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Caroline Hay – Promoted to Director of Sales for Ontario



23 April 2018

Caroline Hay – Promoted to Director of Sales for Ontario


Travel Professional International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies,  announces the appointment of Caroline Hay as Director of Sales, Ontario.  Ms. Hay will report directly to Zeina Gedeon, Chief Executive Officer, and in this newly defined position, Caroline will be responsible for all sales channels while ensuring continued development and growth of our member-based business. As TPI continues to expand its presence in Ontario, Hay will be based in the Greater Toronto Area.


Ms. Hay has extensive travel industry sales and business development experience spanning over 24 years.   She has previously held roles with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Princess Cruises and most recently with TPI in the Marketing department.  “I am pleased to announce Caroline Hay’s appointment to this key role of leading the sales initiatives in Ontario as we focus on maintaining a competitive advantage in the Ontario market while we expand our offering to our advisors network,” said Zeina Gedeon, Chief Executive Officer.  “Caroline’s proven talent, leadership skills and broad industry experience in sales, business development and marketing make her the right candidate for this role as we work with our advisors to create new business opportunities and continue to innovate.”


Caroline’s appointment is effective immediately.




Office:  647-689-3884 x711

Cell: 905-330-5357



Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travelers. More information is available at TPI – We’ll Take You There

Top TPI Travel Advisors Honoured at TPI Chairman’s Circle Trip



24 APRIL 2018

Top TPI Travel Advisors Honoured at TPI Chairman’s Circle Trip


Travel Professionals International (TPI), Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, celebrated the success of its top advisors by hosting them and their guests on The Crystal Esprit Yacht, alongside TPI President, Morris Chia, TPI CEO, Zeina Gedeon, and Marketing Director, Jordana Botting.


“The Chairman’s Circle trip is a TPI tradition I very much look forward to, as it is one of the best opportunities for me to connect with our top achievers and recognize their commitment to success” Chia said. “To be able to spend such quality time with TPI’s best of the best – while sailing aboard a yacht in a beautiful part of the world is a treat.”


The 7-day ‘West Indies Yachting Explorer’ voyage set sail from St. Martin on April 13, 2018 with ports of call in Moskito Island, Saba, Antigua (where the group was hosted at Sandals Grande Antigua for a special lunch and a day of relaxation), St. Barts, St. Kitts, Tortola and our final leisurely stop in Nevis, where the advisors spent the day at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis.


The Crystal Esprit offers an intimate and elegant enclave for up to 62 sophisticated adventurists in all-suite and butler-serviced accommodations. The yacht’s unique size brings guests to the very doorstep of some of the world’s most exclusive shores, allowing for incomparable personalized experiences. The Crystal Esprit is small enough to sail to exotic bucket-list destinations, with a wide range of complimentary excursions and amenities in a very intimate and customized manner. The cuisine is inspired by the flavors of lands explored, delivered through lavish culinary presentations of Michelin-level envy.


“We look forward to next year’s Chairman’s Circle trip with a marque event celebrating TPI’s 25th year anniversary” Chia said. “Stay tuned, we will be announcing details of the trip shortly”.





About TPI


Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travelers. More information is available at


TPI is a Virtuoso member ( and is a division of the I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. group of companies. (


About Crystal Cruises

Celebrating 27 years of excellence, Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line, having earned “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 24 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by travel professional organization Virtuoso for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016).  The readers of Travel + Leisure also voted Crystal River Cruises the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises the “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in 2017. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of ASTA.

Set sail with Viking Cruises

5 Reasons to Book a Viking Ocean Cruise

Ask us to point to the best thing about Viking Ocean Cruises and you might be met with a blank stare. Not because there isn’t anything to recommend the line, though — it’s quite the opposite actually. With Viking, every detail — from the decor and atmosphere to the food and itineraries —is special and it is the experience as a whole that makes these cruises truly remarkable. So we couldn’t possibly choose just one best thing.

If you’ve enjoyed the company’s sister line of river cruises,you are sure to be impressed by their spectacular ocean line. And if you’re new to Viking cruises, well, you’re in for a treat. Here are our top five reasons to book a Viking Ocean Cruise today:

#1: Viking is at the top of its game

Ranked as the World’s Best Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure for two years in a row (2016 and 2017), Vikingoffers an incredible experience aboard its beautiful vessels. There’s no better time to discover what all the fuss is about. Among the top luxury cruise lines, Viking has the youngest fleet of ocean liners, including two brand-new ships. This means you’ll be sailing on the newest vessels with a company proving to be the very best in its class.

#2: Clean and serene experience

Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed by work? There’s nothing like a quiet vacation to clear the head. Viking offers an exceptionally serene environment aboard its ocean vessels. Uncluttered spaces, light-filled rooms and a decidedly un-mega-cruise-ship feel are the hallmarks of a Viking voyage. The well-designed ships keep to a clean Scandinavian aesthetic and maxes out at just 930 passengers. What a breath of fresh air.

#3: Inspiring itineraries

On a Viking voyage, the itineraries are as important as the onboard experience. Viking is able to take advantage of its smaller-sized ships to bring passengers into ports other cruise ships simply cannot navigate. And being closer to the main destinations — as opposed to out-of-the-way ports — means less hassle and more time to explore.

But beyond just the convenience of the smaller ships, Viking really shines with its port-rich innovative itineraries. The hardest part is deciding which itinerary to head out on first.


#4: Immersive Cultural Experiences


One of Viking’s stated goals is to provide travellers with an immersive cultural experience in every port — and the company really delivers. Not only does each stop include one free excursion, but Viking likes to curated experiences that give travellers a glimpse into local life and culture. Onboard, passengers have further opportunity to explore the cultures they are visiting through optional lectures, art exhibits, shows and food/wine tastings.

#5: Inclusive Pricing

 Nothing can ruin a vacation vibe faster than having to think about money all the time. On Viking, almost everything is included: from all dining options and wine with meals to shore excursions and unlimited wi-fi. Want to eat dinner in your room? No problem — room service is available free of charge any time of day or night. You can even visit the luxury spa pools (treatments are extra of course) and do your laundry without having to reach for your wallet. Now that’s something to celebrate.


TPI Advisor Recognized

From the small city of St. John’s Newfoundland, Lois Barbour has grown a formidable travel agency that is competing with the very best in the world.
When she first decided to purchase a franchise with Travel Professionals International (TPI) in 2005, Lois Barbour still had one foot in her other career — nursing. She soon realized that her knack for planning perfect family vacations was serving her well in her new venture and she was able to step back from nursing to concentrate on growing her St. John’s-based business full-time.
“I retired completely from nursing in 2010 and haven’t looked back,” Barbour said.
Today, her agency, Travel Time TPI, has eight outside agents and an office administrator; and Barbour has proven herself to be one of Canada’s best destination wedding planners and a go-to resource for families looking to plan a stress-free vacation.
“My passion really is helping people — whether that be couples or families — to create incredible travel memories. I know from my own experience when a vacation is planned well and travel is stress-free, that time away together is really invaluable,” Barbour said.
“We started to travel as a family when our daughter was two years old. She is 30 now and along with our two sons who are now in their 20’s, we still look back at those travel memories as some of the best times our family spent together while they were growing up.”
One of Barbour’s favourite travel recommendations is the Sandals and Beaches brand of resorts. For couples, the adult-only Sandals resorts are absolutely perfect, she says, and for families, you really can’t get much better than a Beaches vacations.
“What I love about the brand is that it offers consistency throughout, so you know that you will get high level of customer service in every resort,” she said. “And the food is always amazing.”
Just last week, Barbour’s agency was honoured at the annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards with the ‘Best of the Best’ award — which recognizes excellence in sales and marketing. Barbour was also named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. She is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour and one of only three in Canada for 2017.
“There is a direct benefit to our customers when we receive awards such as these,” Barbour said. “Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our clients with the very top people from the Sandals brand. We are asked for ideas to improve the brand and we’ve seen our input make a real difference.” She points to free WiFi that is now offered at Sandals resorts as one idea that she pushed based on feedback from her clients.
“We are very proud of all of our agents who work hard to give their customers the very best service and travel experiences,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO of Travel Professionals International. “Lois is a wonderful example of the level of excellence our TPI agents provide to their clients all across Canada.”
Barbour is just one of hundreds of independent travel advisors and agencies under the TPI umbrella — a network that supports and encourage each other while growing businesses in their local communities. TPI is the largest host agency in Canada, providing marketing and technology tools for agents to increase revenue while providing superior customer service.
TPI was itself recognized with a ‘Best of the Best’ award, as well as the coveted Top Host Agency in Canada honour at the STAR awards.
“It is great to be part of an organization that stands out from all the noise out there in the travel industry,” Barbour said. “TPI continues to support its agents so that we can do our job well — and that is to support travelers in all their needs.”


TPI Takes Top Canadian Spot at STAR Awards

Travel Professionals International (TPI) was once again named the Top Host Agency in Canada at the 16th annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards held this past weekend at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.

The STAR awards celebrate excellence in sales and recognize the agencies and individual advisors who utilize innovative selling techniques and employ outstanding marketing initiatives to sell the luxury Sandals and Beaches brand.

In addition to taking the Top Host Agency award, TPI was named a ‘Best of the Best Agency’ thanks to high sales productivity from its independent agents between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017.

And the accolades didn’t stop there.

Travel Time TPI (based out of St. John’s Newfoundland) received the ‘Best of the Best Agency’ award for its outstanding sales performance; Western Canada TPI was honoured with the Top Butler Travel Agency award for its high percentage of butler bookings.

Lois Barbour of Travel Time TPI was named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. She is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour and one of only three in Canada for 2018.

“Congratulations to all our advisors across Canada for the outstanding job they do each and every day,” said TPI’s CEO Zeina Gedeon, who was on hand to receive the awards on behalf of TPI. “I am constantly amazed at all of the hard work our advisors do to grow their business. They are the backbone of our company and it is a great pleasure to see them succeed. Being recognized with awards such as these truly shows the strength of the TPI organization and the commitment our advisors have to supporting their clients and our preferred partners.”

Zeina Gedeon Joins TPI as CEO


Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 10 worldwide Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that industry veteran Zeina Gedeon has joined the company in the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, to focus on two key priority areas – growth and innovation.

“Zeina brings an incredible amount of experience to TPI,” said Morris Chia, TPI President. “Through this experience and her relationships, we are perfectly poised for Zeina to take TPI to the next level of growth and innovation.”

Gedeon’s growth priority takes aim at increasing sales and commission revenues for the company in addition to building TPI’s footprint, through acquisition of individual travel advisors, storefronts, and agency groups. Her innovation priority will further develop internal systems such as TPI’s exclusive Lynx platform, building on existing gains the company has made in lead-generation and automated content delivery for its travel advisors.

“Innovation cannot happen without the correct corporate culture, and TPI’s head office team and travel advisors have the incredible passion and knowledge needed to continue to grow and innovate together,” said Gedeon. “I’m excited to contribute to these ongoing efforts started under Morris’ leadership.”

Gedeon brings to TPI over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, including various president and vice president roles at companies such as Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, and TravelBrands, in addition to her previous experience on TPI’s Corporate Advisory Board.

Gedeon is based between Montreal and Toronto and can be reached at

Five ‘Life-Saving’ Items to add to Your Regular Packing List

You’re getting ready for your next trip. The suitcase is open on the bed, and you’re going down the list of everything you’ll need to take with you.

Sandals? Check. Wind breaker? Check. Sunscreen? Check.

Duct tape? Wait….what?

You read that correctly. A small roll of duct tape takes up a tiny bit of space, but can save you in tons of different ways. Patch a tear in your shoes, jacket, or trusty bag. Baby proof a hotel room in ten seconds by covering outlets and taping drawers shut. Hem your pants. Use as a bandage in an emergency. The list goes on and on.

Here are four more things that should become part of your regular packing list:

External USB battery charger. Nothing is more exasperating or panic-inducing than finding yourself lost and needing to pull up that email with directions, or that map to your hotel, or make a phone call — and having your smartphone conk out on you. Save outlet space in airports, hotels, train stations, and other oft-traveled places. Always have a way to charge up your phone, tablet, or other USB powered electronic device, even if there are no outlets available.

The humble safety pin can be an amazing asset. Aside from the usual functions — holding your pants or shirt together, for example, when you lose a button — they also can serve to bundle small items like jewelry orkeys, to keep everything organized and in one place. Discretely place a pin on the inside hem of a slip or s
atin jacket lining to eliminate static cling. Use them to attach easily-lost things like mittens to the zipper or hood of your kids’ jackets.


A few strips of chamois (or other absorbent fabric) in different sizes. You can keep them all in a zip-lock bag (along with a couple of other bags for temporarily storing used cloths until you can wash them) — but having different sizes helps for different situations, and it’s best to choose fabrics that are also quick-drying. Small squares for cleaning glasses. A washcloth for bigger spills or for freshening up at a rest stop. Use a bandana-sized piece to tie back your hair or, when dampened, tie around your head on a hot day to keep cool. A long, narrower strip can serve as an emergency belt, hair tie, ace bandage, or even a way to tie a bag closed if a zipper breaks. They even make fantastic travel towels, because they roll up into a compact size, suck up the liquid, and dry completely in no time at all.


My contact information. As your travel agent, my job doesn’t end when yourtrip starts!

It’s not common, but sometimes complications arise while you are traveling, and I am always available to youto assist wit
h sticky situations you might find yourself in. (This is, of course, just one of the many perks of working with a travel agent!) Before your trip, you can make a “favorites” list in your phone of all trip-related contact info — my number and email address, hotel, car rental, reservations, etc. — for easy access. That way, I’m always just a call away. To find out more about the benefits of working with me and to plan your next trip, contact me today.


Why use a TPI Travel Advisor to plan your trip?

There used to be a time when travel was so daunting for ordinary people that experts were consulted whenever someone needed to book a train or steamer ticket. Nowadays, the Internet makes it possible to plan a trip with the click of a mouse, and many people are taking on travel by themselves.

However, as the travel world gets more accessible, it also becomes more saturated. Every destination includes a dizzying wealth of information, from the best time to visit to the cultural dos and don’ts, while choosing a hotel can mean wading through endless websites and online reviews. Add tour guides, attractions and restaurants to the mix and suddenly, planning your annual getaway takes way more than just a few keystrokes – it becomes rather overwhelming.This is where a travel advisor comes in handy. These worldly experts make it their business to trot the globe in search of the next great adventure or luxurious retreat, and they’re dedicated to giving you the trip you’ve always dreamed about – no matter what that entails.

Here are some reasons why you can’t put a price on expert advice:

A TPI Advisor knows people!   Sure, anyone can book a three-night deal at the Ritz. But can you secure an upgrade that includes breakfast, a spa credit and private city tours? Your agent can; she not only knows the general manager, she also sends the hotel a lot of overnight guests each year, meaning the Ritz wants to keep her happy. The best agents have long-standing relationships with companies and professionals around the world, and they’ll gladly share those hard-won connections with you, giving you access to perks you couldn’t get on your own.

A TPI Advisor is an expert and knows things based on experience and feedback! If this is your first time in a new destination, planning an itinerary on your own often includes relying on the suggestions of Internet strangers. Such guesswork can be risky, especially if you’re hoping for a unique experience, so why leave it up to chance? Your travel advisor has been where you’re going (probably more than once), and can recommend must-do activities, upcoming events, and even attractions to avoid – all tailored to your taste and budget.

TPI Advisors truly care about your trip as much as you do!  Our travel advisors are not only passionate about making your vacation dreams come true, they also know that a satisfied client is a client who returns – and makes recommendations. Advisors are just as invested in your trip as you, and will do everything possible to make it memorable – including designing an itinerary for your exact specifications, being available throughout your trip in case things don’t go perfectly to plan, and even arranging little extras along the way.

In the end, using a TPI Travel Advisor really comes down to value. Whether you’re looking for an elegant escape or somewhere new to explore, their expertise and insider access is guaranteed to bring you more bang for your buck – along with perks, flexibility and securities you’ll never find anywhere else.

Find your personal TPI Travel Advisor