TPINovember 2019 - TPI

TPI announces Circle of Excellence status with Air Canada for 2020

PROVIDENCIALES — At its ‘Level Up’ conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos, Travel Professionals International (TPI) announced it has once again achieved Circle of Excellence status for 2020 with Air Canada.

The conference, which took place last week, included a series of sessions around the theme ‘Level Up’, which CEO Zeina Gedeon says was aimed at helping agents succeed. The Level Up conference week was full of main stage industry insights and learning sessions to help TPI Advisors level up their business while helping them build relationships with supplier partners, she added.

The event wrapped up with a gala cocktail party, dinner and awards ceremony. Advisor awards included Top Sales & Commission, Rookie of the Year, Top Category Awards and the Advisor Spirit Award.

Virtuoso was present at the conference and presented Morris Chia, Founder of TPI, with an award for 25 successful years in business.

“We are thrilled with the huge turnout we have at this year’s conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos. We are so proud of all of our Advisors for their focused efforts and their dedication to Level Up their business. TPI continues to grow and evolve by implementing the feedback from our valued Advisors,” said Chia.

TPI also made sure to not forget its supplier partners and through voting determined this year’s supplier partner winners. Partner awards included Top BDM, Top Specialty/Niche Partner, Top Cruise Partners and Best Training Program.

Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts, along with Gary Sadler, Senior VP of Global Sales, Unique Vacations Inc. and Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing, Unique Vacations Canada Inc., were on hand to make presentations on the closing day of the conference. Julie Coles, entrepreneur and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels was a keynote speaker.

“I would like to congratulate Morris Chia on a really strong and firm belief in the Canadian travel Industry and the work he has done in making this organization the leading and the number one independent home – based organization in Canada,” said Sadler.

TPI also announced its 2020 conference onboard the Allure of the Seas, hosted by Royal Caribbean, along with dates for upcoming major events such as TPI’s 2020 Velocity Trip to St. Lucia and STEP Fam Trip to Turkey with G adventures.

 

Published by Travel Week on 22.11.19

“Making those personal connections is essential”: Advisors & suppliers “Level Up” at TPI’s conference

Travel Professionals International (TPI) held its annual conference down in sunny Turks and Caicos this past week.

This year’s conference, aptly titled “Level Up,” attracted 35 supplier partners, and approximately 300 travel advisors from across Canada. Held at Beaches Turks and Caicos, the conference provided an excellent opportunity for suppliers and TPI’s travel advisors to network face-to-face and partake in one-on-one business sessions to learn more about the products and resources available to them.

Speaking at the beginning of the conference, Morris Chia, executive chairman of TPI, welcomed the group saying, “We are delighted to welcome this amazing group of valued advisors and trusted supplier partners; you are all here because you bring value to TPI. We wouldn’t be here without you.”

Several agents, including Carl Henderson and Kelly Klassen, who both agreed that the conference provided an excellent opportunity to network with their travel industry peers, were eager to share their experiences from this year’s conference with PAX.

The TPI Annual Conference is something I rarely miss," said Carl Henderson. Photo courtesy of Carl Henderson.The TPI Annual Conference is something I rarely miss,” said Carl Henderson. Photo courtesy of Carl Henderson.

“The TPI Annual Conference is something I rarely miss – having only missed three of them in the 25-year history of the company,” Henderson said. “This year, I have particularly enjoyed the Level Up Theme that has had a huge focus on how to move up our businesses. It has my mind churning with various ideas on what my next steps should be, how to continue to grow and thankfully, the opportunity to bounce these ideas off trusted colleagues while I am here.”

TPI's Kelly Klassen. Photo courtesy of Kelly Klassen.TPI’s Kelly Klassen. Photo courtesy of Kelly Klassen.

“TPI’s annual conference awards me the opportunity to meet with my top travel partners from around the world to learn about the most exciting travel experiences for my clients,” Klassen added. “I make connections that help me efficiently build my business and to rethink the way I’ve been doing things in the past — what areas can I Level Up in? It doesn’t hurt that our venue was at the gorgeous Beaches Turks and Caicos….what an incredible destination!”

PAX caught up with several of the suppliers in attendance to see what they had to say about this year’s conference.

Air Canada Vacations (ACV)

Erminia Nigro, general manager, sales, and Krista Cardona, area sales manager, ACV, take a time out. Photo: Krista CardonaErminia Nigro, general manager, sales, and Krista Cardona, area sales manager, ACV, take a time out. Photo: Krista Cardona

Representing ACV down south, Krista Cardona, area sales manager, and Erminia Nigro, general manager, sales, took some time to chat with PAX about the overall experience.

“Normally we are communicating with these advisors virtually, but for me, it’s essential to also have the in-person connection,” said Cardona. “Being here there have been countless opportunities to network, have conversations, and find out what we can do to best support each advisor and their individual businesses. Everyone here has been engaged and eager to meet with us, whether during one on one’s, roundtable meetings or at the dinner table. We’ve really valued this opportunity to establish new relationships and continue building the existing ones.”

Erminia Nigro, general manager, sales, and Krista Cardona, area sales manager, ACV, representing the company at TPI's conference in Turks and Caicos.Erminia Nigro, general manager, sales, and Krista Cardona, area sales manager, ACV, representing the company at TPI’s conference in Turks and Caicos.

AmaWaterways

Sandra Gardiner, director of national accounts, AmaWaterways, also enjoyed the opportunity to connect with advisors.

“It was so great to have so many occasions this week to interact with this amazing bunch of advisors,” said Gardiner. “They came prepared to talk business strategies and we came up with some wonderful ideas to further grow their individual businesses. Caroline Hay did an amazing job as MC and the days were filled with fun panels, motivational presentations and a fantastic keynote speaker. I was overwhelmed by the engagement of these advisors and how keen they are to learn and grow their respective revenues and databases.”

Sandra Gardiner, director of national accounts, AmaWaterways. Photo courtesy of Sandra Gardiner.Sandra Gardiner, director of national accounts, AmaWaterways. Photo courtesy of Sandra Gardiner.

Celebrity Cruises

For Maxine Gundermann, market sales manager, Eastern Ontario, Celebrity Cruises, TPI’s “Level Up” conference was crucial in allowing her to connect with some of TPI’s advisors face-to-face, especially the ones she might otherwise not get the opportunity to meet.

“My favourite part has been connecting with the consultants over dinners and cocktail parties, where we get to know each other better on a personal level, laugh, share great food, and talk about our mutual love for travel,” Gundermann said.

Maxine Gundermann, market sales manager, Eastern Ontario, Celebrity Cruises. Photo courtesy of Maxine Gundermann.Maxine Gundermann, market sales manager, Eastern Ontario, Celebrity Cruises. Photo courtesy of Maxine Gundermann.

The conference also gave Gundermann the opportunity to sit as a panelist and give advice to consultants on best marketing practices.

“Celebrity Cruises has a seamless offering across all destinations around the world called Sail Your Way, and so my presentation was outlining the key points and strategies around this offering, and also highlighting the latest updates about Celebrity Edge Class, and new destinations,” Gundermann explained. “From Celebrity Cruises’ standpoint, it has been a great way to connect with the TPI travel consultants face to face, who reside all across Canada. The programming offered to the consultants has been a wide variety of topics how to increase their business. We encourage the consultants to engage in social media, identifying and targeting key demographics that match the product offering, taking a look at the return on investment and measuring the impact of their efforts.”

Sunwing

Dave Wright, Sunwing’s director of sales for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, said he was “delighted” to connect with new agents and longstanding partners.

Dave Wright, Sunwing's director of sales for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Photo courtesy of Sunwing.Dave Wright, Sunwing’s director of sales for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Photo courtesy of Sunwing.

“The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Level Up’ and our current Vacation Better campaign gives travel agents so many opportunities to do just that if they book with Sunwing, from earning extra commission by pre-booking Sunwing Experiences excursions to maximizing their earnings with our regular STAR points promotions and much more,” Wright told PAX

Beaches Turks and Caicos. Photo: Kelly KlassenBeaches Turks and Caicos. Photo: Kelly Klassen

WestJet

WestJet (which flies to Providenciales direct from Toronto, as well as out of Western Canada) and WestJet Vacations, which currently has a mix of all-inclusive and condo-style accommodations in its portfolio in destination, including host hotel Beaches Turks and Caicos, also took part in this year’s conference.

“TPI’s “Level Up” conference, held in Turks, was both a celebration for an extremely successful 25 years and an educational opportunity, which made it a great balance,” said Jane Clementino, director, agency sales, WestJet. “Preferred suppliers could mix and mingle with all their advisors to obtain excellent feedback and discuss future opportunities. WestJet and WestJet Vacations were proud to be a platinum sponsor and congratulate the TPI management team on their YOY sales growth and high Advisor engagement.”

Jane Clementino, director, agency sales, and Sevi Anagnostis, manager, commercial partners, WestJet. Photo courtesy of Jane Clementino

Jane Clementino, director, agency sales, and Sevi Anagnostis, manager, commercial partners, WestJet. Photo courtesy of Jane Clementino

The TPI “Level Up” conference officially began on Nov. 13, and wrapped up last night with a black-tie Gala evening, followed by an awards ceremony and dinner.

 

Published by PAXNews on 18.11.19

TPI Ties Up Conference With Black & White Awards Gala EXCLUSIVE: OJ ON LOCATION

TPI’s 2019 conference came to a glamorous close yesterday at the travel advisor network’s Black & White Gala Soiree and awards show honouring top advisors and suppliers.


TPI’s Black and White Gala with awards honouring the agency’s top advisors and suppliers. L-R: Caroline Booth, Videographer, Open Jaw; Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI; Colton Chia, Director of Partnerships, TPI; Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales, Unique Vacations; Morris Chia, founder, TPI; and Anna Kroupina, Reporter, Open Jaw.

Hosted at Beaches Turks and Caicos, this year’s conference featured a long list of quality speakers and many opportunities for agents to learn and network, all centred around the theme of “Level Up.”


TPI agents and their guests at the Black and White Gala.

Sandals Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart and Gary Sadler, Senior Vice President of Sales at Unique Vacations, made a special appearance yesterday, speaking to agents about what they believe sets the Beaches brand apart, the importance of Canadian advisors to the Sandals umbrella, and their valuable partnership with TPI.


Zeina Gedeon (centre) with TPI agents at the Black and White Gala.

“I would like to congratulate Morris Chia on a really strong and firm belief in the Canadian travel industry and the work that he has done to make [TPI] the leading, the number one independent contract home-based organization in Canada,” said Sadler.


Sandals Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart and Gary Sadler, SVP of Sales with Unique Vacations, extended a warm welcome to TPI and its advisors at Beaches Turks and Caicos. L-R: Gary Sadler; Morris Chia; Zeina Gedeon; Adam Stewart; and Maureen Barnes-Smith.

 

Published by OpenJaw on 18.11.19

TPI Kicks Off Level Up Conference At Beaches Turks And Caicos OJ EXCLUSIVE ON LOCATIO


Open Jaw’s Caroline Booth (third from left) and Anna Kroupina (left) with the TPI exec team: (L-R) Morris Chia, founder; Zeina Gedeon, CEO; and Caroline Hay, National Director of Sales.

CONFERENCE KICKOFF — Open Jaw is the only Canadian trade media in Turks and Caicos to attend and cover Travel Professionals International’s (TPI) “Level Up” Conference, hosted at the island’s Beaches resort.

Some 200 travel advisors from all across Canada and 30 supplier partners – including WestJet Vacations, Allianz, Sunwing and Air Canada Vacations, to name a few — are attending the conference that aims to help its network of agents “Level Up” their business, Sneha Varghese, Marketing Director, told Open Jaw.

But not only that – it’s also a celebration of TPI marking 25 successful years in business in 2019, she says.

At last night’s opening dinner – hosted outdoors on Beaches’ Treasure Beach with live music and a fire breather performance — Caroline Hay, Director of Sales with TPI, praised TPI founder Morris Chia for showing an “entrepreneurial spirit” and “making waves” in the industry.

Over the next few days, TPI advisors will partake in supplier presentations, breakout sessions, a roundtable discussion and many more workshops.

Stay tuned!

 

Posted by OpenJaw 14.11.19

TPI agents join G Adventures for STEP fam to Cambodia

TPI agents join G Adventures for STEP fam to Cambodia

TORONTO — A group of 18 TPI Advisors experienced Cambodia recently with G Adventures, as part of TPI’s exclusive Specialized Travel Education Program (STEP).
The group was joined by Sean Russo, National Sales Manager, Canada for G Adventures and local CEO G Adventures guide Cheak Chuom.

TPI says STEP is an exclusive education initiative created to educate TPI advisors about a destination, tour, excursion or cruise ship product.

STEPs assist TPI Advisors to develop and improve their product knowledge and in turn provide clients with “exceptional service, and drive additional sales and revenue”.

The STEP trips are escorted by a TPI host along with the supplier host.

TPI says it has seen “tremendous positive feedback” about the STEP program, noting that year after year, advisors “are pleased with their experience and find it extremely beneficial to their business and an opportunity to interact with their TPI peers, learning and sharing in small like-minded groups.”

TPI Advisor Kathylynne Fenton, who took part in the trip, said: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience a G Adventures tour with TPI, as I now have a better understanding of the trip style and am excited to share the information with my clients! I am confident I will have no trouble selling this travel style in the future as a result of my first-hand experience on the Cambodia STEP fam.”
G Adventures’ Russo said the tour operator was happy to bring the TPI Advisors on its Cambodia Experience itinerary. “They entered this trip with an open mind and heart; each advisor gained a better understanding of our WHY and HOW and we strongly believe they are in a better position to showcase the power and difference of adventure travel and community tourism.”

He added: “Travel is about connections and understandings, and we believe the advisors have a better understanding of life and the culture of the people of Cambodia. We look forward to growing our working relationship between TPI, its Advisors and their newly minted group of storytellers.”

 

Published by TravelWeek

TPI to donate portion of today’s bookings to hurricane recovery efforts

TPI to donate portion of today’s bookings to hurricane recovery efforts

TORONTO — Travel Professional International (TPI) is showing its solidarity with the people of the Bahamas by donating $5 for every booking made today towards hurricane relief.

All donations will be made to the Sandals Foundation and will be used to help restore the lives of the locals most affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Northern Bahamas.

“During this difficult time, we want to extend our sincere condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO. “We send our customers to the beautiful and welcoming island of the Bahamas and want to give back in any way we can.”

The record-breaking storm devastated Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands when it made landfall last Sunday. It is now battering North Carolina as a Category 1 storm.

Published by TravelWeek

TPI conference will help advisors ‘Level Up’ their business

TPI conference will help advisors ‘Level Up’ their business

TORONTO — Travel Professionals International (TPI) is levelling up for its annual conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos, kicking off Nov. 13.

With 330 participants expected to attend, including 38 supplier partners, the host agency conference will include a series of sessions around the theme ‘Level Up’, which CEO Zeina Gedeon says is aimed at helping agents succeed.

TPI-conference-will-help-advisors-Level-Up-their-business

“This year’s conference is all about encouraging advisors to ‘Level Up’ their business and take that next step to reach their goals. Once you connect all the dots for your business, there is only one place to go from there – to the next level,” she says.

During the conference, advisors will have access to interactive sales sessions and supplier one-on-one sessions, as well as learn valuable business skill strategies. They’ll also get the chance to connect with fellow advisors and preferred supplier partners. Keynote speakers include Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, and Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts.

The conference marks the end of TPI’s celebrations for its 25th year, during which the company achieved record-breaking double-digit growth in sales, commission and memberships.

Published by TravelWeek

Published by OpenJaw

TPI gets award for 2019 Top Air Year-Over-Year Percentage Growth – Member Agency at Virtuoso Travel Week

LAS VEGAS — Travel Professionals International (TPI) was awarded the coveted award for 2019 Top Air Year-Over-Year Percentage Growth – Member Agency at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas earlier this month.

According to Colton Chia, Director of Partnerships who accepted the award, the honour is especially significant as only a fraction of the network’s 20,000 advisors and 1,000-plus travel agency members are recognized at Virtuoso Travel Week.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Virtuoso for our advisors’ increase in air production,” said Chia. “Virtuoso Air is an important addition to our direct contracts, providing leading commission levels for growing markets.”

David Kolner, senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships at Virtuoso, added: “This network is always working to ensure the client experience is elevated to the next level, and Virtuoso members such as TPI deserve credit for their efforts in ensuring this happens.”

TPI advisor Kelly Krill also took home 3rd place in the Virtuoso Travel Photo Contest for her image, ‘Wild Orangutan Getting Fruit’. Her photo was featured in the Virtuoso gallery at the Bellagio throughout the week.

The 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas attracted some 3,000 attendees. Taking place from Aug. 10-16 at Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa, the event was hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch, Senior Vice President of Marketing Terrie Hansen, and Senior Vice President of Global Member Partnerships David Kolner.

Published by TravelWeek