TORONTO — Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, wrapped up 11 regional meetings across the country, with more than 250 TPI travel advisors in attendance. Focusing on the luxury travel segment, TPI travel advisors and preferred partners shared ideas on how to increase their book of luxury business.
“TPI is unique in the fact that while our advisors are independent contractors who run their own travel business with the freedom and flexibility they need, we offer the best peer-to-peer support in the industry. Our advisors get into business for themselves, but are never by themselves,” said Christine Winchester, National Director of Sales and Professional Development for TPI. “Having the opportunity to gather together at a regional meeting to learn from our valued suppliers — and from each other — is a great advantage to being part of the TPI family.”
Jaime Murphy, a long-time TPI travel advisor, recently moved her business from Newfoundland to Edmonton. “For me, the greatest benefit of these meetings is the personal connections I’ve made. It has been essential in my business, especially since the move,” said Murphy. “Before this meeting, I wasn’t familiar with any of the partner representatives in Edmonton. Now I have those personal connections — and I know about new products that come with higher yields. I am very grateful we are presented with these opportunities. It’s why I love being part of TPI.”
Michele Smith from Barrie, Ont., said her team walked away from these meetings with the reminder that luxury is not the same for everyone — that one size does not fit all. “Having face-to-face meetings with suppliers provides us with a very different experience than webinars. When you leave the office and attend a meeting, it’s another way to learn not only from the suppliers, but the other advisors and TPI staff in the room,” said Smith.
“I feel it is extremely important to attend these regional meetings if we want our business to thrive. It’s an opportunity to visit with other agents and share stories and tips of the travel trade. I always come away with so many ideas from other agents and suppliers,” said Sherry Petrasko, a TPI travel advisor based in Winnipeg.
Joining the TPI travel advisors were partner representatives. “TPI’s emphasis on developing luxury sales is truly welcome. Having a luxury focus for regional trainings allowed me as a supplier to dig deeper into the relationships I have with interested TPI advisors and help them better understand the luxury cruise landscape. Being able to support the leadership message from TPI management is rewarding, especially since we are now seeing results,” said Beverley Vickers, Director of Sales and Marketing, Canada, for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Also joining the meetings in several cities was Mahima Tripathi, CEO and Chief Brand Ambassador of Saleint Inc. “I thought the meetings went extremely well. The advisors engaged in conversations and asked relevant and important questions. TPI is awesome — and their passionate culture is displayed from top to bottom.”
TPI will be conducting the next regional gatherings at its annual TPI Summit events, which will take place in nine cities across Canada from April 2-13, 2019.