your amazing travel itineraries and vacations!
My clients travel feedback can be found on my website:
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- Independent Tours
- Escorted Tours
- River Cruising
- Beach & Sun
84% Recommended (13 Reviews)